January 24, 2014
CMMS Secrets Revealed
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.
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