December 8, 2020

CMMS Functions and Buying Considerations

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A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) enables companies to manage, organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations. It is the central hub for all maintenance information and gives technicians, engineers, and project managers the tools they need to oversee operations and work more efficiently. 

CMMS tools can be used to: 

  • Allow healthcare facilities to keep track of the age, usage, and performance of their equipment. They can then ensure patient safety and decrease interruptions. 
  • Alert engineers when machinery requires repairs in a manufacturing factory, which extends the equipment’s life and reduces the time needed for staff to monitor the machines. 
  • Schedule manufacturing staff at a clothing company and track suppliers’ expenses. 

CMMS tools accomplish a lot for your work teams, but how do these systems operate? 

To find the CMMS software for your business, check out our Product Selection Tool. After answering a few questions, you’ll get an unbiased list of software tailored to your company’s needs.

Buying considerations for CMMS systems 

CMMS combines project management tools, ERP, and operations management features. By bringing all of these functions together, employees can reduce manual data entry and increase collaboration across teams. These are some of the fundamental buying considerations when evaluating a CMMS system: 

Implementation 

When implementing any software solution, you have to decide how your employees and team members can access it. In today’s world, technologies that facilitate digital and remote collaboration are key,  especially since many companies now allow remote work. 

Therefore, with the implementation of a CMMS, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of web-based cloud software tools and on-premises implementation. Some CMMS tools offer one of these or even both as a hybrid option. 

The former allows professionals to install software that can be accessed offsite, while the other is installed on internal PCs and servers used onsite. You have to determine which is more beneficial to your teams and your maintenance operations strategies. 

Computer and mobile access

You will also have to decide whether employees can use CMMS software on their mobile phones through an associated app or only can access it on internal computers. 

Considering how much CMMS features tie-in with onsite maintenance, it is highly likely that any mobile access will complement onsite systems instead of replacing them. 

Additionally, if employees have mobile access to CMMS tools, you may have to alter the interface, making some of the onsite capabilities unable to be used on their phones. This decision also requires you to look at a CMMS apps’ security features to ensure that data is protected if you decide to allow your team members to access information outside of an internal computer. 

Asset management 

One of the most widely sought after features of a CMMS is asset management. This tool is helpful for companies to keep track of assets and monitor their performance. A CMMS system will include a dashboard that allows you to create parent-child hierarchies between assets to visualize how they interact and connect. 

These tools will also be pivotal in tracking assets through databases and barcodes, which will enable your teams to be aware of asset locations and statuses. Ultimately, this feature makes it much easier for you to monitor overall asset performance metrics and KPIs. 

Work order management 

Work orders are standard for companies that manage large amounts of equipment. This could be for anything from a printer to a robotic arm in a factory. CMMS tools keep work orders organized and trackable. They include maintenance calendars so your project managers and technicians can keep track of machine life cycles and repair needs. 

Additionally, CMMS tools will include a portal that enables your teams to submit work orders and requests, log work done, and manage relevant work-related documents. Work order management features also allow you to delegate tasks and monitor related work order responsibilities. 

Inventory control 

Machinery is not the only thing that companies have to track. Inventory management and control is another primary function of CMMS tools. These systems permit you to monitor and track inventory quantities while enabling your managers and maintenance professionals to forecast inventory needs based on sales and usage data input by team members. Also, CMMS tools  give you even more control of your inventory management through automated stock level reminders, which can help prevent stockouts. 

Maintenance analysis 

CMMS maintenance analytics can help you understand how all your operations systems are working together. CMMS tools track maintenance KPIs and metrics in dashboards you can make visible to key stakeholders. This feature also enables you to generate reports automatically. 

IoT tracking 

Today, most factories and manufacturing facilities are connected. Many include IOT sensors that speak to one another to facilitate automation. A CMMS tool will map out where these sensors are and how they all connect and communicate. This setup allows for automation—as sensors on equipment can speak to CMMS tools to facilitate the direction of manufacturing processes.

An all-in-one hub for maintenance operations 

CMMS tools offer a robust set of features that enable technicians, engineers, and manufacturing professionals to monitor your company’s operational systems. It is the control board for maintenance operations, and each section of a CMMS works together to help you reach valuable KPIs and manufacturing-related metrics. 

Each aspect: asset management, work order management, maintenance analytics and reporting, and IoT tracking come together to provide you an all-in-one view of maintenance operations while also permitting you to take control of these systems. 

Interested in seeing which CMMS tools would work for your company? Check out our Product Selection Tool to find the right CMMS software solution for your business.