A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), is a special software program that helps companies organize work orders and carry out preventive maintenance on their equipment and store important information such as records of inspections, repairs, and replacement of parts. Many companies, excited about the possibilities of a CMMS, rush into the process without understanding the full potential and capabilities of a CMMS. This guide will help maintenance managers get the most from a Computerized Maintenance Management System, including choosing the right CMMS, properly setting it up and using it to effectively facilitate maintenance tasks.
Choosing a CMMS
To get the most from a CMMS, you must first choose the right CMMS for your specific operations. Among other things, the system must be able to automatically generate work orders, allow for tracking and editing, be able to create reports, and be user friendly. Before buying, be sure to evaluate the capabilities of the CMMS to determine if it will meet your individual needs.
Setting Up a CMMS
Once you have selected the right Computerized Maintenance Management System for your operations, you must take the right steps to set it up properly. One of the first important steps is to get everyone involved at your company on board so they understand what the CMMS will do and how it will help. Maintenance technicians must see it as a tool that will assist them in their daily tasks. Equipment users must understand that the CMMS will help their equipment get prompt and effective maintenance. Management must understand that it can help them get metrics and reports that can improve their decision-making process. Getting everybody on board is a crucial step in successfully implementing a Computerized Maintenance Management System for your business.
After everyone is on board, it’s time to begin implementing the CMMS. This involves building a database of equipment and maintenance tasks. For best results, designate one person who will build the database systematically, without bringing too many people on board and complicating the process.
Once your CMMS is set up, you will need to train employees on how to use the software. Many CMMS providers offer CMMS training online, at training centers and even on-site. Designating one person as your CMMS expert will help in training and with questions that come up as you first begin to use the system.
Tips on Using CMMS
Many people only skim the surface when it comes to the capabilities of their Computerized Maintenance Management System, using it for basic maintenance scheduling and work order generation. Here are some other ways to use CMMS so you can get the most from its capabilities.
- Expand from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance. With predictive maintenance, you can set limits and ranges for your equipment. When readings are outside of these set limits, the system notices that something is wrong and automatically schedules maintenance to fix the issue.
- Use past data to compare cost of repair vs. replace. By looking at historical information, you can track costs to see if repairing or replacing is the more cost-effective solution.
- Use backlog data to justify hiring. The backlog is a list of maintenance tasks that have been pushed off because there are not enough labor hours to complete all the assigned tasks. It can be hard to get permission to add more staff, but these reports give objective data that justifies a new hire.
- For warranties. The CMMS software can hold warranty information that can be easily accessed, and your work order history can back up your warranty claim.
- Inventory spare parts. Your Computerized Maintenance Management System can keep track of your spare parts so you know what you have on hand. A CMMS can also automatically generate a purchase order when the parts supply goes below your set threshold.
- Use reports for certification purposes. CMMS reports are ideal for achieving certifications or proving that you have met FDA or OSHA guidelines.
Getting the most out of your Computerized Maintenance Management System means selecting the right CMMS for your operations, implementing it correctly and fully exploring its capabilities. This will help you better utilize your CMMS software so that you can maximize its benefit for your individual business.