We’re well into 2019 and it’s time to do a efficiency check. Are you still tracking work orders and maintenance activities manually or with spreadsheets? If you are, you are not alone. Almost 80% of facility and maintenance professionals that we survey are using spreadsheets or absolutely nothing to track work orders, maintenance requests, and preventive maintenance at the companies they work for.  Newsflash, using these methods are costing your department and the company you work for huge sums of money.

Research shows that over 88% of spreadsheets contain mistakes which results in businesses losing millions of dollars..

Whether you’re a small business just starting out or a more established company  that’s been in business for several years, if you are still using spreadsheets or manual methods to “stay on top” of your maintenance operations, it’s time to consider a change, one that will improve the way you use your time, reduce equipment downtime, transform your department from being reactive to planning maintenance and reducing wait times for parts and supplies. The change we are talking about is making the shift to using a CMMS software over excel. 

Here’s why.

A World without CMMS

Did an excel coding error destroy the economies of the western world?” questioned Paul Krugman in the New York times. A Harvard study by economists Reinhart and Rogoff led to questionable calculations for global fiscal policy.The spreadsheet failed to include certain cells in the calculation and thereby overstated the impact of debt burden on the nation’s economic growth. That’s not all!

Remember the London whale incident at JP Morgan? It costed the bank a whooping $6.2 billion, all due to a spreadsheet error in their model.

The above are examples of massive costly errors resulting from experts relying to spreadsheet data for decision making. We are not suggesting that using spreadsheets to track your maintenance activities will sink the company you work for, rather that the data is prone to errors and is often not reliable. Other disadvantages include:

Labor intensive

Spreadsheets require users to manually enter data and at times require an entirely new position to manage tall the data entry. If Harvard economists can make mistakes using spreadsheets, it’s very likely the average Excel whizz kid employee will do the same. Companies are spending thousands of dollars on unnecessary staff to perform data entry and upkeep when a CMMS could do more with less and the data is more reliable and results are automated.

Do not allow for complex analysis 

Spreadsheets limit users to simpler analysis of the facility operations, leading to an incomplete picture of what the current status of the facility is. facility management software and other maintenance programs are equipped with much more powerful reporting tools and features that have been developed and tested by experts.  These reporting tools empower maintenance professionals like yourself to get instant information on critical work orders, delays, bottlenecks, downtime, inventory levels, cost data, and so much more. Having these capabilities ultimately results in better decision making, improved efficiencies and lower costs.

Loss of data

Whether you’re using spreadsheets or a filing cabinet, the possibility of data loss, theft or mismanagement is tenfold when compared to using a maintenance management application like a CMMS. Spreadsheets require frequent updating where CMMS software often requires data entry on one or 2 data points like labor time, or checking a status to completed. These updates set in motion numerous other calculations that deliver reliable and important data to managers. Further the data entry is not restricted to one person (the spreadsheet owner), rather with a CMMS, the tech can update the system in real time from their computer or mobile device.  Storing data in spreadsheets and file cabinets also increases the chance of information falling in the wrong hands, potentially compromising company security.

Unreliable data

Mentioned earlier, but worth emphasizing, 88% of all spreadsheets contain errors cost companies money. Moving towards using maintenance management software is a move in the right direction to saving your department time and money.

Not Eco friendly

If you’re still using heaps of paper to store and manage your data, you’re the reason we still have our coats on in spring. With global warming leading to all time high (and low) temperatures, high time we started making an effort towards doing what we can for the environment. If you don’t want to do it save the trees, how about less clutter around your desk.

These are just the very few disadvantages that result from using spreadsheets and paper to track your work orders, repairs, preventive maintenance and other maintenance activities. This article paints a picture of the art of the possible with a CMMS, but you have to try one to really see the CMMS benefits. On a side note, if you have had bad experiences with a CMMS in the past, know that current solutions have come down in cost, are way more user friendly, and accessible.


A World with CMMS 

CMMS empowers facility managers, technicians, customers and basically everyone with access to track all aspects of the facility in one comprehensive system. Be it work orders softwarepreventive maintenance software, equipment and asset management, vehicles, staff, vendors or inventory management, you can get it all and more in one centralized application.

Check out some of these awesome features available in a CMMS software.

 Facility maintenance history report

cmms software over excel-  maintenance history report

Monthly maintenance calendar (current work and planned preventive maintenance)

Monthly maintenance calendar - cmms software over excel

Interactive facility site and floor plans

Interactive facility site and floor plans - cmms software over excel

Want to know more of why you should use CMMS software over excel and other manual methods? We got you! We put together this e-book to help you separate fact from fiction and give you real insight into why spreadsheets and paper are bad for your business and how you can turn that around.

Spoiler alert : This e-book is going to show you how a simple CMMS will transform your maintenance department and save your company money!

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.
Share this post


related articles
Read more Hippo CMMS articles on this topic
Hippo Solutions
Explore all of Hippo CMMS’ Solutions
See upcoming events
Check out our upcoming events and webinars