Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a software program that helps businesses to track and manage their assets, schedule preventive maintenance, and create work orders.
What is CMMS Software?
Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), is a software package that helps users manage various maintenance tasks, inventory, and assets. CMMS provides a centralized database for all maintenance-related information by tracking work orders and maintenance costs.
And that's exactly what it is—the core of a CMMS is its maintenance management database. This is where all your pertinent data is stored: equipment and asset records, inventory levels, preventive maintenance schedules, work orders, and more.
Used in a variety of maintenance operations across manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, food and beverage, healthcare, government, and other industries, a CMMS is designed to streamline facility and asset management processes and improve equipment uptime.
How Does CMMS work?
CMMS software is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, meaning it is delivered via the internet and does not require installation of any software on your computer. It is accessed via a web browser on any internet-enabled device, such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
The data model of a CMMS is relatively simple and straightforward. It typically includes three types of data:
- Equipment Data: Equipment records store information about the machines, vehicles, tools, and other physical assets that need to be maintained. This can include make and model, serial number, location, and photographs.
- Maintenance Data: Maintenance records track all the tasks that need to be performed on an asset, including preventive maintenance tasks, work orders, and repairs.
- Inventory Data: Inventory records track the spare parts, tools, and other consumables needed to perform maintenance activities. This can include stock levels, reorder points, and vendor information.
Once this data is entered into the system, it can generate various reports (e.g., preventive maintenance reports, work order reports, etc.) and dashboards (e.g., equipment uptime dashboard, inventory levels dashboard, work order dashboards), which users can consult to make informed decisions about their maintenance operations.
On a more technical level, a CMMS typically uses a client-server architecture. This means that the software is installed on a server, and users access it via a web browser or desktop client.
The advantage of this setup is that it allows multiple users to access the system from different locations. It also makes deploying updates and new features easier, as they only need to be installed on the server.
However, it does have some disadvantages. First, it requires a reliable internet connection to work properly. It can also be more expensive to set up and maintain than a standalone software program.
Main Functions of Computerized Maintenance Management Software
Across different industries, the exact use for CMMS software will vary a bit. But the most common functions of the software can be summarized as follows.
- Labor and Resource Management
- Preventive Maintenance Scheduling
- Work Order Management
- Inventory Management
- Reporting and Analytics
- Document Management
- Mobile Apps
- Integration With Other Systems
Labor and Resource Management
Facility managers use CMMS software to track the labor hours spent on maintenance activities. This data can be used to generate reports showing the labor cost for each task, asset, or work order.
The software can also be used to schedule and dispatch maintenance workers to different job sites. And in some cases, it can even be integrated with time and attendance software to automatically track employee hours and find available employees for scheduling.
Preventive Maintenance Scheduling
Preventive maintenanceis a key part of an effective maintenance strategy. By performing regular inspections and maintenance tasks, you can identify potential problems before they cause downtime or equipment failures.
With CMMS software, facility managers can schedule preventive maintenance tasks for individual assets or groups of assets. The system will then generate work orders and send reminders to the assigned maintenance workers when it’s time to perform the task.
Work Order Management
Work order management is often viewed as the most fundamental function of a CMMS.
A work order is a request for an asset's maintenance, repair, or inspection. In most cases, work orders are generated automatically by the CMMS based on the preventive maintenance schedule.
However, they can also be created manually by users. Once a work order is created, it is typically assigned to a maintenance worker or team. The CMMS will then track the progress of the work order and send reminders to the assigned workers until it is marked as complete.
Inventory management involves asset registry (e.g., tracking each asset's make, model, and serial number), ordering spare parts and consumables, and keeping track of stock levels. It also involves keeping track of performance, uptime, and downtime statistics and monitoring IoT sensors and equipment alarms.
Inventory control is a crucial but often overlooked function of a CMMS. By keeping track of all these data points, you can make informed decisions about your inventory levels and ensure that you have the spare parts and consumables needed to keep your facility running smoothly.
Reporting and Analytics
As we touched on earlier, reporting, analysis, and auditing are functions central to the facility management process. Capital planning, cost analysis, and root cause analysis are all essential for making informed decisions about your facility.
With CMMS software, you can effortlessly create reports on any element of your maintenance operations. You can analyze this data to understand asset availability and performance, optimize MRO inventory levels, plan for audits, and more.
A CMMS can also be used as a document management system (DMS). This function is particularly useful for storing and organizing manuals, schematics, blueprints, and other documents related to your facility and equipment.
With a DMS, you can easily find the information you need when you need it. This can save a lot of time and frustration, especially when you’re dealing with complex equipment.
A CMMS work order app allows users to access the system from their smartphones or tablets. These apps typically have a subset of the features found in the desktop version of the software but are still powerful enough to perform most common maintenance tasks.
Mobile apps are particularly useful for maintenance workers who are often away from their desks. With an app, they can view and update work requests, check inventory levels, and find the necessary information without having to return to their desktops.
Integration with Other Systems
Most CMMS software applications offer integrations with other business systems. The most common integrations are with accounting software (e.g., QuickBooks, Sage 50), asset tracking systems (e.g., RFID, barcoding), and project management software (e.g., Jira, Trello).
These integrations allow users to share data between the different systems. For example, you can automatically generate invoices in your accounting software based on the data in your CMMS.
A customizable dashboard is the best way to visualize data from your CMMS. A good CMMS dashboard will allow you to track KPIs, view work requests and asset data, and see inventory levels at a glance. It should also be easy to use and set up so you can get started quickly.
EAM vs. CMMS vs. CAFM: Key Differences
EAM vs CMMS
EAM, or enterprise asset management, and CMMS are both software solutions that help organizations manage their assets and maintenance operations. But there are some key differences between the two.
EAM software is typically used by larger organizations with more complex asset portfolios. They tend to be more expensive and offer more features than CMMS software.
A CMMS solution, on the other hand, is designed for smaller organizations with fewer assets. They tend to be less expensive and offer fewer features than EAM systems.
EAM developed from CMMS and contains many of the same functions, but it has some abilities surpassing those of its predecessor. EAM software can connect different sites and departments more effectively than CMMS due to increased connectivity and information sharing. ERP is another system with which EAM shares deep integration.
CMMS vs CAFM
Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) is a system that helps organizations manage their facilities. CAFM systems typically include space planning, move management, and asset management features.
Like CMMS software, CAFM systems are used to track work orders and asset maintenance requests. But CAFM systems also offer features for managing other aspects of the facility, such as space utilization and move management.
Like EAM software, the main difference between CMMS and CAFM is the scope of their functionality. CMMS systems are designed specifically for managing maintenance operations, while CAFM systems are designed for managing the facility as a whole.
9 Benefits of CMMS Software for Facility and Asset Management
CMMS software has several essential benefits for facility management and maintaining assets.
- Asset Visibility
- Improved Maintenance Scheduling
- Increased Productivity
- Reduced Downtime
- Improved Communication
- Increased Safety
- Environmental Sustainability
- Peace of Mind
- Lower Operating Costs
Since CMMS software centralizes all of your organization's asset information in one place, it's easier to track and manage your assets. With CMMS, you can quickly see which assets are due for maintenance, what maintenance has been performed on each asset, and where each asset is located.
By utilizing data from sources such as sensors and other daily instrumentation, maintenance teams can develop a proactive asset maintenance strategy rather than reacting to issues after they've occurred. This information can also be used to prevent issues before they start and trigger alerts when necessary.
Improved Maintenance Scheduling
CMMS software makes predictive maintenance easy—your maintenance team can set up maintenance reminders based on asset usage, time, or meter readings. This ensures that assets are properly maintained and helps you avoid costly repairs. And with proper maintenance, CMMS software can also reduce maintenance costs.
Since CMMS software learns from your scheduled maintenance history, it can also help you optimize your maintenance operation. For example, if you notice that a particular asset breaks down on average every six months, you can schedule preventive maintenance activities for that asset every five months instead.
By automating administrative tasks like ordering new parts, scheduling employee shifts, compiling audit data and information, and replenishing MRO inventory, maintenance departments can use CMMS software to improve productivity.
Automating manual tasks such as ordering parts, and replenishing MRO inventory, facility managers can save time on repetitive duties.
Not only are these tasks time-consuming, but they are also error-prone—shift scheduling and data input, in particular, are susceptible to human error.
With CMMS software, you can automate these tasks and avoid errors. This frees up time for facility managers to focus on more important tasks, such as strategic planning and improving the customer experience.
Equipment downtime can be the result of many things, such as equipment breakdowns, power outages, or bad weather. But whatever the cause, downtime is expensive—it can cost businesses thousands of dollars per hour in lost productivity.
CMMS software can help reduce downtime by providing up-to-the-minute information on the status of your assets. This way, you can quickly identify and fix problems before they result in downtime.
Storing docs, repair manuals and procedures for maintaining assets in CMMS protects this valuable knowledge. This benefits your business by ensuring consistency of workmanship and by providing a way to transfer this info to new technicians instead of losing it when experienced personnel leave.
Centralized dashboards and transparent data reporting also enable teams to communicate more effectively. With CMMS software, everyone has access to the same information at the same time.
This improved communication can help prevent misunderstandings and miscommunication. It also helps ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.
Safety is always a top priority for facility management. And because CMMS software tracks maintenance history, it can help you identify and correct potential safety hazards.
A few potential safety issues that CMMS tools can prevent:
- Loose wires that can create trip hazards
- Leaking chemicals that can cause skin irritations or respiratory problems
- Missing safety labels on equipment
- Inadequate ventilation
Safety issues can be difficult to identify, particularly in large facilities and those with heavy or complex machinery. Things like loose bolts or frayed wires can be easily missed during visual inspections. But with CMMS software, you can quickly identify and fix these problems before they result in an accident.
Environmental regulations such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Air Act (CAA) require businesses to track their hazardous waste and emissions. And modern facilities increasingly need to monitor their Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions to meet sustainability goals.
CMMS software can help facility managers track these environmental metrics and ensure compliance with regulations. Additionally, by monitoring energy usage, CMMS software can help facility management teams identify and implement energy-saving opportunities.
Peace of Mind
Daily, facilities managers have lots of fires to put out. With CMMS software, you can rest assured that your facility is being properly maintained. By tracking maintenance history and scheduling preventive maintenance, you can avoid expensive repairs and downtime.
Plus, with the improved communication and transparency that CMMS provides, you can have confidence that your maintenance team is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Lower Operating Costs
All of the above benefits, including increased productivity, improved communication, and reduced downtime, can lead to one thing: lower operating costs.
When your business is running smoothly, you can avoid the cost of repairs, replacements, and lost productivity. When your maintenance team and your facility is safe and compliant with health, safety, and environmental regulations, you can avoid costly fines. And when your employees are working efficiently, you can avoid the cost of overtime.
Business Use Cases for CMMS Software
Maintenance software like CMMS can be used in a variety of businesses and industries. Here are a few examples.
Work Order Management In Factories and Manufacturing Facilities
In factories and other manufacturing environments, it’s critical to maintain a high level of production. Equipment downtime can be extremely costly, and even a short interruption in the production line can cause a ripple effect that impacts the entire operation.
By utilizing a work order management system, an organization's on-ground maintenance activities can be better managed. For example, the software allows for digital submissions of work requests from technicians, operators or service personnel. Additionally, progress of assigned tasks can also be monitored by managers using the software.
Hospital and Healthcare Facility Management
From MRI machines to X-ray machines, hospitals and other healthcare facilities rely on a wide range of sophisticated equipment. This equipment is often expensive, and asset downtime can have a significant impact on patient care.
With CMMS software, healthcare facility managers are able to monitor the maintenance and repair history of their equipment. Especially since compliance and safety are of utmost importance in the healthcare industry, a CMMS can help managers ensure that their equipment is well-maintained and compliant with regulations.
Construction Project Management
Construction projects are often complex, with multiple teams working on different aspects of the project simultaneously. And with construction timelines often tight, it’s critical to avoid delays caused by faulty equipment and other maintenance issues.
Construction managers use CMMS software to track their equipment and schedule maintenance. By keeping their equipment in top condition, construction managers can keep their projects on track, maximize safety for employees and subcontractors, and avoid delays.
School and University Maintenance Management
From dormitories to classrooms to athletic facilities, schools and universities need to maintain a large number of buildings and grounds. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical systems need to be regularly inspected and maintained.
With CMMS software, schools can track the maintenance history of their facilities and schedule preventive maintenance. By keeping their facilities in good condition, schools can avoid repairs and environmental safety issues, and create a better learning environment for their students.
And since things like maintenance schedules and potential safety issues can be easily communicated to staff and faculty through IoT sensors and automation via an app, everyone can be on the same page when it comes to facility maintenance.
Events and Public Spaces That Host Large Numbers of People
From concert venues to convention centers to sports facilities, there are a wide variety of public spaces that host large numbers of people. And with so many people in one place, it’s important to make sure that the space is safe and compliant with fire codes and other regulations.
With CMMS software, event and public space management teams can track the maintenance of their facilities. And building owners can minimize their risk of liability (which in some cases leads to a lawsuit) by using the software to ensure that their facilities are well-maintained.
Enterprise Asset Management
From office buildings to retail stores to manufacturing plants, businesses of all types rely on a variety of assets. And keeping these assets in good condition is essential for the smooth operation of the business.
Not only does a well-maintained asset last longer, but it also works more efficiently. This can save the business money in the long run, as well as ensure that the asset is available when it’s needed.
With CMMS software, businesses can track the maintenance of their assets and schedule preventive maintenance. By keeping their assets in good condition, businesses can ensure workplace productivity and safety in both factories and office buildings, optimize their inventory levels, and avoid disruptions to their operations.
Computerized Maintenance Management System Best Practices
Now that we’ve seen a few examples of how CMMS software can be used, let’s take a look at ten best practices for using the software.
- Keep track of your equipment inventory.
- Maintain a record of your equipment's history.
- Involve the entire organization in the process.
- Integrate mobile functionalities.
- Use CMMS to foster long-term relationships with vendors.
- Tailor your CMMS software to meet the needs of your maintenance team.
- Create an ongoing training program.
- Gain insights from clear reporting.
- Use CMMS to manage compliance with your service providers.
- Standardize your data entry procedures.
The first step in using CMMS software is to keep track of your equipment inventory. The type of equipment will vary depending on the industry, but some examples include vehicles, machinery, tools, and office equipment.
Your CMMS tool will automate some of your inventory control processes, but it's up to the facility manager to make sure that the data is accurate. You'll need to track not only the equipment but also its location, serial number, and other important information.
You need to keep a record of your equipment's maintenance history. This includes information such as when the equipment was last serviced, what type of service was performed, and any problems that were found.
By tracking this information, you can identify trends and problems with specific pieces of equipment. This information can be used to schedule preventive maintenance or make repairs before a piece of equipment fails.
When organizations don't track this type of information, they often find themselves dealing with unplanned asset downtime and expensive repairs. For example, if a piece of equipment breaks down and the organization doesn't have a record of when it was last serviced, they may have to replace the entire piece of equipment instead of just repairing it.
Once you have your CMMS set up, it is essential to get everyone in your company on board. This includes everyone from entry-level technicians all the way up to maintenance managers and directors.
If you want your company to succeed, it's important that everyone (especially those in management) believe in the advantages of a CMMS. The best way to do this is by holding department-wide informational seminars that include upper-level managers and executives so that they're aware of the potential benefits.
Adopting a CMMS offers various advantages, one of the main ones being transparency and quick communication between employees. Without a CMMS, paper-based maintenance programs often cause delays in managerial communication.
Your employees always have a valuable tool with them throughout the day: their smartphones. And the best CMMS software solution will be compatible with a mobile device. By using a mobile CMMS, your workers will spend less time traveling between the job site and office while still having access to the system from any location.
This switch can not only make your team more efficient, it gives field workers the ability to log their time and track work progress without heading back to a desktop computer or office documentation.
To fully utilize mobile CMMS technology and take advantage of all its benefits, you should provide team members with tablets or smartphones. Facilitron's CMMS software is available on both iOS and Android mobile devices, allowing for full system functionality from any location.
Your CMMS vendor should have regularly scheduled check-ins with you to make sure that you're getting the most out of your equipment.
Keep communication lines open so that you can be updated about new software and features, informational seminars (e.g., webinars), and other information that might be useful for keeping your equipment running smoothly.
It is best to ask about the vendor-client relationship, research phone and online support resources, communication channels, and problem-solving strategies. Also try to find out about similar past experiences the seller has dealt with in order to get a better idea of what they are capable of.
If your CMMS is user-friendly, your team will be more likely to use it. Additionally, many features of the system are unneeded by technicians doing work in the field, like reporting or supplier management functionality.
An increasing number of teams from diverse industries are using CMMS platforms to manage maintenance activities, as reported by UpKeep in 2021. 66% of surveyed teams cited using a CMMS platform, up from 42% in 2019.
As more and more companies adopt CMMS software as part of their tech stack, make sure it is user-friendly with configurable features. Allow them to customize windows and labels according to their needs so they feel comfortable using the system.
A great tip is to set up user types based on their role in the company with the help of your vendor. This will ensure that everyone only sees what they need and nothing else.
It is crucial to have training procedures and timetables in place for your team, as they need to know how to open, manage and close requests. Your CMMS software provider will want you to maximize the system's potential, so regular training (not only for new users but also when upgrades become available) is essential.
This includes everything from orienting new hires to keeping existing staff updated on changes. Consistently attending CMMS classes or hosting training programs companywide ensures that users are always learning something new and utilizing the full potential of the system.
Use the data you've collected on your equipment, asset performance, and preventive maintenance to gain insights beyond just scheduled maintenance and asset health. Reporting capabilities can also help you budget for future needs and asset costs.
With a modern CMMS solution, BI data and reporting are available in easy-to-understand formats like bar graphs, charts, PowerPoint templates, etc. The facility management team can send these reports to upper management to make data-driven decisions.
Reports and analytics are crucial for measuring the success of your CMMS solution and maintenance program, so be sure to talk to your vendor about which ones will work best for you. They can advise you on how to get the most out of them and may even generate custom reports tailored specifically to help you achieve your business goals.
Service providers and contractors are essential to your company's success, but you must make sure they follow your site standards as well as local and state regulations. A company's on-site technician needs to have qualifications, licenses, and insurance from the supplier to avoid any unforeseen risks should something go wrong.
By integrating compliance management capabilities into a CMMS, organizations can manage contractor certifications and compliance, helping to avoid potential legal and financial issues.
A great way to start is by importing your contractor list into the compliance system or CMMS. Then, you have the chance to update each worker’s certifications. As maintenance professionals complete jobs, you can collect records for repairs which will be useful during compliance assessments.
In addition to your maintenance processes, standardizing your data entry procedures will help you get the most out of your CMMS. Data is the backbone of any system, and if it's not entered correctly, it can lead to inaccurate information and reports.
Out of all the respondents in a 2021 Statista survey, 41% said that the biggest data challenge is employees not having analytical skills. Not only does poor data quality have a direct impact on your income, but it also leads to complex data ecosystems and bad decision-making further down the line.
Work alongside your vendor to come up with a system that mirrors the company's structure and is straightforward enough for every employee to comprehend. Have an initial informational meeting to go over the details of the standard. Keep having these types of sessions until everybody grasps codes and are able to identify them easily.
How Facilitron's CMMS Software Fits Into the Picture
Facilitron's computerized maintenance management software is a robust, cloud-based solution that helps organizations streamline their maintenance operations.
Our CMMS solution, Facilitron Works, is a responsive desktop platform that you can access from any web browser. It's designed to make your life easier, with automated work order creation, asset tracking, compliance management, and reporting capabilities, and even comes with a companion mobile app designed especially for your maintenance technicians.
For operations with multiple service centers or multiple departments, Facilitron Works can be configured so that each department (IT, transportation, and maintenance) can tailor their items, purposes, trades, workers, approvers, and more to their specific department needs and segregate their work orders from other departments.
With maintenance regions, service centers can have their own areas with properties, workers, and trades, reducing the clutter of another region’s work orders. At a high level, administrators can view reports and dashboards across all regions and departments.
The Facilitron Works mobile work order app doesn't just speed up your maintenance processes—it also increases productivity and allows your maintenance technicians to get more done while away from their desks.
The Facilitron Works app makes it easier than ever for employees to tackle maintenance tasks on their mobile devices. With a user-friendly interface that is quick to learn, high-priority tasks can be completed without any hassle.
From a mobile device, employees can easily group location-based work orders together, which reduces the amount of time workers have to spend driving between locations and helps them get more done in less time overall.
Our mobile CMMS allows employees to work more efficiently by:
- Enabling them to develop new work orders from anywhere.
- Giving them real-time updates on new work orders.
- Allowing them to view open work orders for the same location, so they don't have to return to a dispatch office multiple times.
- Easily taking and uploading photos onto a work order ticket for visual inspection or requesting support if needed.
- Adding hours, material costs, receipts, and more to any current work order so that they can get back out into the field quickly.
What this means for the overall maintenance operation is that there is less time spent creating and dispatching work orders, and more time spent completing them. This saves the company money, while also ensuring that all of the company's assets are well-maintained.
Facilitron's CMMS software is an essential tool for any organization looking to streamline their maintenance practices.
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