Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) benefits
When asked how long a baseball record of his would stand, Yogi Berra once famously replied, “until it was broken.” It was one of his classic, humorous over-simplifications. Is it an over-simplification, though, to say that many companies really only know their equipment will work until it’s broken? Probably not. If you’re tasked with ensuring your company’s equipment availability, broken equipment is probably something you take a bit more seriously than Yogi took his record.
Computerized maintenance management software systems provide a comprehensive set of tools for equipment. A CMMS system makes sure you’re spending time and resources getting the job done, rather than dealing with equipment related problems. CMMS programs are important software tools to be familiar with for companies with significant equipment assets.
Who needs CMMS?
CMMS solutions apply to a huge variety of industries. Manufacturers, facility management firms, industrial and commercial service firms, contractors, agricultural operations… The list goes on. The benefits of a Computerized Maintenance Management System remain the same:
- Lower total cost of maintenance.
- Improvements in quality control.
- Increased productivity.
- Stronger ability to accurately budget and plan cash-flow.
Lower total cost of maintenance with CMMS
A capable equipment maintenance system means less time and money spent on both planned and unplanned maintenance. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is the relevant cliche here.
By keeping accurate tracking on equipment maintenance, a CMMS allows you to plan maintenance before expensive repairs are required. CMMS systems can be used to not only track when preventative maintenance is required. They can also identify optimum times to perform it. For instance, a sophisticated CMMS system will consider forecast and production information. This can be used to determine slow times that can be used for equipment maintenance.
A computerized maintenance management system provides a centralized repository for maintenance instructions and info. What is the process? Who is involved? What parts are required? Which service firms are needed to conduct maintenance? With better organization, the cost of maintenance can be significantly reduced.
Even with regularly performed preventative maintenance, unplanned repairs are often needed. Equipment failures in the midst of a production run or on the job site can be very disruptive. A CMMS system offers consistency in reporting, managing, and tracking repairs. A consistent repair process minimizes the disruption and costs of live environment equipment failures.
Workplace safety is of course its own justification. But there is a major financial dimension too. Improperly maintained equipment is a huge liability risk. OSHA estimates American employers pay almost $1B a week just in worker’s compensation claims. Utilizing a CMMS system can go along way in protecting your company against unnecessary safety related costs.
Ensuring quality control and productivity with CMMS
The quality of your work is obviously a huge selling point. Your ability to provide top-notch goods and services exercises a large impact on customer satisfaction and retention. A CMMS system is not only a cost-savings investment. It’s an opportunity for increased revenue.
Limiting breakdowns is critically important to reducing cycle times. The speed of your delivery is a business differentiator. Also, the simple fact is that equipment kept in sub-standard condition yields inferior products and services.
CMMS: Cash-flow and planning
Accurate budgeting and planning of cash-flow is elemental to a successful enterprise. Unexpected costs can destroy the integrity of projection models. The burden of unexpected costs is bad enough. But, when a budget or forecast is sunk by unplanned expenses, issues compound. A budget, after all, not only provides a plan and roadmap, it sets important motivating goals for the enterprise as a whole.
Equipment failures are a major source of unplanned expenses. Worse, they are often among the most costly unplanned expenses. Implementing and executing a proper maintenance plan is a fundamental step toward eliminating unexpected and burdensome costs.
One of the net effects of computerized maintenance management systems is their ability to remove cost lumps. CMMS’s not only help you limit unpredictable and large costs. They also help you spread costs much more evenly and predictably. Many CMMS programs even provide sophisticated tools that allow you to make repair versus replace decisions based on reliable data.
CMMS software considerations
There is an enormous variety of CMMS offerings on the market. Businesses with equipment maintenance management needs span a spectrum of types and sizes. The market has responded with a plethora of options. Whatever your company size or industry, there is likely a CMMS system designed with you in mind.
CMMS systems are available as standalone products. But they are also sold as components within full facility management packages. These days it’s not uncommon to even find CMMS tools included in full-scale ERP solutions.
CMMS packages are both offered as web-based, SaaS implementations as well as internally LAN-based programs.
Very often CMMS users are not office-based workers. The average CMMS user at your organization may well be someone on the production floor. Or, they may primarily work on the job site or in the field. As a result, mobile device access can be particularly useful. Many systems offer support for mobile access.
One of the challenges of implementing a computerized maintenance management software system is the number of points of integration that may be present. CMMS programs very frequently need to integrate with software providing the following functionality:
- inventory control
- fixed asset management (asset depreciation)
- accounts payable
- project management
- material resource planning
- production floor management
- work order management
The wide array of integration points is one of many reasons it’s usually advisable to partner with an experienced CMMS provider for implementation services. If you’re looking for providers offering relevant CMMS software, consider getting a free software search underway.