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The Maintenance Management Blog

January 15, 2014

Do You Need A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)?

Tactical Vehicle Maintenance

If you are in charge of a bunch of machinery, you have no doubt found yourself wondering if there was a better way to keep track of your equipment. More likely than not, you have found yourself frustrated because you could not find warranty information on a broken down part and had to spend a good portion of your day digging through a haphazard collection of records. If this sounds like you, then you may have asked yourself a simple question: Is there a better way? To which I would respond: Yes - and it is called a CMMS.

A CMMS is a computerized maintenance management system, and if your job is caring for your company"s equipment, then you could benefit from the use of a CMMS, no matter what size your company is or the number of machines you work with.

There are many benefits to maintenance management software. At the core, a good CMMS will help you keep track of your assets, schedule and track preventative maintenance, get alerts when maintenance is due, and issue jobs or tickets to employees; however, this is a very generalized view of a maintenance management system.

In addition to these features, a CMMS also helps you store warranty information and documentation on each and every piece of equipment you oversee – creating fewer headaches and issues when documents can't be located. I"ve talked about the frustrations of not being able to find a warranty on a piece of broken equipment. Not only does this cause unneeded aggravation, it also costs your company money and takes away from the bottom line. Time is money, and the longer you take to find this information, the longer it takes to get your shop back up and running. And what if you actually lost the warranty information before the warranty ran out? In that scenario, you could end up having to pocket the cost of repairing -or worse, replacing - that machine.

Another way a computerized maintenance management system can save your company money and increase its profits is by cutting back on overhead. An often overlooked, yet important, benefit of a CMMS is that it can cut your energy bills by up to 30%. Equipment can consume a vast amount of energy, particularly if that machinery is not running properly. By allowing you to better keep track of your maintenance and keep your equipment in top shape, it ensures that unstable machines don't become resource hogs, gobbling up your company"s revenue.

Still not convinced? Think about your everyday life. Let's look at your vehicle. Do you take it in for oil changes as recommended by your car"s manufacturer? Do you perform other preventative maintenance tasks on a schedule, such as rotating your tires or getting a tune-up? Most likely, the answer is yes. If not, then you have probably learned the hard way that skipping these simple - and mostly cost effective - steps can end up putting you in a very unexpected, costly situation. In my younger, more reckless years, I went a very long time without changing my oil. What would have cost me maybe $150 over a period of time ended up costing me well over $5,000 in a new engine. The same thing can happen in a company that does not have a proper maintenance management system in place, only on a much grander scale.

Why You Need a CMMS

Below is a list of ways your company can benefit from a good CMMS:

  1. Track Assets - know where your machinery and spare parts are, their age, and life expectancy.
  2. Preventative Maintenance - taking small steps to care for your equipment can save you big headaches in the long run.
  3. Documentation - easily store and track your machinery"s documentation and warranty information.
  4. Conserve Energy - keeping your machinery in tip-top shape makes them more energy efficient.
  5. Budget - by tracking assets and having profiles on each of the items under your care, you can predict when a piece of equipment will need to be replaced or repaired, which cuts back on surprises that could push you beyond your budget.
  6. Increase Profit - increasing profit is more than raising revenue. It is also about cutting costs. For all of the reasons listed above (and more), a CMMS will help your bottom line.

These are but a few of the reasons why you need a good computerized maintenance management system for your business.

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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, computerized maintenance management system — Lisa Richards on January 15, 2014