What is CMMS?
CMMS stands for “Computerized Maintenance Management System”,and is sometimes referred to as Enterprise Asset Management (EAM).
A CMMS system is designed to help managers streamline maintenance operations, such as
- Keeping a record of all Assets they are responsible for,
- Schedule and track Planned Maintenance tasks,
- Tracking work orders and keep a historical record of work they perform.
- Managing inventory, that include things like spare parts for machines and supplies like oil and grease.
CMMSs are used by a variety of industries ranging from retail to manufacturing, schools to wineries and today form the core of their maintenance operations.
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To better understand what a CMMS is, we will break the term down into each individual component.
Computerized refers to the fact that with a CMMS, your maintenance data is stored on a computer.
This is hardly a surprising concept today. Before the 1980s, however, maintenance data was generally recorded with a pencil and paper. Because of this, maintenance was largely reactive rather than proactive. That is, maintenance was performed only when something went wrong. Preventive maintenance was less common because it was unrealistic to track which assets needed routine maintenance when all of your asset’s maintenance records were kept in a filing cabinet.
When CMMS solutions came into fruition in the late 80s and early 90s, organizations began to migrate from pencil/paper and to their computers. Suddenly, organizations could track work orders, quickly generate accurate reports, and instantly determine which of their assets required preventive maintenance. This lead to extended asset lifespans, improved organization, and ultimately reduced costs and increased profits.
Maintenance is what users of CMMS software do every day, whether it’s responding to an on-demand work order for a broken window or performing routine inspection on a generator.
Computer software cannot accomplish the work of a skilled technician. What it can do, however, is ensure tasks are prioritized correctly and that everything is in place (inventory, labor) to ensure success. CMMS solutions give technicians the freedom to focus less on paperwork and more on hands-on maintenance.
Managing maintenance is the most essential role of a CMMS solution. Maintenance management software is designed to give users immediate insight into the state of his or her maintenance needs with comprehensive work order schedules, accurate inventory forecasts, and instant access to hundreds of invaluable reports. CMMS solutions make maintenance management easier by empowering managers with information so that they can make the most informed decisions possible.
A system can be thought of as the overall combination of features and capabilities within a CMMS. Different CMMS solutions offer different types of systems. The best CMMS system is one that allows users to accomplish his or her existing maintenance practices more effectively while introducing time-saving features that lead to a reduction of costs and a savings of time.