What is a CMMS? Computerized Maintenance Management System

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a business system and software that helps organizations digitize, automate and optimize their maintenance operations. A CMMS software provides a single source of truth for all facility and maintenance information, helping users manage work orders, track inventory, schedule maintenance operations and more from one centralized, real-time system.

 


A robust CMMS system will help your business:


  • Increase efficiency and agility
  • Integrate systems for big-picture insight
  • Reduce equipment downtime
  • Implement preventive & predictive maintenance procedures
  • Prioritize work orders
  • Budget effectively
  • Work in a mobile, multi-site context
  • Gain enterprise-wide visibility and control

 

Modern CMMS systems can also provide EAM-level functionalities and integrate with other integral tools like space planning, mobile surveying tools, an EAM system and IoT remote monitoring tools.

Review key features that have earned Maintenance Connection top acknowledgements in G2’s Winter 2021 Grid Report.


G2 - Enterprise CMMS Software Badge - High Performer 2020
G2 - Enterprise CMMS Software Badge - Best Support 2020
G2 - Enterprise CMMS Software Badge - Best Meets Requirements 2020



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What is Included in a CMMS Program? Key Features of CMMS Software

 

 

Mobile-Responsive


A modern CMMS system should be easy-to-use and device agnostic on mobile so technicians and key personnel in the field can easily retrieve procedures and documentation, check part availability, initiate orders, evaluate maintenance history, maintain compliance and update work orders.

Easy to Integrate


Your CMMS must integrate with other mission-critical systems so your team can effectively capture, analyze and utilize critical data. This is straightforward using Accruent’s Maintenance Connection RESTful API, which can instantly connect key applications to your maintenance management software.

Intuitive Navigation


User adoption is essential to the success of a maintenance management software implementation. Easy-to-use, intuitive software is much more likely to be adopted, so look for a CMMS system that is suited to your employees’ processes and responsive to their needs.

System Security


Modern, top-tier CMMS systems come equipped with many features to keep your sensitive information safe, including single sign-on for secure authentication, secure cloud storage and refined access to controls, authorizations and restrictions.

Straightforward Migrations


CMMS implementation will require data migration from disparate, legacy systems. These migrations should be straightforward in your CMMS solution so you can facilitate collaboration and ensure that your data is comprehensive, up-to-date and actionable.

Vendor Support


While a vendor’s CMMS software itself is the most important factor in selection and buying process, the CMMS vendor organization should be equally important. The right CMMS provider will be your partner and offer help with implementation, training, and ongoing support.

Full Work Order Visibility


Effective facility maintenance work requires smooth work order management and execution. A robust CMMS facilitates this by allowing users to review, prioritize, assign, schedule and track both work orders and associated maintenance tasks. It will also provide full visibility into work orders, work order history, part history and more.

Automations


Many automations should be available in your CMMS, including the ability to schedule maintenance – by setting up time, usage or condition-based maintenance triggers – and automated alerts to technicians including details like repair histories, checklists, asset manuals and more.

Full-Feature Reporting


Using customized CMMS reports and analytics, you should be able to extract meaningful data that you can use to pinpoint preventive maintenance needs, manage KPIs and optimize processes and performance.

Records for Audit Preparedness


Your CMMS maintenance management software should help you maintain employee compliance, keep searchable work records and generate the automated audit logs you need to simplify compliance with regulatory, industry, geographic and other audits.

 

 

Trends of Modern CMMS Systems

 

AI-Powered Capabilities

Many modern CMMS systems are using machine learning and AI developments to expand their predictive maintenance management capabilities. Ultimately, this kind of physical asset insight can help your business increase efficiency, connect systems, improve team management, budget effectively, prioritize work orders, reduce downtime and more – all from one centralized, easy-to-use system.

A Strong Vendor Relationship

A good CMMS provider will want to be your partner, and they will provide help with implementation, training and ongoing support. The right vendor will also help you customize your functionality and user experience so your CMMS fits the unique needs and preferences of your maintenance team.


Cloud-Based CMMS

A cloud-based, SaaS CMMS deployment offers many benefits over an on-premise deployment, including increased mobility, maximized scalability, full integration with other systems, increased security and decreased need for a robust in-house IT infrastructure.

Customized Capabilities

At minimum, a CMMS system should offer reporting, mobile CMMS maintenance capabilities, asset management and MRO inventory management. That said, you must strategically and proactively choose extended features of your implementation to develop a system that works best for your team.


Watch How A CMMS Works

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Benefits of a CMMS System



Replace Disparate Systems


A CMMS system can replace outdated disparate systems – like Excel sheets, Word documents and physical paperwork – to help users effectively manage assets, supplies, work orders and related information. This can ultimately increase efficiency and transparency.

Simplify Team Management


Key CMMS features – including key and lock management, mobile access, a browser and device-agnostic user interface, API access, and barcode-enabled workforce tracking – can allow businesses to better manage teams and employees.

Decrease Maintenance Costs


Emergency repairs, incomplete asset information, and reactive maintenance practices can skyrocket facility maintenance costs. A robust CMMS can significantly reduce these costs by streamlining key asset maintenance processes, including work order management, MRO (maintenance, repair, and operating supply) inventory management and more.

Increase Operational Efficiency


By reducing concerns like unavailable inventory, unexpected downtime or emergency breakdowns, a CMMS can ultimately help increase operational efficiency, maximize uptime and answer questions related to service history, vendor track record and more.

Consolidate Data


You can use a CMMS to get accurate historical and real-time data about work orders, billing and invoicing, reporting and analytics, inventory and asset management information and service history. This information can also be consolidated in customizable reports to facilitate informed decision-making.

Maximize Safety


A robust CMMS can maximize employee safety by simplifying audits, making safety procedures more accessible and allowing your maintenance manager to easily stay on top of safety training.

Increase Inventory Accuracy


MRO inventory involves the order, use, and tracking of thousands of spare parts. A computerized maintenance management system simplifies MRO management and improves inventory accuracy by automating purchases, tracking part information and measuring big-picture metrics like inventory costs and usage statistics.

Simplify Work Order Management


Maintenance Connection CMMS work order system can help you submit, manage and track work orders so you can streamline your workflows, simplify your work order management, prepare for audits, decrease equipment downtime and ultimately increase your preventive maintenance practices.

Improve Asset Reliability


Low visibility into key asset information like usage, repair history, and performance can lead to inefficiency and costly reactive maintenance practices. CMMS software can solve these problems by providing all relevant asset data in one integrated, easy-to-access platform.

 

 

MC Express Mobile Work Request System: A Deeper Look

 

Legacy systems, duplicate work, missing paper information and disjointed insight simply don’t cut it as effective facility and asset maintenance tools. In a modern maintenance management system, your team needs to be able to easily submit problems, access documentation, view work orders and more at their point of need. With MC Express, they can. The tool offers:


CMMS MC Express on Mobile Device

 

Streamlined Work Order Management

  • When a work request is submitted, it’s automatically synced across all mobile devices, tablets and computers.
  • Work orders are automatically assigned to the right technician and they have streamlined access to related documentation and information, including tasks, parts and asset history.
  • Technicians also have access to checklists to make sure that all parts of a work order task are completed.

 

Simplified Inventory Management

  • Users can easily order parts from procurement to eliminate delays and downtime.
  • Technicians can find the parts information they need easily with access to multi-stockroom availability, ordering information, images and other related documentation.
  • Users can also access part usage history and see which assets utilize which parts.

 

Transparent Asset Maintenance

  • Users have full visibility into asset-specific part information.
  • Users can acess asset documents, photos and engineering document artifacts.
  • There is also complete access to work order and downtime history.

 

These features can reduce communication gaps in your business and increase accountability, transparency and productivity across your organization. In fact, in one survey, Maintenance Connection customers realized a 20-30% increase in labor efficiency.


 

 

 

Why Should You Develop an Effective Preventive Maintenance Program?

 

An effective preventive maintenance plan – and the right tool to execute – can save time, money and efficiency. Maintenance Connection helps with:

 

  • Automatic preventive maintenance (PM) scheduling that you can customize based on events or meter readings.
  • Drag and drop capabilities to change dates and keep your team aligned.
  • A simple, centralized calendar to help plan and prioritize work orders.
  • Automatic email and push notification triggers.
  • Robust reporting capabilities to quicky identify and resolve inefficiencies.

 

 

 

Learn more about Preventive Maintenance Software

 

 

By the Numbers: How Can a CMMS Improve Your ROI?

Most companies get CMMS implementation and maintenance practices wrong, using reactive maintenance strategies or choosing a CMMS product that isn’t suited to meet their unique needs. This can cost them big time:

~70%

Of all CMMS Implementations Fail

98%

Implementation Success Rate with Maintenance Connection

98%

Project Success Rate Service Satisfaction Customer Renewal Rate


The right CMMS can maximize your ROI by allowing your business to increase efficiency, connect systems, reduce downtime, make data-driven decisions, budget effectively, prioritize work orders and more – all from one customizable, centralized solution. This can ultimately help you save time, save money and get organized.

 

 

 

What’s the Difference Between a CMMS and EAM?

 

CMMS and enterprise asset management (EAM) systems were once considered to be vastly different tools. Now, thanks in part to Wi-Fi, the fourth Industrial Revolution and rising IoT capabilities, many CMMS modern systems can offer enterprise-wide solutions and EAM-type functionality. What’s more, they can easily merge with other providers to strengthen their offerings.

That said, there can still be differentiation between the tools:

 

CMMS


Computerized maintenance management systems can be considered as dedicated tools created to facilitate asset maintenance management and extend equipment life. They are not made to provide extended functionality beyond that scope.

EAM


Enterprise asset management (EAM) software provides a wider range of features to track, manage, and analyze asset performance and costs through the whole asset lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal.

 

Accruent’s Maintenance Connection solution can serve as both a CMMS software or a full-function EAM system.


Additional reading: Blog Post: “Does your business need a CMMS or an EAM?”

 



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What Industries Should Use a CMMS?

Industries that can benefit from a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) or enteprise asset management system (EAM) include:

  • Corporate
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing & Distribution
  • Process Manufacturing
  • Public Sector
  • Retail
  • Telecom
  • Utilities



Frequently Asked CMMS Software Questions (FAQ)


How does a CMMS work?

A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) helps organizations consolidate historical and real-time asset and facilities data in one easy-to-use, data-driven platform. This information can then be used to track your asset lifecycle – from purchase until decommission – to improve preventive maintenance practices, and to streamline the work order management process. This ultimately helps eliminate all-too-common concerns like unplanned downtime, reactive maintenance practices, cybersecurity threats, emergency breakdowns, and compliance concerns, thereby increasing asset lifecycle, employee productivity and ROI.


Who uses CMMS?

Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) solutions are used by organizations looking for effective asset and facility maintenance management. Users can be found in many industries, including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, oil & gas, utilities, education, and corporate. A CMMS can help with five use cases across these industries, including linear asset maintenance, facility maintenance, production and manufacturing maintenance, field services maintenance, and fleet maintenance.

It is most helpful for those who have struggled with common asset and facility maintenance concerns, including unplanned asset downtime, costly reactive maintenance practices, difficulty scheduling preventive maintenance, low visibility into asset health, and little transparency into big-picture historical and real-time data.


Why is CMMS important?

A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) enables effective facility and maintenance management by centralizing and consolidating all relevant asset information. This creates actionable insight that users can use to increase employee efficiency, extend asset life, lower inventory expenses, increase asset uptime, execute work orders, and deploy effective preventive maintenance practices.

This is difficult to accomplish without a CMMS, as maintenance operations include many components like work orders, records, compliance needs and MRO inventory. All of this is difficult to manage manually or across disparate systems, and out-of-date or incomplete information can lead to mistakes, reactive maintenance practices and decreased revenue.


What is the difference between EAM and CMMS?

An Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system is far more robust than a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). A true CMMS focuses only on centralizing key data to facilitate and automate maintenance during the operational part of an asset’s lifecycle. A robust EAM, on the other hand, also provides an inventory management system, multi-site management tools, an accounting system, a purchasing management system, and other comprehensive tools.

All of these tools give an EAM the capability to track, manage, and analyze asset performance and costs through the whole asset lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal. This gives users complete visibility into the historical and present state of assets so they can report to other departments, optimize asset performance, make data-driven decisions, and increase ROI.


What is a CMMS Administrator?

A dedicated Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) administrator oversees the implementation and maintenance of a CMMS solution. A CMMS is a complicated tool that requires data development and management, metrics management, ongoing compliance, consistent upgrades, development and management of reports, employee training and more. If these tasks are left to existing employees, it can lead to inconsistent data, a loss of system integrity, and a return to reactive maintenance practices. Having a CMMS administrator, on the other hand, helps organizations make the most of a CMMS, increasing employee adoption and making data more transparent.


How much does CMMS software cost?

The cost of a CMMS software can vary based on the size of your business and the breadth of features that you’re looking for— and you can always get an accurate quote by reaching out directly. That said, general pricing includes:

  • Implementation cost, though there is no up-front cost with a cloud deployment
  • Licensing/subscription costs
  • Maintenance costs, which are included as part of the Maintenance Connection annual support agreement
  • Customization costs based on functional requirements and add-ons
  • Recurring and renewal costs, which include the monthly subscription fee, pricing plan, customization cost and training services

If you choose the right CMMS, though, the savings and ROI that are attained from increased productivity and overall cost savings will certainly make it a worthwhile investment.


What does CMMS software stand for?

The acronym CMMS stands for “computerized maintenance management system.” As the name suggests, the software was originally designed to digitize – or computerize – maintenance management operations. The goal? To replace Excel sheets, pen and paper, disparate legacy software, PowerPoints and other unintegrated or manual maintenance tools.

Today, a robust CMMS can streamline and automate nearly all functions, thereby facilitating effective asset maintenance and extending equipment life.


What is CMMS software training?

CMMS training refers to both immediate and ongoing training services offered by your CMMS vendor. Comprehensive training is absolutely necessary to streamline implementation and to ensure that your team makes the most out of your CMMS tool. The right partner will offer a range of training materials, including training videos and modules, articles, demos and free trials.

At Accruent, this kind of training is included in the Accruent Academy Learning Center. The Accruent Academy continuous training resources are there to help your team drive adoption, maximize ROI and meet compliance regulations.


What systems can a CMMS replace?

A CMMS software can replace many antiquated or manual business systems, including but not limited to:

  • Excel spreadsheets
  • Emails
  • Phone records
  • Pen and paper documents
  • Stand-alone technology
  • Asset documentation, including video and images like repair manuals, warranties and safety information
  • Manual work orders

Why is uptime so important?

Uptime is critically important when it comes to facility and asset maintenance because high uptime means effective operations, maximized efficiency and substantial revenue. An effective CMMS or EAM system, otherwise known as a preventive management system, can increase uptime by providing the tools you need to implement effective preventive maintenance strategies. This can not only help you achieve reliable uptime, but also allow you to:

  • Effectively fill orders.
  • Maximize your revenue.
  • Meet customer expectations.
  • Extend your asset lifecycle.
  • Increase employee satisfaction.

What are the most important considerations when selecting a CMMS?

When selecting a CMMS software for your organization, it’s important to consider your business’ unique needs related to functionality, IT capabilities and your broader technological ecosystems. Most centrally, you should consider:

  • Adoption and your company culture: For a CMMS to work, you team members must use it consistently and properly. This is often a challenge in the face of stagnant company culture, legacy systems and the “old way” of doing things. Combat this challenge by choosing a CMMS with features and a user interface that your team members want to use and by implementing ongoing training.
  • Your organization’s processes: If you don’t standardize your preventive maintenance processes and policies, you are unlikely to have a successful software implementation. Be sure that roles, expectations and processes for work orders, approvals and other processes are clear and standardized to avoid this concern.
  • Financial constraints: There are many costs associated with preventive maintenance software implementation, including the cost of implementation itself and any associated upgrades, personnel or expertise. Consider your budget and your total spending capabilities to be sure that you implement a software that’s within your means.
  • Your data sources and integrity: For your CMMS to work, all the data within it must be accurate and fully integrated. Be sure you have the processes, integrations and training to make this possible.

What should I know about the push to SaaS?

The push to SaaS is happening, with many CMMS and EAM solutions being deployes on the cloud as software as a service (SaaS). There are many benefits to a SaaS deployment that you should know about. Namely, a move to the cloud, or to a SaaS application, can:

  • Eliminate upgrades.
  • Decrease up-front costs.
  • Increase system accessibility.
  • Improve user adoption.
  • Create a shared community experience.

Additionally, it can help your organization stay relevant and prepared for the future. The future is in SaaS, and organizations that continue to rely on on-premise systems will struggle to maintain strong communications, data integrity and clarity across their team members and facilities.