If you do not have a CMMS, should you be considering one?
If your organisation has a CMMS, are you optimising its benefits and its return on your investment?
Why use a CMMS?
The primary purpose of a CMMS is to manage, capture, and track inspection, maintenance and repair activities of an organisation. In real terms, many CMMS solutions perform the basic function of providing work orders to cover repairs and maintenance of buildings, plant and equipment. CMMS solutions provide a scheduling facility for maintenance for planned preventive work on maintainable assets. And CMMS solutions also generally collect costing details for the labour and materials related to the work performed.
However, advanced CMMS solutions can also improve many other aspects of one’s daily activities, as well as provide with the tools to understand and analyse one’s maintenance and repair processes and trends. CMMS solutions can eliminate manual data entry, incorporate alerts, triggers, and escalation procedures, and shift one’s focus from unnecessary administrative tasks to performing maintenance activities. CMMS solutions can also assist in planning and predicting future needs, prolonging the life expectancy of assets, and managing processes.
Combining CMMS software with proven technologies such as handheld devices and PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant such as a Pocket PC or Palm) can substantially increase one’s realised benefits from CMMS solution:
- Incorporate barcodes to increase accuracy and efficiencies;
- Update information electronically, eliminating unnecessary paperwork and data entry;
- Capture timestamps and signatures;
- Provide maintenance personnel, engineers, and inspectors with electronic intelligent work orders;
- Automatically track and manage inventories and timesheets;
- Equip staff with easy-to-use tools that enable them to focus on their expertise and work activities, rather than on administrative tasks and paperwork.
- General considerations in justifying the need for a CMMS solution
The first consideration in choosing a CMMS is whether to keep maintenance information in a database on a computer? Some people will say that it depends on the size of the organisation and its assets. Others will say that it depends on the number and quality of staff available to resource the CMMS. Also there are those who would argue that it can all be done on paper.
In the past, many of you who were required to prepare reports for your manager, spent hours sorting through maintenance requests and maintenance filing systems to try to find the answer(s); or worse, just gave an educated guess.
Only a well-designed and easy-to-use CMMS solution can improve daily activities as well as index, and sort through years of information related to the maintenance, cleaning and strategic planning of buildings, plant and equipment. In reality, regardless of the size of an organisation, one needs to maintain a database of the work performed. Automation includes improvement of daily activities, automatic tracking of inventories, better work assignments, and shift of one’s focus towards exceptions, not routine matters.
Benefits of using enhanced CMMS solutions
- Guarantee that all required tasks and activities are completed on time.
- Incorporate various mechanisms to ensure execution of tasks, including automatic listing of activities, reminders, alerts, escalation procedures, and easy access to information.
- Improve reporting and analysis capabilities.
- Comply with health and safety regulations.
- Improve business planning and make informed decisions.
- Improve operational efficiencies.
- Increase productivity and profitability.
- Perform activities effectively; simplify repeatable tasks; provide staff with easy to use tools that focus on performing tasks.
- Let staff spend more time performing service activities, and less time on paperwork and data entry.
- Improve strategic and business planning; analyse records, needs and patterns.
- Identify trends and highlight potential problem areas.
- Improve controls and accountability; lead to better quality of work.
- Ensure that service is performed according to warranties, guidelines and regulations.
- Receive customised reports delivered to email.