Why Buy a CMMS?
From managing maintenance requests at a small 12-unit apartment building to keeping track of ongoing maintenance at a large manufacturing facility, a computerized maintenance management system – more commonly known as a CMMS – can be a very helpful tool. These systems can be very simple, helping you take maintenance requests and track them electronically until they’re finished, or they can be highly capable tools that assist facility managers with everything from daily requests to preventative maintenance, inventory control and asset management at multiple facilities. Common platforms include Emaint X3, eWorkOrders and HippoFM.
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems: What to Look For
The main features that most CMMS products offer have to do with handling ongoing, everyday maintenance requests. Look for software that has an interface that is easy to use – consider how many different types of people may be using it and select a tool that has the features you need. Once somebody places a work order, the CMMS should assign the work out and track it as it’s being done – or at least send out notification as the work is completed. Some CMMS systems also include follow-up features such as surveys so that mangers can collect data on work efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Traditional Software Vs. Cloud-Based App
CMMS products can be cloud-based, accessible through a web interface, or more traditional, locally installable software. Cloud-based products are more accessible by more people, and they require less maintenance on your part. Software solutions that you install often offer a higher degree of customization.
Mobile access is also very important to some companies, so if this is important to yours, be sure the CMMS you select offers internet and mobile access.
Inventory and Asset Management
Many CMMS systems also offer inventory and asset management features, which let you input information about inventory and assets for tracking. With inventory management, you can see how much inventory you have, and set automatic notifications for re-ordering as needed – and also set low and high thresholds for pricing of new orders. Inventory management also helps workers to see where they can get inventoried items to complete a job.
Asset management systems provide you with a way to manage all your assets. From computer cables to cars, you can tag almost anything that you want to track in your company and store information about it in the CMMS. Some systems are configured to easily integrate with barcode-enabled functionality to provide greater ease and convenience for asset and inventory management. You can also enter important warranty and service information so that you’ll get notification as warranties are about to expire, or when it’s time to service a product.
Reporting, Dashboards and Personalization
Every CMMS offers some reporting functionality. From generating daily reports on work completed to delivering reports that your finance or operations team can use, there is a wide range of tools and features to consider. Shop for systems that have the reporting you need – and also look for reporting that can integrate with other systems your company already uses, such as accounting or ERP software.
Dashboard personalization can be very important, especially for busy managers of large facilities. Some products offer a great deal of customization and others offer none. If you want a high degree of personalization on your dashboard and throughout your system, you’ll pay more, but you may also get a lot more out of your system that way.
Overall, CMMS systems can help facilities managers save time and money while keeping the workflow going smoothly. Find the system that meets your needs and your budget, and you can really increase efficiency and customer satisfaction, all while reducing your own headaches.