If you are new to the computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) world, you’re likely being inundated with acronyms and terms that are unfamiliar to you. To clear the confusion, we’ve developed a CMMS software cheat sheet outlining 12 common maintenance software terms that are likely to appear during your software search. We hope this list gives you a broader understanding of what’s to come as you get more involved with a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software.

Term #1: CMMS, Computerized Maintenance Management System

CMMS is a database that streamlines and tracks all aspects of an organization’s maintenance operations.  As operations become larger and more complex, the need for a centralized database and access to key information increases. Computerized Maintenance Management System software assists maintenance managers and workers to perform their day-to-day jobs more effectively by providing real-time data on machine and equipment downtime, inventory levels, upcoming scheduled and preventive maintenance, work order status and more.

Term #2: EAM, Enterprise Asset Management

Although the terms CMMS and facility management are commonly used in place of EAM, enterprise asset management is a much broader term.  It refers to EAM software that enables managers to view and control a company’s assets holistically, while optimizing the efficiencies of the entire operation, not just maintenance and facilities management.

Term #3: CAFM, Computer Aided Facility Management

This is software designed to help facility managers optimized the utilization of space and facilities, plan preventive maintenance, better manage reactive maintenance, and improve facility’s management processes. CAFM is a term used more outside of North America.

Term #4: FMS, Facility Management Software Systems

North Americans often use Facility Management Software (FMS) as opposed to CAFM. Both of these terms, however, describe an almost identical system. Facility management software systems come equipped with maintenance management, space management, utilities tracking, inventory management and other tools.

Term #5: MMS, Maintenance Management System

Maintenance management systems refer to manual methods for tracking maintenance operations as opposed to computerized methods. 20 years ago when CMMS was not as common, MMS was a frequently used term. Its use is declining with more companies adopting maintenance management software.

Term #6: PM, Planned Maintenance

Planned maintenance is pretty straight forward. It refers to maintenance activities that have been planned or scheduled in advance. Most often planned maintenance involves routine preventive maintenance tasks or inspections.

Term #7: PPM, Planned Preventive Maintenance

This is just another term for preventive maintenance or planned maintenance. Some call it PPM, so we thought we’d include it in the list. Planned preventive maintenance refers to regular and routine inspection, detection and correction of equipment and facilities in order to prevent breakdown and failure and extend asset life.

Term #8: PdM, Predictive Maintenance

CMMS can help you predict when maintenance will be required. Predictive maintenance forecasts when equipment failure will occur, and allows you to intervene by taking preventive measures. Having a predictive maintenance strategy allows companies to save on maintenance costs, cut costs on parts and supplies and reduce equipment downtime. To estimate your machine downtime, fill out our downtime calculator here.

Term #9: KPI, Key Performance Indicator

Key performance indicators are metrics used by managers to help them evaluate the performance within the company. CMMS software, if configured and used properly can allow managers and other users to view real-time KPIs on dashboards and reports. Some of these include equipment downtime, labor utilization, work orders completed on time, maintenance costs, and a few more complicated ones listed below.

Term #10: MTBF, Mean time between failures

This is a metric that shows the projected time between failures of equipment or a machine. For example, if a machine broke down after 200 hrs., and the next at 250 hrs., and then at 300 hrs., the MTBF is 250 hrs. Knowing the mean time between failures will help you predict future maintenance. Basically, the higher the MTBF, the better!

Term #11: MTBR, Mean time between repairs

This is very similar to MTBF and often causes some confusion. The MBTR calculation seems to be counting the necessary instances of repairs during a period of time and dividing the latter number by the former. Mean time between repairs differs from MTBF in that MTBF typically counts only how long a machine operates before failure, whereas MTBR includes the time spent on repair, which can have a significant effect on the results.

Term #12: MTTR, Mean time to repair

As you get deeper into your CMMS software you can extract metrics like Mean Time to Repair. It represents the average time to repair equipment. To calculate MTTR take the total unplanned or corrective maintenance time of failures and divide it by the total number of corrective or unplanned maintenance work orders. As you start extracting MTTR you should be aiming to achieve lower figures.

Master these 12 common terms and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect maintenance software for your organization. 

For more information on CMMS software and successful implementation strategies, be sure to check out our CMMS Expert Series or contact a Software Specialist.

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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