Posted on 3/17/2014 12:37 PM by Jeff O’Brien
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a valuable tool that can help facility managers effectively execute an asset management strategy. Over time, a CMMS can help drive down the cost of maintenance, increase asset life, improve productivity, reduce downtime, and lower the total cost of ownership of assets. It can not only control and improve the way you do maintenance, but can also benefit facility managers in many other ways on a daily basis.
A CMMS provides facility managers greater transparency and control while working with a maintenance team. It helps identify an individual’s tasks, assignments due dates, as well as which tasks still need to be completed, ensuring nothing is overlooked.
One of the biggest benefits of a CMMS is increased labor productivity. This is because the system can help plan and track work so technicians can complete their tasks without interruption.
Automated Scheduled Maintenance
Shifting focus to planned maintenance leads to less downtime and less disruption, making keeping track of scheduled maintenance critical. Rather than trying to rely on memory, the CMMS will automatically notify the facility manager when systems require servicing.
Guest Request Portal
With no CMMS in place, chances are you are knee deep in a repair when a call comes through for some unimportant issue. One of the best-loved features of a CMMS is the work request portal where unregistered users can log work requests when something needs to be repaired. The facility manager can then review the requests in his/her own time and assign the jobs based on priority.
This is ideal for organizations with a large number of employees such as schools, office buildings, or manufacturing plants. When the work request is closed, the system automatically notifies the guest that their work request has been completed.
Accessible Asset History
It is impossible to rely on human memory so a CMMS details what work has been completed on a system in the past. Each asset has its own unique record that details parts used, labor hours spent, reliability, and downtime. By tracking maintenance activities in a CMMS, when employees leave, this knowledge does not leave with them. This information remains in the CMMS and can be useful as a reference when new employees are troubleshooting the breakdown. It reduces the time lag needed to get the new employee fully up to speed.
Quick Reporting & Analysis
Data can be pulled quickly and effortlessly from the CMMS for analysis. The data can help identify chronic equipment problems and unacceptable levels of downtime so solutions such as regular inspections, preventive maintenance, or spare parts can be put in place to proactively reduce downtime going forward.
Easy to Track Costs
As parts, labor, and other miscellaneous expenses are logged when maintenance work orders are being completed, the CMMS becomes a central database for all maintenance related expenses. Rather than trolling through receipts and dockets at the end of a year, the facilities manager can simply run a costing report in the CMMS to see where the budget was spent.
Most CMMS systems come with a purchasing module where purchased parts and supplies can be tracked in one system, ensuring no duplicate purchases and excess parts. The purchase records also help the facility manager quickly reorder the part when it is required again.
Real time alerts can be sent from building control-monitoring systems through the CMMS when operating limits are breached. If alarms spike, the CMMS triggers corrective maintenance and notifies the facilities manager immediately so they can initiate a proactive inspection before the issue develops into something more serious.
Audit & Compliance
A CMMS can help an organization become more safety compliant in a number of ways. Safety procedures can be included on all job plans ensuring technicians are aware of the risks. Safety checks, such fire equipment inspections, can be scheduled and tracked in the CMMS ensuring the organization is compliant and ready for those audits.
A CMMS is a useful tool to help facilities managers get more organized by reducing the dependence on memory and by automating many mundane daily activities. The CMMS will help facilities managers free up additional time to focus on improving reliability and reducing maintenance related expenses further. It makes facilities management more efficient and more effective, reducing costs and delivering additional revenue to an organization’s bottom line.
Jeff O’Brien is a product specialist and blogger at Maintenance Assistant Inc.