CMMS – What It Is and Why Your Business Needs It

A CMMS is a vital part of the newest type of smart building or IoT structure, so businesses that utilize this software have the chance to reduce their environmental footprint and ensure that overhead costs are kept to a minimum.

Let’s take a look at what a CMMS is and how it can help your business to maintain a building with as little friction as possible. Plus, we’ll look at some common industries already using this type of software.

What Is A CMMS?

A “computerized maintenance management system” is a software suite that facilitates organization of facility maintenance activities including both corrective and preventive maintenance in a smart way. It helps to ensure the safety of the building as well as much of the experience for employees and guests.

Maintenance costs demand a big chunk of the overall operating budget, and your human team can’t be everywhere at once. Humans can be forgetful and sometimes miss important details that can save money on maintenance costs. With the right software, you get frictionless maintenance that’s simpler to track, maintain and manage.

A CMMS simplifies maintenance by centralizing everything that goes into it in one accessible place. The core of the system is a database that holds all pertinent information such as vendor records, resources, work order management, and many other small moving parts that come together for a holistic look at keeping your building up to date.

This database facilitates reporting so that anytime someone needs a history of work orders for an older model appliance or piece of equipment, that info is available. If you’re checking to see if a work order was processed, that information is at your fingertips.

Is there a Difference Between a CMMS and an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)?

EAM stands for enterprise asset management and is often used interchangeably with CMMS. These two terms refer to the same type of software and philosophy about centralizing a building’s maintenance process into one simple place.

How Do Organizations Use CMMS?

CMMS software has a suite of tools designed to facilitate your building maintenance operations. They fall into four distinct categories:

    1. Asset performance – CMMS software is built on a database and makes collecting information about assets simple. You can track how equipment is used, keep up with usage data, and see how things are performing based on a variety of conditions.It allows you to customize reports and provide historical information when making decisions about upgrades or scheduling maintenance. It can also provide a way for you to keep an eye on security authentications.
    2. Work order management and maintenance – Once you’ve got your reports, you’ll need to schedule required maintenance and repairs. A CMMS provides you with a centralized location to process work orders, view histories, and understand key maintenance strategies.The software can alert you to maintenance needs through a series of assigned triggers, and even service level agreements (SLA’s) so you never let one slip through the cracks. Technicians can mark jobs as complete, and managers can quickly find what’s been done and what hasn’t.
    3. MRO inventory – Maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) supplies are daunting enough for one piece of equipment, but if you have several floors of things with spare parts, it’s impossible. A CMMS catalogs all those parts, links to maintenance and asset performance, and ensures you always have the right supplies on hand.You can track inventory levels to alert you when it’s time to order, log notes about installations, maintain optimal inventory quantities, and facilitate technician maintenance. Never search for another part or find out you ordered the wrong thing.
    4. Audit preparation – Compliance reporting for government entities and senior management can be nightmares if you don’t have the right reports. A CMMS prepares audit reports for you with little stress. You can provide documentation for ISO certification, create and maintain user profiles, and keep a searchable record of everything that’s ever happened within maintenance.

How Does It Work?

Businesses can get two basic kinds of CMMS software – on-premises and cloud-based. While both offer the same functionality, the decision to go for one or the other will depend on a business’s individual circumstances.

What Are The Benefits?

A CMMS ensures that your building operations are as smooth as possible. When you implement a logical CMMS, you help ensure:

  • Costs are controlled – No more overspending on inventory you don’t need, misplacing MRO supplies, wasting company time walking through several departments to find out if repairs are finished, or losing a critical piece of equipment due to poor maintenance. These operational costs are optimized and centralized. Plus, access to data ensures you keep improving.
  • Downtime is managed – You’ll have downtime at some point, but a good CMMS can help ensure that downtime is managed well and as unobtrusive as possible. It also reduces unplanned downtime by alerting you to routine maintenance and supplying parts through automatic ordering.
  • Efficiency increases – Your building facilitates your work, so handling maintenance in the background before anything becomes an obstacle helps ensure employee efficiency. And when you have data to plan well for scheduled maintenance and repairs, you can conquer your backlog and keep on top of things for good.
  • Information is available – Everyone who needs information has it in one centralized place. You don’t have to fetch paper records or request reports via email from someone in a different department. If someone is out of the office, another employee can easily find the report to handle a technician’s request or ensure that someone is available to accept a supply part.
  • Health and safety are priority one – You’ll always know when maintenance happened, who worked on equipment, and what protocols are for anything maintenance related that occurs in the building. When everyone is on board and in the know, it’s easier to maintain a safe workplace.

Who Uses A CMMS?

Everyone could benefit from having a logical, practical CMMS, but a few industries have made this system a number one priority.

  • Mission Critical Facilities – For organizations who have facilities portfolios that need to stay up and running to fulfill their mission, a CMMS is a necessity. Hospitals, higher education, corporations and government all operate inside of these types of facilities where constant uptime is imperative in meeting the demands of employees, clients, patients and more.
  • Field Services – For companies that operate in the field, using a CMMS is a critical part of ensuring maintenance is consistent and timely. Solar panel installations, cell phone towers, oil wells – all these fields have a priority issue for centralizing work logs and reports.
  • Fleet Maintenance – Much like Field Services, Fleet Maintenance is highly spread out. Centralizing logs for maintaining cars, or other vehicles helps ensure that operations run smoothly, and downtime is reduced as much as possible.
  • Manufacturing – There’s hardly a field more ripe for a CMMS than manufacturing. Unscheduled downtimes can cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars, so a CMMS helps reduce that cost, schedule preventive maintenance, and calculate optimal times for downtime. Plus, it records all MRO supplies, so manufacturing operations don’t screech to a halt over a missing part.
  • Linear Asset Companies – Pipelines, electric cables, even roads are all examples of linear assets. A CMMS ensures that each section, whether the asset is one mile or hundreds of miles long, is accounted for, checked, and maintained. A CMMS reduces the distance obstacle and ensures consistency.

Transitioning to a CMMS

Digital transformation is never easy, but in this case, it’s worth it. Centralizing your operations helps reduce overall cost and remove day to day obstacles that interfere with productivity. Your maintenance operations don’t have to be a huge pain, and you don’t have to stay awake worrying.

What’s most important is that you recognize the way that a logical CMMS can ensure business operations smooth out, your workers are safer, and there are few, if any, surprises in your maintenance needs.