Five Things Maintenance Managers Should Look for in a CMMS
Maintenance managers are the people responsible for keeping facilities running. They are valuable members of any operation; their duties vary in scope depending on the size and function of the facility for which they work. Generally, maintenance managers oversee the installation, repair and upkeep of an employer's property, including machines, mechanical systems, buildings and other facility structures. Managers’ daily routines involve being responsible for things as mundane as replacing light bulbs to as critical as ensuring that a key piece of equipment is repaired or that water damage in an area of a building is appropriately responded to. Because businesses depend on uninterrupted operations, the onus is on maintenance managers to seek out ways to do their jobs in the most efficient and cost effective ways.
In this regard, a growing number of managers are opting for Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) systems to guide their operations. This automated software is specifically designed to simplify maintenance management through the utilization of secure cloud based interfaces, mobile device accessibility and paperless functionality. With a maintenance management system in place, managers can track work orders, quickly generate accurate reports, and instantly determine which of their assets required preventive maintenance. Not only is this tool a timesaver for maintenance managers, but when used properly, it can result in extended equipment lifespans, improved organization, better time management and labor utilization and ultimately, reduced costs and increased profits.
The following are five important features to be considered when considering maintenance management software:
1. CMMS User Friendliness
Maintenance management software systems are designed to be easy to use and without any technical experience required of its users. Once a facility’s data have been entered into the system, using the software is no more difficult than using a smart phone app. All that is required is tapping or clicking on icons, responding to prompts and filling in information. CMMSs also offer portability which means they can be used when and where ever a tech may be. Being tied down to a desk top computer is unnecessary since tablets or smartphones can be used to generate work orders, pull up reports, upload or view images and check on preventative work schedules. The software can automatically sync data from different devices eliminating the need to manually update newly entered data. Computerized maintenance systems bring new meaning to user friendly applications.
2. Identifying and Satisfying Immediate CMMS Feature Requirements
Every company is unique and so are its immediate maintenance management requirements. For example, some companies are housed in one facility while others have multiple sites. If this is the case, then the options to be considered should be geared toward maintenance software that can accommodate businesses with multiple sites. Beyond this, maintenance managers need to carefully explore other needs such as: the number of techs who will use the software, the need for different levels of system access, mobile access, the need to include architectural drawings and the type of support required. Most maintenance management software offer many of the following features: vendor management, preventive maintenance, work order management, equipment tracking, inventory and parts, bar code scanning, interactive floor plans, maintenance reports, mobile device access and fleet maintenance.
3. Meeting Long Term CMMS Feature Requirements
Businesses are not static operations. As industries and technologies change, companies must also evolve. This also means that a company’s maintenance requirements today may not be the same tomorrow. As maintenance managers must adapt to change, so does the maintenance management software they rely upon. For companies that envision growth and development in their future – be it developing or enlarging its site, buying new equipment and/or increasing it staff - a CMMS must accommodate these future needs. Maintenance management systems have capabilities to address the needs of evolving companies by making it possible to add additional staff users, expand and/or add new facility sites or upgrade new equipment and company assets.
4. CMMS Training and Support Options
Computerized maintenance management systems offer different levels of support based on client needs. Support services options include onboarding, onsite audits and training. Maintenance managers also have the option of inputting data on their own or having a CMMS tech do it for them. Onboarding and training can be done online or onsite. There are also options for ongoing support based on company needs. In choosing the training and support options that are most suitable for their companies, managers should balance the costs of added services against the time, energy and resource allocations for not having them.
5. Integrating CMMS with Other Software Systems
One of the benefits of using maintenance management software is its ability to work with other software systems. Examples include the barcoding and image uploading features which integrate camera software on mobile devices as well as the auto sync feature that updates data entered from different devices. The ability of maintenance management systems to work seamlessly with other software adds to their value as an efficient and effective tool for maintenance managers.
Today, businesses are constantly challenged by industry demands and economic conditions. To maximize their bottom lines, they must also find the most efficient ways to operate. For maintenance managers, computerized maintenance management software systems provide the edge required to keep equipment and assets in optimal condition and with minimal downtimes.