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The Maintenance Management Blog

January 24, 2014

CMMS Secrets Revealed

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If you work in the maintenance management industry, you have no doubt heard of a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) and more likely than not, either use one or have implemented one at some point in your career. You may have even been a part of the decision-making process when it came time to purchase or upgrade an existing maintenance management system. Either way, whether you are new to the experience or not, there are some CMMS secrets that you should be aware of. In light of that, we will be discussing some inside this post.

CMMS Secrets

There exist a lot of myths about CMMS and the CMMS industry in general. When a vendor contacts you, they are apt to tell you that their software can handle your project straight out of the box, no matter what your needs are. This is the first secret about a maintenance system that providers may not want you to know - not every CMMS works for every task.

Not all CMMS" are created equal - each company has their own unique needs and wants. Sure, most CMMS" can handle the basics, and a vendor will likely work with you to customize your program, but in order for this to succeed, you have to look past the rhetoric and put pen to paper. Before you even approach a software provider, write down a list of must-have"s, wants, needs, and can live without. Speak with the CMMS vendor and make sure he or she understands the list and can work out a solution to fit it. Ask specific questions and if you do not get the answers you like, move on. Don't settle for less.

Another "secret" in the computerized maintenance biz is that a CMMS will not always save you money. If you do not take the time to properly implement your system and train employees on its use, it will be just like any other piece of equipment that you purchase and never use - it will just sit in a corner and collect dust.

There are many ways a CMMS can save you money if implemented properly of course, including cutting down on overhead for employees and even something as simple as your electricity bills - in fact, by using the system to its fullest and following your maintenance schedule, you can cut costs on energy bills by up to 30%. That number can be pretty high when you consider how much of an energy hog machinery can be!

The final secret I want to discuss is in regards to the online versus desktop CMMS solution - vendors from both sides will spout off how each is better than the other. Don't buy into it. Certainly where your software is hosted (locally or online) should be a determining factor in your purchasing process, but again, your software choice is not a black and white decision. In truth, they both have advantages and disadvantages and only you can determine which is the best solution for you. Cost, up-time/down-time percentages, functionality, technical support responsiveness, and availability - these are the things that you should consider when buying a maintenance system.


Finding the Right CMMS


Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: CMMS, CMMS Software — Lisa Richards on January 24, 2014