A New CMMS Definition

By Cara Winther
13 Sep 19

By definition, a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) denotes computers and computerization. In the olden days (the '80s and '90s—just ask your kids), computers were really big and really noisy and had to be kept in a huge room. Far, far away from the shop floor. Today, we're going to take a look at the traditional CMMS definition and compare it to modern standards. 

The Traditional CMMS Definition

Computers and systems have evolved significantly for the better.  The issue lies is whether we're truly taking advantage of the technology available to us.

Without a computerized system, a whole lot of people spend a whole lot of time writing things down. They spend a whole lot of time creating spreadsheets that no one is ever going to look at, let alone use (is this still happening today?).

They may even use whiteboards, which are great for visual aids. Not so great for analyzing the amount of data needed to make informed decisions. 

Is that how you want the folks in your plant spending their valuable time? (Think non-value added. No customer is paying for this.) 

cmms maintenance

If you want your Maintenance people maintaining productively, a good digital system is a must. 

And you'd like a weekend. A whole weekend. FYI—those are the 2 days marked "S" on your calendar. You'd like to get to know them again, wouldn't you? 

The CMMS Definition Needs to Change (Beyond CMMS)

CMMS shows you where the problems are. 

A good digital maintenance system shows you which problems should be addressed first to make the most impact.

A really good digital maintenance system allows you to plan rather than react. No fire hose needed.

A great digital maintenance system guides you through preventing downtime and eliminating abnormalities.

Here's what most CMMS can't do: 

  • They can't coordinate and strike a balance between Maintenance and Manufacturing, because they don't speak the same language.
  • They can't expose weaknesses in your organization, aside from capturing breakdowns.
  • They don't allow you to plan, predict, and prevent. Just react.
  • They can't define and organize your maintenance workflow. 

For all their benefits, the traditional CMMS does have limitations. As technology evolves to address these shortcomings, so should our CMMS definition. 


Rethinking the Definition of CMMS 

The old school software just isn't cutting it these days. So, we need to rethink whether the traditional CMMS' definition covers what we need. The modern digital maintenance system should correct the issues posed by traditional CMMS by offering:

    • Quick Deployment. How does 1 week sound?
    • IoT Ready. A maintenance system that is already part of digital manufacturing
    • ROI (within a reasonable time frame). No one moves into your plant to take up residence. 
    • Predictive Maintenance. You run the plant, the plant doesn't run you. 
    • Real-time Data. Empower your associates with real-time, transparent data: no more finger pointing. They know what they do. You just have to give them the tools. 
    • Total Accountability. No more assigning blame. Problems are clear. Time to go fix them. 
    • An End to Silos. Unite all departments behind a common cause: production and being productive. 
    • System Integration. The modern maintenance solution should tie your existing systems together (ERP, MES, QMS, etc.)

Can this next-generation maintenance management software be more than CMMS and yet easier than? Hint: this is not your Grandpa's maintenance solution.

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