What is CMMS?
CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management Software (or System). It helps organizations to manage and track its maintenance operations automatically and efficiently from a digital platform. With CMMS, companies can easily manage assets, work orders, inventory, preventive maintenance, and much more without the hassle of manual inefficiencies and incomplete data from spreadsheets or paper.
In essence, CMMS is crucial for developing effective maintenance practices, improving production outputs, reducing operational costs and complying to regulatory standards when it comes to maintenance tasks or facility management.
CMMS Features and Functionalities
CMMS enables the transformation from manual maintenance monitoring to a highly automated preventive maintenance process with real-time status update across all aspects of Maintenance Operation.
Mobile capabilities are critical for a true maintenance transformation and digitization. When maintenance teams are away from their desks carrying out maintenance tasks and fixing equipment, mobile access gives them the ability and convenience to immediately record and update their work progress. Managers and supervisors can monitor the work orders from their office in real-time, or from smartphones or tablets as they walk around the facilities.
In addition, a good Mobile CMMS solution would include additional intuitive features to allow users upload photos of the assets, scan bar codes or QR codes to retrieve asset information, submit work order requests on-the-go, access inventory level, order spare parts and much more, to increase the productivity of people on the ground.
Asset management is all about tracking and monitoring your physical assets such as equipment, machinery, vehicles, buildings. etc. With numerous assets that need to be managed, across multiple facilities or at a single location, CMMS creates an asset hierarchy to provide a clear overview of all the assets in possession. Asset information such as technical specifications, purchase details, warranty validity, maintenance history, spare parts used, performance data, are all stored in the CMMS so information can be easily retrieved. Imagine what it will be like trying to find out which spare parts were replaced on a machine two years ago without CMMS!
An effective asset management means having all the assets’ relevant data at your finger tips, so that you can create meaningful reports easily and analyse your assets’ performance with a 360-view of your maintenance operation. With the analysis, you can develop better maintenance strategies, reduce asset downtime and increase asset lifespan, maximize your return on investment (ROI) and improve production outputs.
Work Order Management
Work order management is about creating efficiency and automation in all your maintenance activities. This includes the collection of maintenance requests, creation and assignment of work orders, completion of maintenance tasks, and storage of related information. Each work order also records the service technician, asset issues, repair history, amount of downtime, spare parts used, and costs of repair.
Using CMMS for your work order management can significantly reduce administrative time and increase productivity. By moving away from papers and spreadsheets, all work orders are managed digitally in real-time, with automated workflows such as alerts, inventory updates, scheduled reports, and so on. Scheduled maintenance can also be created automatically based on time, usage, meter-reading, or specific conditions setup in the system.
Inventory management is important to ensure that spare parts, tools and inventory are always available for maintenance and repair tasks. With CMMS, inventory levels are instantly updated when parts or tools are used during maintenance or repair. When inventory is low, CMMS can create an alert and automate the inventory purchasing.
CMMS enables organizations to maintain optimal inventory quantities so that the right amount of inventory is readily available at the right time, and not delaying the maintenance of mission-critical assets. Having inventory visibility across all locations allows you to make better purchasing decisions and negotiate more effectively with your suppliers.
Preventive maintenance (or preventative maintenance) is a routine maintenance and inspection schedule based on time or usage of the equipment. It is carried out on the asset while it is still functioning, to prevent it from breaking down unexpectedly.
CMMS lets you set up different times of preventive maintenance schedules that are based on time, usage, meter-reading or predefined conditions. This means that when the conditions are met, work orders with tasks and instructions are auto-generated by the system, and assigned to specific users or groups.
Reports and Analytics
With CMMS, companies can easily generate reports for audit in demonstrating compliance with health and safety, and/or environmental regulations. Management is also equipped with accurate real-time data to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) that are important and unique to their organization, to monitor asset productivity, maintenance costs, inventory usage and much more.
Benefits of CMMS Software
CMMS is a digital platform for companies to organize and manage their maintenance activities in one place. Workflows and tasks can be automated from CMMS and tracked in real-time. Below are five main areas where CMMS drives significant values and empowers your maintenance team in their day-to-day operations.
Improve Productivity and Minimize Costs
By making information readily accessible and easy to update, maintenance teams can focus on maintenance tasks and collaboration with other teams, instead of spending their time on administrative tasks. Preventive maintenance can be automated through CMMS to optimize schedules, standardize tasks and improve access to resources. Visibility to inventory helps companies to balance inventory needs and streamline purchases. With a faster completion to every work order, companies can improve their labor productivity and minimize costs.
Increase Asset Lifespan and ROI
When maintenance tasks are completed on time and correctly, it keeps the equipment and machinery in top condition and prevents it from breaking down. A well-maintained asset can last longer and generate more profits for the company, delay the need for replacement and create a greater return on investment (ROI) for the organization.
Less Asset Downtime
Unplanned downtime can have a huge impact on businesses and should be avoided at all times. Using CMMS to schedule and monitor preventive maintenance activities, assets are kept healthier and more reliable. A proactive maintenance plan ensures assets run smoothly and break down less often, and asset downtime is always planned to avoid service delays or production inferences.
Data-Driven Decision Making
CMMS collects a wide range of data across various maintenance metrics. This helps companies make better decisions based on KPI reports, asset histories, and analyze maintenance trends or the cost-benefit of different maintenance strategies. Improve maintenance program with reliable, real-time data to ensure assets are running smoothly without unnecessary overspending.
Achieve Regulatory Compliance
Industry-specific regulations are generally non-negotiable and it is critical for companies to meet the required safety, environment, or government regulations. By using CMMS, required procedures, such as the regular inspection of fire protection equipment, are stored in the system and can be made available at all times. Being a digital platform, CMMS automatically creates audit logs when tracking and documenting maintenance histories and inspection tasks, providing a permanent and auditable report for compliance.
Selecting the Right CMMS Solution
We have broadly outlined some of the key considerations when it comes to choosing the right CMMS solution for your organization.
With the maintenance teams spending most of their time outside office, mobile CMMS solution represents a key element in achieving information accuracy and operation efficiency. This often results in improved communication, stronger collaboration, and faster responsiveness to work order completion and deadlines. Consider the mobile features of your preferred CMMS solution, make sure they are rich in functionalities to allow your maintenance teams perform daily tasks on the go from their mobile device. You may also want to take note of the offline mode capability of the mobile CMMS, and make sure that maintenance operations is not interrupted in the absence of wifi connection.
Ease of Use
A CMMS software is only useful if your maintenance teams use it. If the system is overly complicated, difficult to use or requires a lot of learning, chances are that it will not be well-received by the maintenance operation staff. A good CMMS solution would be one that is intuitive, where users can easily navigate around the application and complete their day-to-day tasks with ease. When new people join the organisation, very little training is required for them to get familiarized with CMMS application. Remember, CMMS is meant to increase efficiency, and not slow down your maintenance with figuring out the software.
It is important that your CMMS software is flexible in integrating across your enterprise systems. When information can be shared seamlessly across different software within the organization, it helps the maintenance team and the rest of the company to collect, analyse, and leverage on data to make better decisions. In addition, consider connecting to sensors and leverage on Internet of Things to adopt predictive maintenance strategies.
Always choose a scalabIe solution that can adapt to your changing business needs. Have the freedom to expand or maneuver your maintenance operations without being hindered by your IT systems. A cloud-based software that can be implemented quickly is always a good option, as opposed to expensive, complex solutions that would require months to set up for your new or changing business requirements.