What is CMMS software?

CMMS software diagram

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is software that enables you to manage maintenance activities to ultimately increase asset productivity, decrease costs, and streamline processes.

CMMS software offers these key benefits:

  • Meet compliance and safety standards
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Make data-driven maintenance decisions
  • Increase productivity
  • Extend lifetime of equipment

Why use a CMMS?

CMMS report dashboard

Lower maintenance costs

A CMMS system's robust reporting features allow you to track maintenance, labor, and inventory costs in one user-friendly system. Extraneous costs and labor hours can be associated with work orders, preventive maintenance tasks, inventory updates, and more to provide a holistic, real-time view of your maintenance expenses. You can use this data, and other reports, to gain insight into problem areas within your department, while discovering ways to cut costs and improve your bottom line.

Make informed, data-driven maintenance decisions

The data collected in your CMMS is extremely customizable and powerful. It can be used to justify capital and labor expenditures, determine when to repair an equipment item versus when to replace it, where bottlenecks lie in your processes, and more. By detailing the number of maintenance repairs, labor hours, equipment downtime, and inventory costs, you can identify the resources your team needs to operate efficiently.

CMMS equipment maintenance benefits

Extend lifespan of equipment and assets

Routine inspections allow your team to identify problems with equipment and assets before they cause disruptions in your workflows. In addition, broken or worn parts can be replaced before causing unnecessary damage to the rest of the asset. This extends the useful life of your equipment and reduces the frequency of unexpected breakdowns.

Reduce equipment downtime

By scheduling and tracking preventive maintenance, you are ensuring each asset receives the proper care it needs and ultimately reducing equipment breakdowns. In addition, the system can predict the next time a piece of equipment will break, allowing you to perform preventive maintenance before it fails.

mobile CMMS work order form

Increase productivity

Organizations that implement a CMMS typically see an immediate increase in productivity. Work order response and resolution times decrease, and less time is spent managing requests, which means technicians can get more work done. Less time, more work—that’s productivity at its finest.

Streamline processes

A CMMS automates processes like never before. Work requests can be routed to the appropriate technician in real time, and when that request is being worked on, updates are sent to the requesting user letting them know of its progress. The ability to attach pictures and documents to work orders leaves little room for ambiguity, requires less back and forth between requesting users and technicians, and allows your team to resolve requests faster.

CMMS for safety regulation compliance

Meet compliance and safety standards

A CMMS keeps an extremely thorough record of all the maintenance that has been performed on each piece of equipment. Maintenance staff can easily access these reports to verify compliance and safety regulations are being met. In addition, a CMMS can store important information, such as product requirement documents and manufacturing build packages, for easy access to these materials.

Increase labor efficiency and team performance

A CMMS system tracks the amount of labor spent performing maintenance by technician, equipment item, or work order. This information allows you to identify weaknesses in your processes so that you can address and improve them, ultimately increasing efficiency.

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Features of CMMS software

Manage Work Orders

Work order management streamlines all of your maintenance processes, leads to faster response times and resolution times, and ensures your team never loses work orders again. You can set up your system to automatically prioritize and assign requests to the appropriate technicians so that your team can focus less on tracking work orders and more on repairing assets.

Manage Spare Parts Inventory

Inventory management ensures the right parts are available when an asset breaks down. A successful system will allow you to “use” inventory items when working on maintenance tasks, so that your inventory levels are kept up-to-date in real time, and alert you when an item is reaching its reorder point. Most importantly, a CMMS can reduce inventory shortages while also minimizing storage costs.

Preventive Maintenance

With a CMMS, you can schedule preventive maintenance tasks well in advance for your equipment and assets. This prioritizes preventive work for your team, sends notifications reminding them when an equipment item is due for preventive maintenance work, and ensures that no task is overlooked.

Asset Management

Asset management allows your team to track all of the assets in your facilities, including equipment, vehicles, and more. Information such as purchase price and date, serial number, manuals, warranties, and any maintenance work performed on assets is all stored in the CMMS, which makes accessing necessary information easy.

Reports & Analytics

A CMMS can develop reports for your organization’s most important key performance indicators (KPIs). You can then analyze these reports and use those analyses to fuel decisions, showcase returns on investment, and allocate resources appropriately.

Mobile Maintenance Functionality

Access, respond to, and close out requests on-the-go from any mobile device. This increases productivity and reliability by giving your team access to important information they need, whenever and wherever they need it.

Which industries are using a CMMS?

Difference between a CMMS and an EAM

Computerized maintenance management systems and enterprise asset management (EAM) systems are often mistaken for one another, and understandably so. Both focus on asset management, but do so in different ways. A CMMS enables you to manage day-to-day maintenance activities to ultimately increase asset productivity, decrease costs, and streamline processes, while an EAM only focuses on asset management.

While an EAM's asset management capabilities are a bit more robust, it isn't a holistic solution that manages all of your maintenance and facility activities like a CMMS.

Learn why CMMS software is your next step to success!

A CMMS solution allows you to manage your facilities' maintenance so that you can cut costs and increase productivity. Robust data and analytics allow you to analyze, and increase, your company's productivity, asset lifespans, and more. Download our eGuide to take one more step towards maintenance management success!

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What to consider when looking at CMMS options

Choosing a cloud-based system opens up a world of benefits for you and your team. Web-based and cloud-based systems allow you to work anytime, anywhere, on any device, and they typically have a less expensive initial setup and quickly pay for themselves. In addition, the implementation is typically quicker and easier than an on-premises option, and updates are made available automatically with no installations required.

More benefits of a cloud-based CMMS

Flexible systems allow your team to dictate what matters most, so that you have all the features you need and none that you don’t. You should choose a CMMS system that allows you to create reports for the metrics that matter most to your team, and name the resources and locations in the system to match your organization. A CMMS should fit your unique processes, not the other way around.

In order for you to gain the most out of a CMMS, people need to actually be able to use it, which makes ease-of-use extremely important. When users dive into the system, they should be able to intuitively create a work order without any training. A simple interface allows anyone in your company to submit a request, and then track its progress, for optimal efficiency. The more the system is used, the better the results your department will achieve.

Be sure to ask about the implementation process and what is required of you versus what the vendor is responsible for. If they have an entire guide to walk you through the process and have already identified major roadblocks and how to overcome them, that’s a great foundation for success.

More CMMS implementation best practices

A team that is ready to support you as you navigate a new software package is crucial to your success. Questions will arise and issues will occur, but if you have a support team that’s ready to help you tackle all of your facility and maintenance goals, you will run into minimal (if any) bumps. When conducting research, ask what happens in the case of an emergency if it’s outside of support hours, what the average response time is, and what their customer satisfaction rating is. Answers to these questions will help you choose the solution that puts your needs first.

How to choose CMMS software

CMMS features

1. Determine maintenance needs and goals

In order to choose the solution that works best for you and your team, it’s important to lay out your objectives. Establishing these up front will help you prioritize solutions with your organization’s end goals in mind. You should define your goals in terms of return on investment, cost savings, time savings, improvements in efficiency, compliance needs, downtime objectives, safety improvements, inventory management, event management, and preventive maintenance efforts. Once these are outlined, you can begin to determine what your solution looks like.

2. Evaluate vendors

Once you’ve established your goals, you can begin to compare vendors. Eliminate the vendors that are unable to meet the majority of your goals, and narrow your choice down to several candidates who can meet all, or most of, your maintenance needs. You should also evaluate the implementation services and support from each vendor. These services set you up for success and ensure you're equipped with everything you need to manage your maintenance.

3. Choose a solution

After you have it narrowed down to a few options, hop on a demo with these vendors. A product specialist will be able to answer all of your questions and let you know if their product can help you achieve your goals.

You should also create a decision matrix analysis that houses a set of criteria you’d like each vendor to meet. Rate these criteria on a scale of 1-10 based on how important each one is to you. Then, rate each vendor’s ability to achieve that criteria on a scale of 1-10. Simple math will allow you to determine which vendor is best suited for you.

4. Make the case to the decision makers

To make the case for a CMMS, you first need to outline the drawbacks of your current system. What’s not working, and why does this warrant a change? Next, share the goals of the project. If you have an idea of what great looks like, this will motivate decision makers to help you achieve it. Discuss your preferred vendor and how they will help you reach those goals.

CMMS systems comparison

The CMMS Software FrontRunners quadrant on Software Advice by Gartner highlights leaders in usability and customer satisfaction in CMMS software.

CMMS Software Gartner quadrant: leaders are Limble, eWorkOrders, Calibration Control, GageList, and FMX

Source: Current FrontRunners quadrant in the Top CMMS Software category, June 2020, Software Advice by Gartner.

According to customer reviews submitted on popular review sites Capterra and Software Advice, this is how top CMMS systems compare across key categories.

Sources:

  1. 1 Capterra
  2. 2 Software Advice by Gartner
  3. 3 Average score based on both review sources
FMX eMaint UpKeep Dude Fiix
Functionality 2 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.0 4.5
Customer support 1 4.9 4.5 4.8 4.6 4.4
Value for money 2 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.0 4.5
Ease of use 1 4.7 4.2 4.6 4.1 4.4
Overall 3 4.69 4.43 4.66 4.25 4.49

Sources:

  1. 1 Capterra
  2. 2 Software Advice by Gartner
  3. 3 Average score based on both review sources

Learn more about FMXcmms, the top-rated maintenance management software solution designed to help you manage maintenance, schedule preventive work, and more.

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