Doing a CMMS software comparison project? Here’s where to start.
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First, a quick overview: Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), also referred to as facilities management software, is technology that helps track an organization’s maintenance activities and operations. Facilities management and maintenance teams use CMMS software to schedule and plan work; locate tools, parts and supplies; control inventory and labor resource; and manage assets.
A note about the “managing assets” component: it is also available within an EAM or enterprise asset management software, which is often synonymous with CMMS but is actually a more encompassing management solution that generally includes CMMS functionality. Many of the solutions listed in our maintenance management software leaderboard are CMMS/EAM software solutions. This article can also help understand the core differences between EAM and CMMS.
Key CMMS Capabilities
CMMS software contain a collection of modules that support different maintenance tasks. Here’s a look at some of the key capabilities:
- Inventory Control: The software can help track special order items; location of parts and materials; items which are stocked and not stocked; and movement of inventory, including items that move from one place to the other and items that move in or out of inventory.A computerized maintenance management system can also help provide information about the cost an item and the item’s substitute. Certain CMMS inventory control modules help maintenance team know what tools are available, track the movement of tools, manage the tool room and assign tools to workers.
- Work Order Tracking: Maintenance managers use the software to schedule work; determine the cost of tools, material and equipment; assign personnel; and analyze failure of equipment.The maintenance team can easily know the faulty equipment, source of the problem, and assign personnel to fix the problem. Once the problem is fixed, the person working on the issue confirms he has finished the assignment, and the manager is alerted automatically.
- Work Requests Tracking: Computerized maintenance management systems help track external work requests, including shower repairs for requested by tenants. The maintenance team can enter the work order number for the request automatically or manually. The work request module may track and record the completion of such work.
- Safety Management: CMMS help manage permits and documents safety plans and requirements, such as foreign material exclusion, confined space, lock-or tag-out procedures and electrical safety. Good CMMS software helps to track material safety data sheets for hazardous materials as well as ratings for flammability, health and reaction to emergencies.
- Asset Management and History: Maintenance management can CMMS packages to track or record an asset’s data, including purchase date, expected lifetime, warranty, specifications, maintenance activities and service history.Other information needed of a property that the software provides include service contracts, service history, additions, modifications and spare parts. Such information is usually recorded in the asset’s history log.
- Labor Resource Management and Scheduling of Work: The computer systems help record maintenance personnel’s data, such as their skills, qualifications, job categories, work history and labor rates.CMMS may come with modules that aid in scheduling preventive programs, including authenticating and tracking preventive maintenance extensions with adjustments to next due date and generating preventive maintenance work orders. The software also schedule repetitive work and sends time-based reminders to people responsible.
There are primarily four users of CMMS, namely: facility maintenance, companies repair and maintain buildings; production maintenance, which produce tangible products; linear asset maintenance, which are companies that take care of roads, telecom cabling and other assets are so long; and fleet maintenance, which is the maintenance for vehicles.
CMMS software also helps the management of organizations track activities of their maintenance teams, calculate expenses and allocate resources. CMMS improves accountability, reduce work outages, and identify the causes of certain problems and offer solutions. The systems also control inventory, helping businesses save on purchases and reduce losses.
On Premise CMMS vs. Cloud-Based SaaS CMMS
Choosing the best CMMS is a vital business decision; comparing advantages and disadvantages of on-premise and web-based CMMS systems is a key step in the selection process.
Advantages and Disadvantages of On-Premise Software
On premise CMMS software is installed on an organization’s computer system. Your business buys a license to use the software and any equipment needed. Sometimes, it is necessary to pay a third-party for the installation process. However, having this type of CMMS allows an in-house IT team to have better control over the use and security of the software. It provides peace of mind that sensitive data is stored and handled internally as well.
Since on-premise maintenance software offers more control over data and processes, large companies with strict compliance requirements often prefer this type of CMMS. This software can be easily customized and integrated with most systems. Even though a business faces a costly initial investment, on-premise software pays for itself over the long-term, especially as an organization expands.
One of the biggest disadvantages of on-premise CMMS involves the required work to manage the software. It is necessary for an organization to provide the IT infrastructure for the application, to configure the network for access, and to install upgrades and security patches. Since an individual company is responsible for the system, it may take days to get back online after a hardware failure.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Web-Based CMMS
Cloud-based CMMS is a hosted service that is accessible from the Internet. There is no need for a company to install hardware or software. This allows a business to focus on other responsibilities without the need to staff a large IT department.
The biggest advantages of a web-based CMMS are lower upfront costs, unlimited scalability, and no need to use new infrastructure. Also, the software provider does all the maintenance including backing up data, security, and performing upgrades.
It is generally easy to customize the CMMS to a company’s needs by inserting or removing modules or connecting to other integrated platforms. Employees can access this kind of CMMS system anytime, on-the-go (aka mobile devices) and at any location. Since a web-based system is usually housed on multiple servers, it is highly reliable and available.
Since small start-up companies often lack capital and technical expertise, they prefer cloud-based maintenance systems. Even though many people feel cloud software brings security threats, it is less likely to be affected by security breaches. There is no local data, and the software is regularly updated.
Which type of CMMS is preferred?
Many organizations must decide whether web-based or on-premise maintenance software is best. Today, the costs of storage and bandwidth are decreasing, so cloud software is becoming a popular option. Many companies believe this type of maintenance is a convenient and affordable alternative to conventional on-premise software.
However, it is not right for every business. Since there is no perfect solution for all companies, it is essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision.