Your Guide to Software Selection

CMMS vs Plant Management Software

Contrary to what many white collar workers believe, maintenance workers have tough jobs.  From prioritizing tasks to inspecting heavy machinery, there’s no shortage of responsibilities.  To help these workers get their jobs done faster and more effectively, software was introduced to the industry.  Since then, computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) and plant management solutions have created safer and more efficient facilities.

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CMMS and plant management software are two of the best software tools for the industrial industries.  They certainly have their similarities, but their differences are what make them unique and powerful software solutions.

CMMS vs Plant Management: The Similarities

It’s probably not a surprise that these two maintenance management systems have a lot in common.  Their biggest similarity lies in their asset management capabilities.  Both of these software solutions rely on the internet of things to facilitate preventative maintenance.  By connecting the facility’s machines and devices to the internet, they can collect and analyze data.  Facility workers use this information to be proactive, rather than reactive, in asset management.  The analyzed data helps workers schedule regular inspections and alerts them when a defect happens.  In turn, costs get reduced and facilities experience better compliance with health and safety regulations.

CMMS vs Plant Management: The Differences

Despite these similarities, there are several features that set these maintenance management softwares apart.  Below are the top four features that distinguish the two:

1. Design and Construction

Both CMMS and plant management systems help run day-to-day facility operations.  But plant management software also helps design and construct industrial facilities.  This unique feature allows businesses to layout facilities with maximum efficiency in mind.  In doing so, this helps businesses create the safest facility possible.  Compliance standards can be taken into consideration while setting up the facility, so that maintaining them is easier in the long-run.  All of this is pretty much the epitome of preventative maintenance, as problems can be avoided from the start.

2. Work Order Management

Say goodbye to manual work orders.  CMMS software includes work order management features that automate the process.  If you work in an industrial facility without CMMS, you’re probably familiar with some of the inefficient pains.  For example: finding authorizations, assigning tasks and, of course, finding a problem in the first place.  A CMMS handles all of this in a fraction of the time.  Instead of wasting days or potentially weeks filling out paperwork to get the official go-ahead, work orders can be processed and completed quickly.

3. Estimating Software

Estimating software is a module available in plant management software.  This module is similar to predictive analytics in that it predicts the future by using real-time data.  In the case of estimating software, rather than customer behavior, it predicts labor and material costs.  This is a valuable resource for any company, as it gives them a baseline for what costs to expect.  They can then plan accordingly to make sure they stay under-budget at all times.

4. Task Prioritization

With task prioritization capabilities, CMMS proves itself to be a powerful organizational tool.  Task prioritization is another time-consuming process that is better left to automation.  It’s fairly self-explanatory; the CMMS creates a list of tasks ordered from most- to least-important.  Outside of that, however, it also helps ensure that you have the necessary inventory and labor to complete those tasks.  If you don’t, it can help schedule them both so that every task on the list gets done.  It all comes down to getting facility workers away from the paperwork and onto the maintenance as fast as possible.

If you’re just starting out in the industrial business or about to set up a new facility, you may want to consider which of these maintenance management softwares are best for you.  If you need help with design and estimation, look to plant management.  If you need work order management and/or task prioritization, then you’ll want a CMMS.  If you need all of these features, however, it’s not unheard of to adopt both.  You may also be interested in a similar software solution, called enterprise asset management (EAM).  But that’s a discussion for another article.

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