Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) allow for automation of maintenance-related tasks as well as documenting and tracking data related to those tasks in a central location. Companies that use CMMS expect to see less downtime and better resource allocation, as well as reduced regulatory, legal, and financial liability. Because there are so many CMMS options available to companies, here are some things to look for when choosing a CMMS software solution.
General vs. Specific
Some CMMS are highly tailored to companies in specific industries while others are more of an all-purpose solution. Depending on the kind of work a company is involved in, one or the other will likely be a significantly better investment. Industry-specific configurations generally take into account compliance factors that a general system might not include. The costs involved in implementing and maintaining each CMMS could play a significant role in deciding which system best suits a company’s needs.
What Kind of Access Do You Need?
A CMMS can be installed so that it’s run on the vendor’s server or your own company’s server. The are pros and cons to both. If your system is hosted by a vendor and there’s a problem with that business relationship, your data could be in jeopardy. On the other hand, if you’re hosting your own CMMS software installation, you’re committing to maintaining a certain level of IT security to protect your own data.
In addition, consider what kind of CMMS access your employees need. Are mobile solutions needed? How about offline access that syncs once a connection to the server is restored? Think about what kind of off-site CMMS access might be needed for employees to carry out their duties and responsibilities.
Reporting and Analysis Functions
One of the most valued aspects of implementing a CMMS is the robust ability to configure and generate custom reports. The reporting and analysis functions of a CMMS should be able to provide you with the data collection and analysis necessary for improved decision-making, from scheduling to resource allocation to regular facilities maintenance tasks. By developing a scheduled maintenance program, it may be possible to reduce the chances of needing urgent emergency repairs that can not only be costly but highly disruptive to workflows and services provided to employees and others using facilities (like students in higher education settings, for example).
A powerful CMMS allows clients to build the system that best meets their needs with customizable configurations that include a variety of modules. Custom modules address a variety of company needs, including preventive maintenance, inventory control, monitoring, purchasing, work orders, vendor management, budgeting, scheduling, and asset tracking. The ability to customize your CMMS can also deliver long-term benefits as you can continue to right-size your system as your maintenance needs grow or change.
A CMMS can deliver real benefits to an organization as long as it’s the right one. By carefully considering the key features of a CMMS prior to signing a contract, an organization can find the right solution that will deliver automated maintenance capabilities as well as added benefits like real-time monitoring, resource allocation, and asset tracking.