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Understanding Computerized Maintenance Management System Functionalities in 2021

October 25, 2021

Did you know that the first Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software emerged in the 1960s? It was used by big firms that had IBM mainframe computers.  

Teams would record information on punchcards. These punchcards were then fed into the huge computer. 

With the advent of personal computers in the 21st century, usability has become less of a concern. Thus, a CMMS is not reserved for large companies with huge financial budgets alone. Most businesses today, have a CMMS in place. 

Maintenance chores and monitoring both take up a significant amount of time. A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) assists in keeping things running. Let’s learn more on core CMMS functionalities in 2021.  

What Is a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System)? 

A CMMS software helps you plan, track, and analyze the maintenance of your physical assets and facilities.  

CMMS is an older form for this area of maintenance management. Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) provides the same tasks under various titles. They are more contemporary versions of the concept. 

The distinction between these two systems comes down to their application scope. CMMS being more focused on maintenance management and an EAM providing a wider variety of asset management capabilities at the enterprise level. 

Analysis & Reporting 

Once you enter data into your CMMS, it becomes immediately accessible. Therefore, you can run any reports, such as work order statistics, material costs or labor usage. This information can be analyzed to understand things such as asset availability, performance trends and optimization opportunities.  

Once you have finished a task, you can enter the following into the CMMS: 

  • Information about the work performed 
  • The time for completion 
  • Components and parts used in the maintenance 
  • Workforce data
  • Feedback 

The system uses this data to assist your future repairs and maintenance schedules. Additional asset information that you can store includes the following: 

  • Work order history  
  • Work tasks and schedules 
  • Asset history and lifecycles
  • Labor resources, skills, and qualifications 

CMMS systems provide distinct kinds of analysis, such as site and locations comparison analysis, site summary analysis, workforce analysis, MRO analysis and analysis of trends.  

Work Orders 

Work order management is often view as the main function of a CMMS. The system allows you to submit, review, filter, assign, record maintenance data and feedback, and analyze work orders. CMMS generates work orders based on scheduled maintenance works or when it receives a repair request from authorized personnel.  

You may filter requests by order type, work order number, vendor, personnel, or priority. You can set up custom maintenance procedures and checklists, as well as attach documentation, notes and safety guides to standardize maintenance work by technicians.  

Purchasing & Requisitions 

The CMMS buying module is essential. Whenever you need maintenance or repair, the purchase order creates a components requisition. A requisition ensures that your team has what it needs to complete the task in an efficient manner. 

The CMMS sends an alert whenever a critical item is momentarily unavailable. Unfortunately, unexpected delays are common without this control. 

Asset Tracking 

Asset tracking is an important functionality which consists in monitoring the physical locations of multiple assets and defining different kinds of assets and the relationships between them. Asset tracking also maintains a history of all operations, such as maintenance and repairs, to identify potential issues. 

Inventory 

Maintaining an up-to-date inventory of repair supplies keeps you aware of supply shortages. These shortfalls may impact daily scheduling. 

CMMS inventory keeps track of these supplies’ physical whereabouts. That allows for seamless transfers across different company sites and guarantees that when a technician has a repair, the components are accessible. 

Furthermore, this CMMS functionality allows for quick determination of availability and pricing. It can offer information about the supplier. Additionally, it can offer recommendations for substitute items when needed and are not available. 

The CMMS inventory updates its totals when workers use parts and when a specific item’s supply runs short. It also notifies your buying department. 

CMMS Is a Journey 

The intention of a CMMS is simple – to provide a platform to maintain your equipment and infrastructures. CMMS may start as a simple job card management system and will certainly grow and be enhanced. As CMMS matures more advanced components may come into play. These include: 

  • Enterprise Asset Management
  • Preventive Maintenance 
  • Predictive Maintenance 

These components will bring automation into the discussion. Let’s chat about these three advanced topics. 

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

EAM is an acronym for Enterprise Asset Management. The system allows organizations to manage, maintain and optimize their entire lineup of physical assets and infrastructures throughout their lifecycles—from design, installation and procurement all the way to operation, maintenance, disposal and replacement.   

The goal is to optimize asset quality and use throughout their useful lives. It also increases productive uptime and lowers operating costs. 

Some of the functionalities found in EAM system are: 

  • Budget management 
  • Automated alerts 
  • Document management 
  • Multi-site management  
  • Capital project management
  • Contracts and warranties tracking 
  • Condition-based maintenance 
  • Safety & compliance management 
  • ERP integration 
  • Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) 

EAM is often implemented some time after the CMMS system has been in place and used.  

Preventive Maintenance 

There is no such thing as an indestructible piece of equipment. Equipment breakdown or reduced operational efficiency will occur as a result of constant wear and tear. Preventive maintenance is a popular method of deferring failure and extending the usable life of your assets. According to Plant Engineering’s 2019 Maintenance Study, 78% of industrial plants employ some form of preventive maintenance. 

Most common CMMS preventive maintenance functions include: 

  • Creating PM work orders based on several factors
  • Creating work orders on time 
  • Creating repair orders based on the latest performed maintenance 
  • Preventive maintenance requests triggered by meter data 
  • Tagging new parts 
  • Consolidating monthly and weekly preventive maintenance schedules
  • Enabling the maintenance manager to overrule predefined preventive maintenance schedules 
  • Batching work requests or identifying specific pieces of equipment for preventive maintenance 

The most significant advantages of preventive maintenance features are asset downtime prevention and equipment costs reduction. 

Predictive Maintenance 

Unlike preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance is based on the current state of health of an asset rather than on statistics or defined schedules. This method attempts to predict when a piece of equipment will break and enable you to undertake maintenance work before the equipment fails. 

These predictions imply data analysis. The data is gathered via IoT sensors placed on the equipment or via condition monitoring techniques and then analyzed using algorithm models to predict when a failure will occur, which is what allows you to take appropriate action. 

CMMS in 2021?  

If your business has assets that need routine maintenance and monitoring on a daily basis, core functions found in CMMS software today are certainly a great addition to your operations.  

You don’t know which features are right for your business and don’t know where to start? We’re here to help – we know everything there’s to know about CMMS! Chat with our maintenance experts today.   

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