Welcome back to our blog series- Back To Basics: The Ultimate CMMS Guide- where we cover everything you need to know about a CMMS system. If you missed Part 1-an introduction to CMMS systems-you can read it here. 

In today’s post we’ll discuss the key features that comprise an entire CMMS system and how these features are used to help streamlined your maintenance operations. 

Read on for Part 2, Key CMMS features and how to use them.

When initially searching for maintenance management software, buyers often have pre-conceived notions of what CMMS will do for them. Typically buyers see CMMS as a way to digitize their maintenance department, specifically using electronic work orders to better manage their jobs and daily tasks. Although work order management is synonymous with CMMS systems, other CMMS features are equally as important but often overlooked by buyers. Sorting through essential and non-essential features can be a confusing process for anyone new to the vastness of CMMS systems, so we’ve highlighted the most important CMMS features and how you can use them in your operations. 

1) Work Order Management

Work order management is the most basic CMMS feature. Computerized maintenance management systems allow companies to do away with paper entirely, creating, assigning, modifying and closing work orders in software. Combined with a mobile CMMS app, this allows dispatchers and managers to track progress, prioritize important tasks, and divide work more efficiently.

Read our post here on the importance of work order management and how it acts as the hub of a CMMS system.

2) Preventive Maintenance Management

Preventative maintenance software is a crucial cost-cutting feature, allowing you to keep equipment running longer and more efficiently by performing timely tune-ups and repairs. Look for CMMS software that allows you to trigger work orders automatically based on calendar frequency (such as once a week, or every season) or meter readings (every 25,000 miles, or when a meter reaches a certain pressure level). Your program should be able to remind managers automatically, ensuring that nothing is forgotten.

Read our post here on how preventive maintenance software can save your organization time and-of course- money.

3) Asset and Equipment Management/ Inventory Management

Many CMMS programs also have asset and equipment management functions to aid equipment tracking and upkeep. Organizations can store data such as repair history, equipment costs and warranty information — making information easily accessible to your maintenance department. This is complemented by inventory management, which enables maintenance departments to efficiently stock, reorder, and keep track of spare parts locations.

When these two features work together, it can do great things for your maintenance department. Hippo CMMS allows companies to associate equipment with parts, O&M manuals and even pictures. When equipment fails, you can quickly pull up a list of spare parts and easily locate them.

Although combining work order management with your asset and equipment management is a critical advantage to having a CMMS system in the first place, many organizations lack sufficient resources to integrate all asset and equipment information into their account. Without all info being housed in your maintenance database, the full potential of managing your assets can be hindered. To rectify this situation, it’s important to solidify a comprehensive implementation plan outlining the exact info to be captured in your database and determining who is responsible to collect the data.

Read our post here for 6 steps to execute a no-fail implementation plan.

4) Vendor/ Resource Management and Powerful Reporting

CMMS software can also track resources and vendors. Maintenance management software makes it easier to alert resources to new work orders that they’re assigned to, while vendor management helps organizations contact outside vendors and ultimately track their performance.

Powerful reporting tools allow managers to view employee and vendor performance metrics including % completed work orders on time and # of labor hours per resource/ company. A huge advantage of CMMS software is its ability to generate maintenance reports. With easy-to-read graphs outlining worker productivity, vendor cost and other vital information, you’ll be able to make strategic decisions such as promoting the most effective workers, or ordering from the least expensive vendors. 

6) Predictive Maintenance

A lot of CMMS providers offer complex features to predict when equipment needs repairs. This approach, called predictive maintenance, looks for patterns in service records, equipment failure logs and meter readings, and uses them to schedule needed maintenance. It advances a CMMS’ preventive maintenance to be even more proactive than simply implementing scheduled work orders.

Theoretically, this allows organizations to allocate maintenance more efficiently, doing repairs and tune-ups only when needed. Although predictive maintenance is an excellent tool for manufacturing maintenance managers, it only makes a meaningful difference when there’s a lot of data to forecast from — additionally, machines vary and can fail randomly. It’s a useful approach for certain organizations such as large manufacturers, but most enterprises get better results with preventive maintenance and occasional repairs.

As you can tell,a maintenance management system is much more than just a work order management tool. By taking advantage of the full array of tools that a CMMS can offer, your entire maintenance department will run much more smoothly. 

Ready for more CMMS insight? Tune in next week for Part 3- User- Friendliness vs Price: Do I have to choose? A look into CMMS software attributes and how to determine which are most important to your business.

Week 2 Homework: Click on the additional links located throughout this post to learn more about preventive maintenance, work order management, and how to execute a no-fail implementation plan.

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Craving more info about how to purchase and implement the best CMMS for your business? Download our CMMS Buyers Guide today!

About The Author

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan has been covering asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions since joining Hippo CMMS. Prior to that, he wrote for textbooks and video games.
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