You may have heard of the term ‘CMMS’ quite often, which is why you landed on this article searching for it. But what is it exactly, and why is it important for equipment-intensive organizations such as yours?
What is CMMS?
CMMS refers to computerized maintenance management software. Equipment-intensive companies deploy it across their organization to automate their maintenance workflows.
A CMMS system keeps a centralized log of all your maintenance activities. It helps you schedule, prioritize, organize and oversee service events with ease.
Extract valuable insights regarding the status and repair needs of assets within your organization. Moreover, always access up-to-date, accurate information so you can make informed business decisions.
Why does your business need a CMMS system?
If you deal with an extensive array of equipment on a daily basis, its upkeep becomes critical to your business efficiency. Lack of a dedicated CMMS system leads to unanticipated and costly equipment shutdowns.
If unattended, this may cost your company a huge amount.
A study done by ITIC revealed that approximately 33% of enterprises suffered a loss of $1 million to over $5 million due to unplanned equipment breakdowns. One way to sidestep these costs is to schedule preventive maintenance by implementing CMMS software.
The primary reason most companies have now switched to CMMS systems is cost savings and an attempt to improve their asset lifetime.
Furthermore, with technology making rapid strides in every aspect of businesses, it comes as no surprise that you should implement it in the field of maintenance too. Over the years, maintenance management has come a long way from mere punch card schedules to automated servicing.
Many technologically savvy organizations now use CMMS software as part of their daily servicing routines. Here are some of the major sectors that use CMMS to keep their equipment in top shape.
CMMS software has helped these sectors lower instances of equipment downtime and total cost of ownership of their assets. It has also significantly improved asset reliability and operational efficiency across these sectors.
With many industries cashing in on the benefits of CMMS, now is the right time for your business to adopt a dedicated CMMS system. It is a surefire way for you to iron out your maintenance workflows.
How can you best use CMMS software for your business?
Before you invest in or implement CMMS software, you must know its basic functions. Without a clear idea of how you can use these functions to your advantage, you’re only forking out the money in the hope of zero returns.
We’ll guide you through some actionable ways so you can make the best use of your CMMS software. Here’s what you can accomplish if you have a rock-solid CMMS system in place.
1. Automate maintenance management for increased productivity
The primary function of CMMS software is to automate your maintenance processes. It removes manual inefficiencies and prioritizes your maintenance requests. CMMS software also notifies your repair teams of impending tasks so no service event gets missed out on.
A good CMMS system does not necessarily carry out the work of a skilled technician but it does keep an accurate, cloud based log of all your service tasks. This eliminates paper-based maintenance schedules. Now your technicians aren’t struggling with paperwork but are able to direct their efforts on hands-on maintenance.
CMMS gets the work gets done faster and ensures that your field resources are working at their optimum.
2. Schedule preventive maintenance for improved equipment uptime
CMMS software gives you the ability to enforce preventive maintenance on your equipment. You can schedule regular inspections or servicing before equipment breakdown occurs.
CMMS keeps a detailed log of your assets, of their usage history and depreciation rates. This enables technicians to predict when equipment failure will happen. With the right information at hand, you can send a person to implement a fix before something goes wrong.
This greatly enhances the uptime duration of your equipment. It also makes sure you’re never running behind schedule on your daily operations. Apart from this, it keeps your assets healthy and keeps your costs low as we shall discuss below.
3. Lower maintenance costs with Asset Lifecycle Management
CMMS increases the reliability of your assets so they need less maintenance. With less number of machines deteriorating, replacement costs are also brought to a minimum. You don’t have to squander your budget over high-ticket machinery or replacements parts.
Fewer downtime instances also mean that you don’t have to call up your technicians outside of work hours for emergency breakdowns. Thus, the cost of paying labor for overtime is also reduced.
CMMS also shows the entire maintenance history of your equipment so you know exactly how much you spend on the upkeep of your assets. With a dedicated CMMS solution, you can keep tabs on your maintenance activities and lower the cost of owning assets.
4. Use Work Orders to streamline maintenance processes
Most CMMS software solutions come equipped with the Work Orders module. With it, you can simplify and track your maintenance processes. It enables you to create Work Orders for each maintenance task. You can then assign these to the concerned technicians, and associate relevant inventory items needed for the repair.
You can also add checklists to each Work Order. These ensure that the technicians follow a predefined set of procedures to carry out the service. These procedures can either be manufacturer-specified or set by a senior technical supervisor. Here’s an example of what a checklist will look like:
To oversee the progress of each maintenance task, assign each Work Order a reviewer and have them update a work log of the task as it progresses. Most Work Order modules also send alerts to technicians when a task is nearing its deadline or is overdue. This way, you can make sure that you cater to all maintenance requests in a prompt manner.
5. Improve on-site assistance with mobile application
Maintenance workers typically spend most of their time out in the field, servicing machines and fixing tools. This makes it crucial for them to have CMMS software installed on their devices. An ideal CMMS system is compatible with Android and iOS devices so your team can get adequate on-site assistance via their mobiles.
With mobile accessibility, field workers record their activities as they go about performing them.
The system should also allow workers to take pictures of faulty parts, and notify and ask their supervisors on how a certain issue needs fixing. With CMMS on your mobile, you can also request more on-site help or servicing inventory if you run short of resources.
An enhanced version of CMMS mobile will also allow you to access repair data and make updates offline. This means you can continue with your tasks despite disruptions in internet connectivity on the field.
6. Make data-driven maintenance decisions with detailed reports
Most CMMS systems offer data analysis and reporting features. They collect relevant maintenance data, and process and analyze it. This way, you can get useful insights into the performance of your equipment and service routines.
You can even generate customized reports suited to your business needs to get a multi-dimensional view of your maintenance strategy. Here are some of the important KPIs you can consider to test our strategy.
1. Performance-based KPIs
- Average repair time: Mean time taken to troubleshoot and repair faulty equipment
- Average time between failures: Mean time between system breakdowns
- Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE): Availability * Performance * Quality
2. Operation-based KPIs
- Percentage of planned maintenance: Number of planned maintenance tasks in comparison to all maintenance tasks
- Preventive maintenance compliance: Percentage of preventive maintenance tasks that were completed on schedule
3. Inventory related KPIs
- Slow-moving parts percentage: Stock keeping units (SKUs) that have not shipped in a certain amount of time
- Obsolete parts percentage: Portion of inventory that is no longer usable
With these KPIs at your disposal, evaluate your current repair practices and modify them to improve performance.
7. Meet compliance and safety standards with calibration management
CMMS software helps you meet compliance and safety standards with calibration management. Add audit logs and manufacturer-specified usage guidelines as documents in the system. This notifies each user regarding how they’re supposed to use a piece of equipment.
Many industrial devices like weighing instruments and pressure sensors often call for regular calibration. This is necessary to ensure that these devices are performing and measuring to specified tolerances. You can schedule recurring events for calibration checks for each of these assets.
Whenever a calibration is due, the system alerts the relevant technician so they can check a tool’s measurements before they use the tool. You can also view a detailed log of all calibration events to check if you haven’t missed out on any.
With CMMS software, you never miss out on compliance checks and can meet industry standards at all times.
What does ideal CMMS software look like?
Now that we’ve discussed ways in which you can use CMMS software, let’s dive into what an ideal CMMS software looks like.
For starters, an ideal CMMS system is one that offers all the functions mentioned above. It should manage all your assets, service events, work orders, preventive maintenance and calibration schedules, and analytics.
It should also be easy to integrate with your current business workflows and applications. Cloud based CMMS software is often recommended over on-premise software as the former saves you deployment and maintenance costs.
With that said, a CMMS system can only help your employees if they actually use it. It cannot live up to its potential if it has a complicated user interface or is too hard to understand. Thus, it’s key for you to pick CMMS software that has a simple and intuitive interface along with dynamic features.
The best CMMS provider is one that offers seamless onboarding and 24/7 technical support. It should give you the freedom to focus on your maintenance tasks and not on figuring out how the software works.