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The Maintenance Management Blog

January 04, 2023

CMMS Is Organization

Image: hand drawing on organizational boardI look at my closets, computer table, and desk drawers at home and think: I need to be better organized. I purchased a set of aluminum shelves and plastic bins to keep my writing projects organized, but I still have problems locating what I want. At work, I don't have a lot of accumulated material (although the snack drawer gets crowded some days), so staying organized isn't too much of an issue.

Most people have similar experiences at home, and many have problems staying organized at work. Chaos, clutter, and entropy are part of a seemingly natural devolution of the world. A simple example is to look at how long it takes before your workshop is disordered after you clean it.

One has to make a conscious effort—perhaps daily—to keep living and working conditions organized.

Problems of disorder at work include loss of productivity, delay of completed tasks, and in time, higher costs and expenses. Maintenance and stockroom personnel understand this. Work orders are unclear, spreadsheets listing assets and inventory are cluttered and difficult to comprehend, and the stockroom is a mess with missing parts, unknown items, and eventual discovery one is lacking important stock or has an excess of rarely used parts.

Entering from stage right is a computerized maintenance management system to the rescue. Many companies large and small from numerous industries enjoy the organization a CMMS brings to the workplace. Let's explore various ways such a system brings order to chaos.

System Parameters

The first thing a CMMS should have is order within itself. It's software, so think of your computer with the folders, files, and applications. How's that computer desktop looking? Cluttered with folders, some of which you haven't opened in months? You keep them because at one time you thought, "I'll get to them soon." I'm guilty of that, too.

How many tabs do you keep open when surfing the Internet? Do you ever find yourself confused and clicking tabs to return to the information you perused minutes ago?

A quality CMMS keeps menu items in order. Inside any, tabs should be arranged logically. You don't want features you don't use up front, forcing you to bypass several to get to what you use daily.

System organization makes everything else that much better before you even dive in.


Lists are great…as long as they're organized.

A CMMS keeps assets grouped under keywords.

You want enough description information.

With a lot of assets, you should know the vendor/manufacturer.

Safety first! Are there protocols and/or regulations to add to certain equipment, vehicles, and even certain buildings?

Assets need preventive maintenance. Some may need several PMs. Your assets listing should include these.

Maintenance requires parts, tools, and supplies. Assign specifics to those assets. (Bill of Materials—BOM)


An efficient CMMS cross-references information. What you input in one area should show up in a related area. Examples are coming soon.

Another beneficial aspect is similar tabs in menus. For instance, inventory would have data fields for keyword, description, and vendor.

In addition:

Input specs and packaging details.

Classify items using the industry standards of A, B, and C. A-Usually a low percentage of stock that moves most often. B-Stock that fluctuates in amount and usage. C-Stock that doesn't move as often as the first and may be kept in larger amounts.

Keep alternate parts and whether an item is a critical spare.

Remember assigning an inventory item to an asset? Does the CMMS have an asset tab in the inventory listing showing that asset?

Quantity. This is a biggie. You'll need a system that records whether you're in excess or running short.

Location. Another biggie. Your CMMS can specify aisle, shelf, bin, cabinet, drawer, or any other post for every piece of stock.

Issue/Return. A CMMS can organize this procedure with authorization. Reduce the number of disappearing parts and workers not returning items.

Physical counts. Even with a CMMS tracking quantity, location, and issue/return, a physical count on a regular basis is needed. A CMMS can assist with developing count sheets and reconciliation of the totals.

Image: welderPreventive Maintenance

Maintenance is at the heart of a CMMS. With assets, you'll want a list of those PMs. Remember the cross-referencing? If you create a list of assets, Inventory, and PMs and assign one or more to another, the system should include that one in the other lists. That's organization!

Other features to keep PMs in line would be:

Type. Environmental, Safety, and Mechanical Integrity are examples.

Labor. Who is assigned the job?

BOM. Mentioned above. What parts/tools/supplies are associated with a PM?

Cycles. How often is each PM going to occur?

Scheduling. What a great organizational tool to place PMs on a system calendar.

Work Orders

As similar tabs are in Inventory and Assets, so should they be here in PMs.

Type (albeit with a few other choices), priority, what it's for (equipment or another asset), labor information, and BOM.

Organize and clarify the work order by adding a checklist for a step-by-step procedure. These could accompany or be part of safety steps.

Add in the date scheduled and date.

Add in failure reason or failure codes so workers aren't guessing.


Whether maintenance or another depart handles purchasing, a CMMS organizes here, too.

Vendor lists will have contact information


What products/services are offered.

Items purchased.

Shipping/payment terms.

If the vendor provides a service, you may need the tech's info.

Regarding purchasing and purchase orders, information should include:

Who? The vendor, of course.

What? Is it inventory or equipment?

Shipping/billing information.

A pre-designed purchase order form with any of the fine print included.

Blanket Purchase Orders. Efficiency and organization exist when lists of items purchased from individual vendors are created.

Human Resources

A CMMS shouldn't be limited to maintenance, inventory, and purchasing. Make it an HR organizer for employees and timecard processing.


Whatever data is organized within a CMMS should be able to be refined and generated into reports.

Lists of assets/inventory/employees/PMs/work orders, and all associated aspects of each including on-time compliance for those work orders.

Reports show costs for equipment/inventory/labor.

Attainment reports for worker productivity records.

Vendor/purchasing information includes on-time compliance for delivery of goods.


I mentioned one benefit of organization earlier—efficiency. Getting things done faster without cutting corners. This is related to time management, and a CMMS helps there, too.

Focus. You're keeping attention on one thing instead of bouncing around wondering what has priority or trying to do the impossible—multitasking.

Fewer mistakes. Because you're better organized with a CMMS, you're able to foresee problems and have time to solve them.

Communication across the board between all parties is improved.

Morale. Organized operations mean employee attitude and satisfaction rise.

In our personal life, organization can be an individual endeavor. In the workplace, it affects so much more than an individual or even one department. With a CMMS working for you, a little organizational effort goes a long way.

For an organized CMMS that is scalable (use what you want without a lot of extra clutter), call 800-922-4336 or visit Mapcon. It’s the order (rather than the disorder) of the day!


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: organization, maintenance, CMMS — Stephen Brayton on January 04, 2023