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5 Ways CMMS Programs Increase Productivity

Maintenance Management / CMMS

A Computerized Maintenance Management System, or CMMS, is an all-encompassing software solution that is designed to streamline the planning, execution, and traceability of asset maintenance at an enterprise level. In short, CMMS programs offer an invaluable tool that, when properly executed, can save you serious time, money, and headache.

How does a CMMS program boost productivity and stretch maintenance budgets? This is usually the first question that an asset manager asks when considering the upfront costs and challenges of implementation.

It’s not hard to see why: if you’re responsible for asset management or plant operations, you should want to know if and how this software can deliver an acceptable return on your investment.

To that end, we’re sharing some of the most exciting ways a CMMS software boosts productivity and saves money. But first, if you’d like to know more about CMMS and how it works, check out the video below:

In this post, we’ll review:

1. Eliminating Data Silos & Redundancies

Facilities maintenance is an extensive, multi-faceted operation for all but the smallest companies. In the old days, that meant copious amounts of paperwork hiding in filing cabinets or computer files across different departments or systems. Reviewing and reconciling all the data was often exasperating at best and nearly impossible at worst.

With CMMS, that’s left to history. It digitizes the paper trail and incorporates a centralized platform that makes it easy to track an asset’s complete past maintenance, future service needs, and current outstanding work orders.

This has dramatic potential to expedite the process of requesting, authorizing, and performing necessary asset maintenance. It can also reduce data silos and eliminate the sometimes patchwork nature of an entirely or partially manual paperwork process.

No more running to different department heads asking about a work order or digging through computer files in search of a specific service receipt. With CMMS software, you have all that information right at hand.

Reviewing printed blueprints next to a laptop with charts and graphs illustrating data
Photo by RDNE Stock project: via Pexels

2. Automatically Scheduling Preventative Maintenance

A CMMS software can automatically schedule preventative maintenance for assets based on set parameters – and this alone often makes these programs worth the price of admission. This can be a huge time-saver for large companies with potentially hundreds of assets requiring periodic maintenance.

As an example, let’s say that a specific asset class requires preventative service every quarter. Traditionally, you might manually track this information in Excel, then review it regularly to confirm which assets are due for this quarterly upkeep. You would follow this by manually completing and issuing the requisite work orders.

A CMMS software can take over this entire process. It can do this thanks to advanced software that can link all aspects of the maintenance process, starting with the barcode and QR code asset labels that help tether your equipment to the system’s digital brain.

Depending on the scale of your organization, the potential for time savings can be massive. All that extra time means one thing: the ability to devote more hours to the high-level work you actually want to do.

3. Enabling Faster, Higher-Quality Reporting & Analysis

A CMMS program streamlines paperwork collection, and can help free you from rote tasks like preventative maintenance scheduling. These two benefits feed into a third way a CMMS program increases productivity: by making analysis easier and faster than ever – while also potentially boosting the quality of your reports.

The secret is the centralized platform, the foundation of the best CMMS software. With the data all in one place, you can quickly comb through the numbers to uncover trends, create reports, and discover insights that might otherwise be overlooked in a less integrated system.

You’ll also have an easier time determining metrics like mean time to repair and mean time between failures – key KPIs when objectively considering factors influencing the repair or replace decision.

Looking for wins to share with the boss? Wondering if there’s some opportunity to further cut down costs? Hunting down maintenance plan deficiencies? By exploiting a CMMS program’s centralized data collection abilities, you can do all the above faster than ever before.

Person using software solutions with multiple screens
Photo by ThisIsEngineering via Pexels

4. Creating Comprehensive Audit Trails in Real Time

If your business is subject to regulatory oversight, proper record-keeping is vital – otherwise, you may be in hot water come the next compliance audit. Misplacing just one document could put your company on the hook for a documented deficiency or other serious consequences.

The CMMS software, however, eliminates the chance for inadequate asset management documentation. That’s because it provides comprehensive, readily-accessible records for all assets tied into the system.

If an auditor requests a specific invoice or work order to substantiate service completion or a maintenance expense, it’s easy to go into the CMMS software and pull up the necessary support. An asset’s past work orders, service receipts, inspection results, and other associated documentation can easily be recalled.

A CMMS software also compiles this paperwork in real-time, so the next work order or invoice will automatically be uploaded to the digital maintenance file related to that specific asset. There is no need to manually sort and file service records – it’s all handled by the software.

That’s more time saved for you and your team.

This is beneficial for all firms regardless of what regulatory environment they operate in, but it’s especially important for those required to demonstrate proof of compliance to maintain good standing with industry watchdogs.

5. Streamlining Cross-Team Communication

Because a CMMS program is intended to act as a company’s hub for asset maintenance, the system can be considered a direct link between departments. This means that an equipment user, asset manager, and service technician can all be on the same page when it comes to understanding inspection or repair needs.

This is especially important if and when equipment is pulled out of service.

When communication is funneled exclusively through a single digital source, a clear, authoritative record is established that offers all stakeholders key information about an asset’s repair status. A quick scan of the asset’s barcode label is often all that’s needed for a technician or employee to access this data.

That’s why buying a high-quality equipment tag like our Rigid MetalphotoⓇ label is so critical when implementing a CMMS software – without a weather-, age- and fade-resistant asset tag, it becomes that much harder to access the CMMS database in the field or on the plant floor.

Streamlining inter-departmental communication like this incurs several benefits. Faster repairs might be the most important of these, as a CMMS software makes it much easier to follow up on requests with other teams or monitor for a response. Your staff will spend less time trying to work through bottlenecks and more time collaborating effectively.

Team collaborating on maintenance and operations activities
Photo by ThisIsEngineering via Pexels

Final Thoughts

By incorporating everything from the right asset tags to a centralized data center into a single system, a well-optimized CMMS design can redefine your asset maintenance strategy. It’s the silver bullet you need – one that will transform how you think about preventatively servicing your firm’s assets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CMMS the same as ERP?

The short answer is no; Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is used to track all assets related to an enterprise, whether they be employees, processes, raw materials or finished products. CMMS is used for streamlining maintenance, and as such, can be considered a part of ERP.

What are the key features of CMMS?

If you’re considering implementing CMMS at your organization, it should include these essential features:

  1. Maintenance scheduling: the CMMS should make it easy to schedule regular, routine maintenance.
  2. Work order tracking: once scheduled, you’ll want to track the work from start to finish.
  3. Maintenance logs: these should record the work completed and demonstrate compliance with regulations.
  4. Track equipment issues: management should be able to review and generate reports detailing equipment breakdowns.
  5. Inventory tracking: scheduling maintenance is a waste of time if the parts aren’t available to complete the work.

Which industries benefit most from CMMS?

Arguably, CMMS can be used in almost any industry that uses equipment that requires maintenance. While it predisposes itself to manufacturing industries that utilize and maintain machinery to produce a physical product, it can also be applied in an office environment that uses computers, printers and photocopiers.

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