What is a CMMS?

Looking to streamline your facility maintenance operations? The first step in understanding what is a CMMS software and how it can take your maintenance strategy to the next level.

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is the centerpiece of every high-functioning asset maintenance program.

Investing in a CMMS solution brings multiple benefits to organizations including decreasing the costs associated with reactive maintenance, increasing the efficiency of maintenance teams, and making it easier to organize and automate data. Overall, companies that leverage maintenance management software see a significant increase in maintenance and asset management ROI.

Let’s get into more details of what maintenance managers must know about CMMS.

What is a CMMS?

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a digital platform that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and machine learning to organize a company’s maintenance activities, eliminate manual work that can be automated, improve maintenance professionals communication, and support cost-effective managerial decision-making.

By bringing all the organizations’ maintenance data together, maintenance managers have access to real-time information about asset performance, work requests scheduled, spare parts available, and predictions about asset health.

The best computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) providers offer the system for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Who Should Invest in a CMMS Software?

Investing in a CMMS software can represent a competitive advantage for organizations in a large variety of industries. The decision to introduce a cloud-based solution to the company’s maintenance program can have a significant impact on the company’s operational strategy, outcomes, and profits. 

If you are involved in maintenance decision-making, you know how difficult it can be to make a decision when you have little data in hands. What’s more, a wrong decision can have a large impact on maintenance costs and affect the bottom line.

Some industries where companies tend to see a great return from investing in CMMS system include oil and gas companies, energy companies, fleet management, healthcare companies, food service companies, transportation companies, property management companies, national and state parks, organizations operating in the aerospace, manufacturing companies, hospitality organizations, warehouses, automotive companies, and other type of facilities.

CMMS users include business owners, facility and maintenance management, asset planners, and maintenance personnel. Modern CMMS software is also useful for Safety Managers, Quality Control Managers, Directors of Operations, Logistics Coordinators, and more.

What Makes a Good CMMS

Within the many CMMS providers, not all solutions satisfy maintenance team’s needs. That’s because some CMMS systems include more modules and features than others.

The best computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) makes asset management a breeze, by helping managers to schedule service activities, track work orders, analyze KPIs, and optimize equipments functionality. The best options in the market also offer predicitive maintenance capabilities, which count with the power of big data and machine learning.  

Mobile apps capabilities are also important considering that it empowers maintenance technicians to access assets information while out in the field performing maintenance tasks while also allows managers to receive instant notifications when their attention is needed. This increases the efficacy of all maintenance processes.

Let’s take a look at some modules that are considered critical to compose a powerful computerized maintenance management system:

Work Order Management Module

A work order module in CMMS systems allow maintenance teams to get rid of disorganized paperwork, Excel files, and stacks of work order requests.

Work order management platform is meant to help you create, manage, and track maintenance work orders – all from a user-friendly environment.

You must look for a CMMS software that offers a streamlined way for field workers to submit work order requests. This can be through their smartphones, with options to attach images and details of what needs maintenance workers’8 attention. A cool feature to count with is the possibility of pre-determining who is responsible for each type of maintenance work, and when a work request is submitted, the software automatically assigns the pre-designated worker, who receives a notification on their smartphone.

Work order management module can reduce downtime and maintenance costs, and streamline your maintenance activities.

Preventive Maintenance Module

A preventive maintenance module (also known as preventative maintenance) is vital in any CMMS software. That’s because preventive maintenance should be part of every maintenance plan, regardless of the organization’s size, industry, and asset types. 

This proactive approach to maintenance ensures minimal asset failure, keeps operations running, and reduces manual input — all of that with low implementation costs.

Almost all CMMS solutions include a PM module, but when selecting your software, you must look for automation features that will facilitate facilities management work. Some of the functionalities that make operations easier include:

– Instant notifications every time a preventive maintenance task is scheduled or when it is time to perform the maintenance activity

– Interactive calendar that allows managers and technicians to view all open work and upcoming PM activities

– Automatic PM scheduling based on meter readings or pre-set time windows

– Connectivity between PM module and other modules involving assets data

Mobile capabilities are also helpful when it comes to the PM module since it allows maintenance workers to check off scheduled activities immediately after completing them.

Predictive Maintenance Module

Predictive maintenance (PdM) involves advanced maintenance techniques that rely on machine learning, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT). With that, not all CMMS systems include a PdM module. 

If your organization manages complex machinery that requires a high level of reliability, you must have predictive maintenance techniques within your maintenance strategy.

Through the use of built-in sensors, the software captures vital data and stores it in its database. The system uses maintenance history data to create predictive models and warn the maintenance team when it’s the optimal time to perform maintenance work. 

The best CMMS solutions have a PdM module connected with the work order module, which means a corrective task is automatically created and the designated technician is instantly notified when an abnormality is detected.

Enterprise Asset Management Module

Enterprise asset management makes it possible for companies to track and manage machinery with all the customization needed. Organizations can track location, make, model, manuals, pictures, mileage, hours run, meter readings, and any other information that is important to the company. 

EAM module also allows facilities managers in different locations to view all maintenance history, workflows, and inventory data of all organization assets. Having access to this critical data enables faster diagnostics and an actionable audit trail. A CMMS that connects with the other systems your company uses, such as an ERP or MES makes data more powerful.

Not every company needs enterprise asset management capabilities within CMMS software. We recommend that you get in touch with the CMMS provider you are interested in to learn more about how your organization’s needs can be addressed.

Inventory Management Module

If you are responsible for inventory management you know how important it is to have reliable, real-time data at hands all the time. 

Modern CMMS software, with an Inventory Management module, allows managers to analyze information to understand asset availability, performance trends, MRO inventory optimization, inventory costs, and other information to support business decisions. It is critical to have real-time data about inventory and assets lifecycle including information about what parts have been used in each maintenance activity,

Inventory management solution makes it possible for facility managers to make accurate predictions regarding when it is the optimal time to make purchase orders for new spare parts.

Ready to Streamline Your Maintenance Activities?

In the Industry 4.0 context, organizations that don’t leverage the right resources end up failing to stay competitive.

Unplanned downtime can have serious consequences on companies’ bottom line. 

The best CMMS software is the one that addresses most of your organizations’ maintenance needs — from eliminating chaotic paperwork to using predictive models to avoid asset failure.

Note that regardless of your organization’s size and particularities, you should look for customizable dashboards where you can see your maintenance performance with your own metrics and KPIs such as planned vs. unplanned work, maintenance history, etc. 

A CMMS that allows technicians to log in work requests and service details through a mobile app also makes the maintenance team much more productive, which leads to increased machinery uptime and higher profits.

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