What is a CMMS?
A Computerized Maintenance Management System, or CMMS, is a software program designed to manage maintenance activities and keep detailed maintenance records of all assets within an organization. The program allows users to create and dispatch work orders, schedule preventive maintenance tasks, track equipment usage and repairs, and record asset history.
What is CMMS software used for?
A computerized maintenance management system is used for a multitude of maintenance related tasks, including:
- Work order management. A CMMS enables users to create work orders detailing repair needs. Many systems also have the option to attach images or documents to the order.
- Preventive maintenance. This software offers users the ability to schedule preventive maintenance on pieces of equipment, thus decreasing downtime and reactive repair costs.
- Recording historical data. A robust CMMS software system includes the ability to track historical data, such as repairs, purchases, vendor information, and preventive maintenance. This information can be useful during audits.
- Inventory management. Users can refer to their system to ensure parts and materials are always available when needed.
What are the benefits of a CMMS?
Here are just a few ways CMMS software can benefit a company:
- Decreased equipment downtime. A maintenance management system makes planning preventive maintenance (PM) on equipment easy. Staying on top of PM tasks helps keep equipment up and running, therefore decreasing overall downtime. The addition of a mobile application with instant notifications can also decrease downtime by letting workers know instantly when an urgent repair is needed.
- Longer equipment life. Scheduling routine maintenance checks on equipment in a CMMS will allow workers to make minor repairs or adjustments before it breaks down. Making small adjustments and repairs over time instead of when it fails helps equipment last longer.
- Data analysis. A good CMMS will allow users to run a variety of reports and have drilldown capability. This will let maintenance professionals see tons of information, such as repair costs and equipment downtime.
- Certifications and audits. Having all of the necessary information in one place makes passing inspections and audits, as well as receiving certifications, much easier and smoother.
- Enhanced productivity. Without a maintenance management system, technicians might waste their time looking for the parts needed to complete repairs. With this software, the tech can simply look at the parts screen and see exactly where the part is, and if it is in use at that time. In addition, scheduling routine maintenance on equipment can save workers time by allowing them to plan for the task ahead of time.
- Reduced overtime. A CMMS will cut overtime significantly by decreasing emergency repairs. Scheduling preventive maintenance tasks allows workers to prevent most urgent repairs.
What industries use CMMS software?
CMMS systems can be used in just about every industry, due to the software’s versatility. A few of the industries that would benefit most from a system are: government, education, hospitals, manufacturing, as well as building and property management.
How do you choose a CMMS?
Once you have decided a CMMS is a good fit for your company, you’ll need to begin the task of finding the system that fits your needs. So, how do you do that?
- Define your goals. Before selecting a software, it’s important to consider exactly what the goals and desired outcomes of implementing the system are.
- Form an evaluation team. Enlist the help of others who will be using the system on a daily basis to help evaluate systems. Ideally, this team will include at least one person from each department that will be using it.
- Understand your company’s needs. Things such as the size of your company, how many workers will be using the CMMS, how many assets the company has, and the number of locations you need to manage are important things to consider when searching for a system.
- Consider what you will use the software for. A good CMMS can get expensive, so it’s important to get the system that has what you need, without additional functionality you don’t.
- Compare software. Many software companies, including MAPCON, allow you evaluate the software for free.
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How do you implement a CMMS?
After the company picks which CMMS software to purchase, implementation begins. Most CMMS companies will have specialists to help, but the following guidelines are good to consider when any company is getting started with a new CMMS software system:
When setting up a new CMMS system, it’s best to create users first. During this step, administrators can assign logins and passwords as well as security levels to groups or individuals.
Decide what assets to track
System administrators will need to decide which assets are critical and need to be in the CMMS software program. Each should be assigned a unique identification number so it can be easily identified. Other pertinent information, such as serial numbers, can be added as well. In addition, documents such as images or manuals can also be attached to the asset.
Decide what costs will be tracked
Many CMMS programs allow users to track costs of materials, labor, and direct purchases, which is helpful because reports can be generated to show exactly where money is going. This information can be helpful when making critical business intelligence decisions. During the setup phase of the CMMS software, it is important to see what costs need to be tracked, then integrate that specific type of tracking within the system. The main costs that may need to be tracked are labor, materials, and purchases.
- Labor. The labor cost refers to the employees completing the work. After employees are assigned a skill or craft code, a pay rate is added and then when hours are logged on the work order, the labor cost is calculated.
- Materials. The materials cost is the cost of any parts associated with completing the work order.
- Purchases. When parts and materials necessary to complete work on an asset are no longer in-stock, a purchase will need to be made, which will need to be tracked on the work order within the CMMS software. Costs for outside contractors or vendors would also fall under this category.
When all of these costs are added up in the CMMS, users will know the total cost of completing the work order. Reports can be run which will show spending trends over certain periods of time.
Add Preventive Maintenance Tasks
One of the most important parts of a CMMS software program is preventive maintenance (PM). Each critical asset should be considered when setting up PM tasks within the software. The type of preventive maintenance needed, as well as how often it is needed should be considered for each asset. Once that is determined, the PM task can be entered into the software program and scheduled accordingly.
Consider other factors
Depending on the needs of each company, there are a few other things that should be considered.
- Mobile Integration. Many CMMS providers offer a mobile application version of their software which may also need to be set up.
- Security. Depending on the needs of the company, different employees may need different levels of access within the CMMS program.
- Add-on or advanced modules. Some CMMS programs have advanced features or add-ons, which will require additional set up.