CMMS Software is a computerised system designed to improve and centralise maintenance management tasks. A CMMS uses data to maximise the usability and availability of physical assets. Such as plant infrastructure, facilities, equipment, and machinery. Short for computerized maintenance management system, CMMS Software is used by asset-heavy organisations. It delivers key features such as work order management and asset management. Enabling maintenance teams to build preventive maintenance strategies. Helping to reduce unplanned equipment downtime and increase asset reliability.
What Is CMMS Software?
CMMS Software is a digital tool used to improve asset availability through maintenance management. It enables businesses to automate the collection of asset data in a central database. Including performance, maintenance, and purchasing data. Providing users with essential information in one single platform to improve asset analysis.
Access to a CMMS’s database allows maintenance teams to build effective maintenance strategies. Including reactive, preventive, and predictive maintenance management plans. Each with the aim to maximise the reliability of physical assets.
CMMS is short for Computerized Maintenance Management System. Its main function is to increase the availability and reliability of assets. Such as equipment, machinery, facilities, and vehicles. As well as reduce expenditure and eliminate factors that can be costly to a business’s bottom line. Such as unplanned downtime.
CMMS Software is used by companies that rely on the upkeep of their physical assets and infrastructure. Such as oil and gas production, utilities, manufacturing, and engineering. As well as businesses in the construction and transportation industries.
CMMS Software enables businesses to gain a holistic view of their assets. As well as understanding the maintenance tasks used throughout each facility. This includes:
- Maintenance and repair schedules
- Inventory and spare parts management
- Health and safety protocols
- Compliance standards
- Detailed work orders
Key CMMS Features Needed to Meet Maintenance Management Goals
CMMS Software allows maintenance teams to centralise maintenance data and improve asset availability. This is possible with access to the right features. Features found in CMMS Software enable multiple capabilities, including:
- Work Order Management
- Maintenance Management & Scheduling
- Preventive Maintenance
- Predictive Maintenance
- Asset Management
- Inventory Management and Control
- Maintenance Data Reporting and Analysis
Work Order Management
Work order management is viewed as the main functionality of a maintenance management system. CMMS Software enables businesses to automate their work orders. Providing essential capabilities to maintenance teams. Including creating, tracking, completing, and analysing multiple work orders at once. This allows them to:
- Automatically schedule repairs and maintenance strategies
- Assign skilled technicians
- Record and analyse costs
- Track and monitor equipment downtime
- Track root cause analysis (RCA)
- Reserve materials and tools
Maintenance Management & Scheduling
CMMS Software allows maintenance managers to build specific maintenance management plans. Each plan is used to improve asset availability and reduce downtime. As well as matching a business’s set maintenance budget. Typically, there are four main types of maintenance management strategies:
- Reactive maintenance (run-to-failure). Reactive maintenance refers to repairing equipment only when it has failed. This can be a cost-effective plan in terms of fewer maintenance and servicing costs. But it can also incur costly emergency repairs and delays to repairing assets. This is also known as breakdown or corrective maintenance.
- Preventive maintenance (PM). This is a proactive strategy that involves regular maintenance based on CMMS Software data. It can be an expensive strategy, but it significantly reduces unplanned downtime.
- Predictive maintenance (PdM). Also a proactive plan, predictive maintenance identifies breakdowns before they happen. By collecting and analysing data, it can fix issues before assets fail.
- Reliability-centred maintenance (RCM). Reliability-centred maintenance plans are solely based on analysis. RCM uses data to customise the most efficient maintenance strategy for each asset. Aiming to keep operations running, while increasing equipment availability.
Preventive Maintenance is a proactive strategy involving regular and routine asset maintenance. Aiming to reduce the likelihood of equipment failure, which results in unplanned downtime. This includes scheduled cleaning, repairs, adjustments, and part replacements.
Preventive maintenance can be performed while an asset is still operational. For instance, a machine’s oil lubricant and air filters can be replaced when running. Meaning there is no downtime or loss of production.
By utilising IoT-enabled devices, a CMMS can collect real-time maintenance data. Allowing maintenance staff to make informed decisions based on accurate data. Businesses can then build appropriate preventive maintenance schedules. Based on service dates, meter readings, times, usage, and triggered events.
Without preventive maintenance, businesses risk running assets to the point of failure. This can cost up to 10 times more in repairs and lost production. As opposed to organisations that have a proactive maintenance strategy.
Predictive Maintenance aims to eliminate breakdowns before they happen. It does so by tracking and monitoring an asset’s condition and performance. All while in normal operation. This enables maintenance staff to identify possible defects and fix them. Before they become an issue and result in asset failure. 91% of manufacturers who used predictive maintenance saw a significant reduction in repair time.
Similar to preventive maintenance, a predictive maintenance strategy is proactive. The difference is that PdM attempts to predict when an asset might fail. This is achieved by collecting real-time data in a CMMS with IoT devices and sensors. Allowing maintenance frequency to be as low as possible. While also helping to avoid a costly reactive approach to equipment maintenance.
To ensure reliability through maintenance, business’s first need to identify their assets. Asset management is synonymous with CMMS Software. It provides the tools necessary to identify, track, and update asset data. Asset management allows businesses to:
Having access to an asset register ensures maintenance staff are aware of all physical assets. An asset register will include data such as model numbers, manufacturers, and costs. As well as location and user history. This is possible with the collaboration of asset tracking technologies. Including Barcodes, QR Codes, RFID tags, and GPS trackers. Enabling personnel to track equipment and tools in real-time.
Inventory Management and Control
Inventory management enables staff to keep track of all parts as they move around facilities. As well as tracking assets both on-site and off-site. This includes spare parts, tools, and equipment. As well as maintenance, repairs, and operations supplies (MRO). It allows businesses to easily manage supplies and distribute inventory from one system.
Real-time inventory management enables maintenance staff to see what parts are available. Helping to avoid delays when it comes to repairs and servicing. Data is stored in a centralised CMMS system, which is accessible to all workers. Meaning field-based staff can check inventory levels when working away from the office.
Notifications can also be put in place to alert inventory managers when stock levels are low. As well as provide supplier information for purchasing processes. The purchasing process can also be automated. With procurement being triggered when stock level reaches a set number.
Maintenance Data Reporting and Analysis
CMMS Software enables data to be collected and stored in one place. Making performance, maintenance, and condition data available to all personnel. This allows maintenance teams, managers, and workers, to understand an asset’s health.
Maintenance staff are also able to generate reports across various maintenance subsets. Such as availability, running costs, and assessments. This helps to understand an asset’s performance. As well as highlight areas for improvement. Whilst also gathering the data necessary for audits.
What Are the Benefits of CMMS Software?
Digitising data collection and automating maintenance management is key. Especially for businesses that rely heavily on the upkeep of their physical assets. CMMS Software deliveries the features and capabilities to do just that. Whether cloud-based or on-premise, a CMMS delivers several benefits. Including:
Cloud-based CMMS tools provide businesses with a variety of different benefits, including:
- Reducing equipment downtime
- Providing asset and work order visibility
- Increasing operational efficiency
- Controlling inventory, waste, and running costs
- Ensuring compliance management
- Improving workplace health and safety
Increase Asset Visibility
With asset management capabilities, asset data is stored in a centralised CMMS database. This enables maintenance managers and teams to access information when they need to. Data includes location, performance, maintenance history, purchase price, and more. An asset register gives users a complete view of a business’s asset ownership.
Prolong Lifespan of Equipment and Machinery
CMMS Software provides the features necessary to improve equipment uptime. This is achieved by gathering asset performance data and building maintenance strategies. With regular maintenance, the useful life of equipment can be extended. Reducing costs of new purchases and replacements.
Reducing downtime of physical assets is a key feature of CMMS Software. When machines break down, production stops. Resulting in a loss of productivity and output. As well as experiencing excessive delays and emergency repair costs. A CMMS provides the opportunity to schedule proactive maintenance. Meaning regular services, repairs, and maintenance are carried out prior to equipment failure.
CMMS Software empowers maintenance managers when it comes to spending. Over-spending usually occurs when purchasing inventory. As well as spending on energy bills and scrap and rework costs. A CMMS lets maintenance staff track inventory, including costs and stock availability. As well as improve the performance of equipment to help reduce energy usage. All of which helps to avoid any costly mistakes that can affect an organisation's bottom line.
Improve Health and Safety
A CMMS provides detailed analysis and reports on a business’s compliance management. It also offers investigative insight into health and safety concerns. This helps to improve the safety of a facility for maintenance workers. As well as generate inspection checklists and provide staff training. All of which can promote safer facilities and a healthy work environment.
CMMS Software can also impact operations in multiple areas of a business. Most notably across technical, operational, and business areas:
Technical Benefits of CMMS Software
- Plan maintenance activities based on the condition of assets and time intervals
- Create work orders and job instructions aligned with maintenance teams
- Collect data to schedule equipment maintenance programs
Operational Benefits of a CMMS
- Eliminate spreadsheets and paper-based methods
- Create a single source of truth for maintenance tasks
- Provide mobile access to field workers to reduce the time spent on work orders
Business Benefits of a CMMS
- Improve uptime of equipment by 4 to 11% to drive more profit per equipment
- Reduce the overall cost of maintenance by 6 to 22%
- Share maintenance data to get consensus on maintenance budgets
Considerations When Finding the Best CMMS Software
CMMS Software is an important investment for asset-heavy organisations. It is a solution deployed to improve asset uptime through maintenance data. Each CMMS solution can be built to match particular requirements. Meaning businesses need to identify their needs and considerations when comparing CMMS Software.
Clarify Readiness to Deploy a Computerised Maintenance Management System
Over 93% of CMMS Software buyers previously used spreadsheets or pen-and-paper to manage maintenance tasks. They then switched to a more accessible cloud-based model. But, moving from a manual approach to a computerised system requires a fresh perspective. For instance, the functionality of a spreadsheet isn’t the same as CMMS Software. Such as data entry, work order management, maintenance planning, and reporting.
Switching to an automated system requires a fresh perspective regarding maintenance programs. For instance, most spreadsheet-based maintenance plans are reactive or meter-based. Whereas CMMS Software provides the tools to easily plan preventive maintenance strategies.
Leading maintenance teams identify KPIs that need to be met when using a new CMMS solution. For example, a business might have 500 pieces of equipment. These generate a maintenance cost of £200,000 and have an average usable life of 4.5 years. With CMMS Software, cost-efficiency and asset availability should increase. Maintenance costs should decrease to between £160,000 to £180,000. The average age of equipment should then increase by 7 to 16%.
|Maintenance Parameters||Current System||Targets for New CMMS Tool|
|Number of Equipment||500||500|
|Maintenance cost per Equipment||6% per annum||2.5 to 4% per annum|
|Equipment Life||4.5 years||5.5 to 7 years|
Identify the Equipment and Maintenance Data Needed
The basis of a cost-saving and impactful maintenance program is being able to collect data. Too much data becomes overwhelming for technicians and users. While too little data creates ‘not enough information’ scenarios.
Asset and maintenance data is needed to build efficient maintenance strategies. Whether that be proactive or reactive maintenance plans. Asset data includes purchase dates, real-time locations, and the number of users. All of which is stored in an accessible asset register. Whereas maintenance data include service and repair schedules. As well as work order progress and inventory management.
A key function of CMMS Software is being able to import existing data. That includes data from spreadsheets, accounting software, and asset tracking systems. As well as previously used CMMS solutions.
Establish Work Order Types
When switching from manual to automated work orders, establishing work order types is essential. The level of collected data is substantially different between manual methods and a CMMS. CMMS software gives access to much more data in one go, such as:
- Asset data
- Worker skillset data
- MRO and resource availability
- Equipment condition
- Maintenance, service, and repairs history
- Health and safety protocols
Another factor to consider is the responsibility of creating work orders. For instance, it’s not unusual for work order requests to be raised by customers. In which case, they’ll require the process to be simple, intuitive, and easy to use.
Identify Maintenance Framework
CMMS Software opens up multiple possibilities when it comes to maintenance management. When setting out a maintenance plan, it’s important to be clear about the framework. Whether it be routine machinery inspections to decide on preventive maintenance tasks or interval-based and condition-based maintenance activities.
Preventive Maintenance Framework
Preventative maintenance is a maintenance program built for each asset. It is based on time, interval, meter reading, and regulatory compliance. As an example, consider a timing belt on a centrifugal pump. A preventive maintenance plan can be put in place to ensure the belt is regularly replaced. Whether it be every 12 months, after a winter production run, or after 60,000 cycle counts. In effect, preventative maintenance is derived from understanding data from the mean time between failures.
There are key elements needed for a preventative maintenance program, including:
- Maintenance tools and equipment
- Skillsets required
- Location of maintenance
- A requirement of external contractors
- Equipment warranty
- Manufacturer’s instructions
- A requirement of leased equipment
Predictive Maintenance Framework
Predictive maintenance is planned by understanding the current condition of the equipment. This is achieved by using advanced condition monitoring techniques. These include vibration, lubrication and motor circuit analysis. As well as infrared thermography and ultrasonic analysis.
Other data is taken into account when determining an asset’s performance and condition. Including manufacturers’ data, production runs, benchmarking industry maintenance, and behaviour.
Reactive Maintenance Framework
Even with CMMS Software, reactive maintenance processes are common. Speed of response and quality of failure information are crucial elements in handling reactive situations.
Typically, people and equipment need to be mobilised. Quite often, temporary replacement equipment might be necessary. When choosing CMMS Software, it’s good to know how a business plans to deal with reactive situations. So, when a reactive scenario occurs, maintenance teams will know the protocol.
Take Note of Mobile CMMS Requirements
CMMS Software provides the functionality for mobile access. This can be found in most SaaS and cloud-based CMMS systems. With mobile CMMS capabilities, maintenance teams should plan their requirements in advance. Whether that be for external contractors or field-based technicians.
For instance, consider mobile hardware devices. Each device has access to compromises. Tablets can be difficult to carry, especially in space-limited maintenance zones. Some devices also have screen size limitations. While a mobile CMMS solution is responsive, using multiple screens to access data requires consideration.
Clarify Service Management Requirements
Service management is an agreed maintenance plan put in place with customers. Quite often, there also tends to be a service level agreement (SLA). Service management often involves light maintenance activities such as inspections. As well as oil changes, consumable replacements, and cleaning. The one different from maintenance management is tracking vehicle fleet statuses. However, this requirement can be addressed by most CMMS tools.
Identify Field Maintenance Requests
Knowing who is going to log maintenance requests is key when choosing CMMS Software. Quite often, service or breakdown requests are logged by the end-users of a product. So, it’s vital to understand where and how requests are going to be logged.
For instance, there are two to three types of users who log breakdown and failure requests. Mode of logging requests includes email, maintenance portals, calls, and help desks. These are important to note as they will help ask relevant questions. As well as identify the suitability of a CMMS when using free trials and demos.
Another key factor to consider is the requirements of maintenance teams in the field. They’re likely to require the restocking of tools and flexible inventory delivery points. As well as vehicle servicing and access to a printer for work orders. It is recommended to note these details as they help identify a CMMS for maintenance workflows.
Establish Ways to Monitor Maintenance Activities, KPIs, and Reports
Most CMMS tools will have hundreds of standard inbuilt report templates. Before choosing CMMS Software, users need to list the reports they need. Maintenance management reports can include:
- Key maintenance trends
- Over-maintenance and under-maintenance
- Labour and material usage
- Work orders by status
- Resource availability and skillset
- Critical assets
- Weak assets
Switching from a manual maintenance system to an automated one can have multiple benefits. One key benefit is the insight and maintenance intelligence that a system can develop. Quite often, reports are not viewed as part of the developing maintenance intelligence.
Plan for Asset Maintenance Data Collection
There has been a five-fold increase in the number of equipment with advanced sensors and thermostats. Each sensor has the capabilities to emit real-time data about activities. For example, a compressor can emit data about its operating conditions. Including temperature, pressure, meter readings, and cycle counts.
If maintenance teams require IoT-enabled equipment and machinery, ensure a CMMS is set up for this. Businesses will need a system that can collect and store maintenance data in a shared dashboard.
Equipment that emits data can help create predictive and planned maintenance schedules. In most cases, equipment is capable of highlighting potential maintenance and failure issues.
Be Aware of Cognitive Maintenance
CMMS Software can develop patterns using machine learning algorithms. This includes historic maintenance plans and correlations with equipment performance. As well as using manufacturer’s data and industry benchmarks.
As of now, most of these systems apply to CapEx heavy and asset-intensive industries. Such as Oil and Gas, Energy, Power, Aviation, Defence, and Manufacturing. For these industries, a CMMS solution with cognitive features is key. As well as machine learning and industry 4.0 capabilities.
What Are The Top Rated CMMS Software Products?
IBM Maximo CMMS Software
The IBM Maximo is used to manage complex maintenance management requirements. From line maintenance to complex assembly maintenance, Maximo is a proven CMMS solution with over 100,000 users. Its top users are from sectors such as utilities, oil and gas, and nuclear power. As well as transportation, aviation, and life sciences industries.
IFS CMMS Software
IFS CMMS offers a best-in-class CMMS System. As well as maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO), field service management, and reverse logistics. IFS CMMS Solution manages preventive and predictive maintenance and ensures the required service work is performed.
Maintenance Connection CMMS Software
Maintenance Connection is a powerful CMMS solution with comprehensive work order management. With this CMMS solution, Planned, Preventative, and Reactive Maintenance of complex assets to be effectively managed. This product is best suited for maintenance programs within Industrial Manufacturing. As well as healthcare, facility management, construction, and government organisations. It can be deployed as either an On-Premise or a Cloud-based product. The average price for a 3 user system, with 5 days of implementation and First Year’s support is about £10,000. This CMMS solution can also be accessed via its Mobile App.
Ultimo Maintenance Management Software
Ultimo’s CMMS Software is a cloud-based system. It is used by over 1750 asset-intensive businesses. The system is available as a CMMS app, as a web-based system, and as an on-premise solution. The core features of the product include asset management and word order management. As well as contract management, planned maintenance, preventative maintenance, and cost management. Ultimo’s CMMS App is used by large enterprises, as well as small and medium businesses (SMBs). The system is used in energy, education, environment, and logistics industries.
Hardcat Maintenance Management System
Hardcat’s CMMS Software is available as an on-premise, web-based, or cloud-based solution. Hardcat is best suited for small and medium businesses (SMBs) looking to manage standalone equipment. As well as complex assembly and individual inventory components. The starting price point is £3000, which includes a basic system for 2 desktop users and 1 smartphone/mobile user. As well as 4 modules to choose from and 12 months of free support. Users of Hardcat include law enforcement, emergency services, defence, healthcare, and telecommunications.
vx Maintain Asset and Facilities Management
Accruent’s vx Maintain is a cloud-based SaaS CMMS solution. It is used for managing work orders and assigning jobs to internal employees and external contractors. One of its best features is the ability to create quick work orders with ‘just enough’ information. Users are from the facilities management and retail sectors. Including Tesco, Co-op, John Lewis Partnership, and Travis Perkins. Its starting price point is an annual fee of £60 per unit.
Support Desk Pro Maintenance Service Management System
Clockwork IT Support Desk Pro is a service management tool with powerful maintenance management capabilities. It is available as both a desktop application and a mobile CMMS software app. The product takes a service-centric approach to maintenance management. The starting price point of this product is a monthly fee of £40 per user. It is payable monthly which is a cash flow and budget-friendly price plan.
FMIS Equipment Maintenance Management Software
Equipment Maintenance Software from FMIS is available as an on-premise and web-based system. It is most suited for small and medium businesses (SMBs) with simple equipment management requirements. FMIS is a solution for leased equipment management from a financial and rental management perspective. Users include education, equipment leasing, government, manufacturing, and non-profit Industries.
Cascade Maintenance Software
CASCADE CMMS software is specifically designed to understand the condition of electrical assets. Enabling businesses to plan maintenance based on the condition of their electrical utility assets. Globally, over 100 energy utilities use the CASCADE CMMS tool. The mobile module of CASCADE offers convenience to field-based staff.