A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a software system that manages a computer database of maintenance operations, equipment, spare parts, regulatory compliance, and costs associated with these functions. It can also track reactive and preventive maintenance performed by technicians to ensure timeliness of completion.
In this blog, we’ll explore what traditional CMMS software does, as well as signs that a manufacturing plant needs it.
Functions of CMMS Software
Most of us own a car. With one car, it’s easy enough to keep a mental maintenance checklist: when we need our oil changed, our brake fluid checked, or our tires swapped out. If you have more than one car, it’s more difficult to keep track of these ongoing maintenance needs. You might keep the information in a spreadsheet.
But what if you have one hundred cars? First, congratulations on your rise to billionairedom. Second, you’re going to need more than a spreadsheet.
That same idea applies to maintaining the many machines in a manufacturing plant. Keeping data in a spreadsheet (or on paper) isn’t an effective way of keeping machines up and running.
The advantage of CMMS software is that it keeps track of all the moving parts, so to speak, and helps maintenance technicians to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
The way maintenance groups are using software systems like CMMS to succeed continues to evolve. Let’s start with the capabilities of a traditional CMMS.
What is CMMS Software Capable Of?
CMMS software creates a central hub for all data, allowing managers to plan effectively and make better decisions on the plant floor. The operations it performs are far-ranging and intricately connected.
Most traditional CMMS software is designed to perform a baseline set of operations that includes:
- Controlling the company’s list of maintainable assets through an asset register
- Controlling accounting of assets, purchase price, depreciation rates, etc.
- Controlling preventative maintenance procedures and documentation
- Controlling the issue and documentation of planned and unplanned maintenance work
- Organizing the maintenance personnel database, including shift schedules
- Scheduling calibration for gauges and instruments
- Controlling portable appliance testing
- Assisting in maintenance project management
- Providing maintenance budgeting and costing statistics
- Controlling maintenance inventory
- Processing condition monitoring inputs
- Providing analysis tools for maintenance performance
Without a computerized system, it’s too complicated to view all of these intricately connected operations. That’s why manufacturing businesses that use manual systems struggle to have the data they need to optimally manage a plant.
Plants that aren’t operating optimally will ultimately experience more downtime and generate less revenue. Here are a few signs that your plant is in need of CMMS software.
What Are Signs I Need CMMS Software?
Most companies are using outdated methods and systems to manage their operations. Typically, plants adopt CMMS software when they need help optimizing their maintenance operations. The top three signs that you may be in need of CMMS software:
1. Your equipment breaks down regularly.
If you use outdated methods, chances are that most of your maintenance will be reactive as opposed to proactive.
Preventative maintenance, which is similar to changing the oil in your car, is scheduled. You can keep track of it in a spreadsheet, but with an entire factory of machines to maintain, this can be a challenge.
Older methods certainly won’t give you a means of performing predictive maintenance, which involves placing sensors on machines that can provide you with real-time data about a machine or production line.
If your maintenance team is only ever fixing things after they’ve broken, the result is higher machine downtime and overall lower production. Introducing CMMS software can significantly improve the maintenance process.
For example, when Lakeview Farms introduced Leading2Lean’s CloudDISPATCH, which includes features of next-generation CMMS software, they experienced 34% reduction in downtime.
2. Repairs can't be completed on time.
When spare parts can’t be found, were used and not recorded, or put back in the wrong place, it affects the success of the plant floor. Maintenance teams must wait for parts to arrive, which means the downtime lasts longer than is necessary. You might even lose a greater chunk of budget when ordering the parts you need in an emergency.
CMMS software can track spare parts, as well as trigger a reorder alert when inventory is low. This also minimizes the need for manual inventory checking.
3. There is no visibility.
If you were to pull information about labor hours or a recently completed task, how accurate would it be? Can you easily locate members of your maintenance team?
If a manager struggles to communicate effectively with their team, it detracts hours from the workday as they scramble to figure out who’s doing what and what the status on a given project is. CMMS empowers a plant to monitor progress on a task and get the whole team on the same page.
CMMS software is highly useful in optimizing the plant floor. Manufacturing plants that don’t implement CMMS software risk being left behind. However, it’s all too common for a plant manager to introduce traditional CMMS software that doesn’t add value. For technicians and plant workers, this software can often be frustrating—more of a task than a tool.
Leading2Lean’s CloudDISPATCH technology includes the functions of a next-generation CMMS. It saves time, energy, and resources, empowering maintenance teams to do what they do best: ensure that the production equipment is available to run when it’s needed.
Want to learn more? Check out this quick video to see how one plant floor worker has benefited from L2L.