What is a CMMS?

An introduction to computerized maintenance management systems & how they can help your business run smoother.

CMMS software (Computerized Maintenance Management System) is a database application that serves to streamline and track all aspects of an organization’s maintenance operations.  As operations become larger and more complex, the need for a centralized database and access to key information increases. CMMS programs assist maintenance managers and workers to perform their day-to-day jobs more effectively by providing real-time data on machine and equipment downtime, inventory levels, upcoming scheduled and preventive maintenance, work order status and more. Maintenance management systems have been around since the early 1970’s, and were used primarily by larger manufacturing plants. With the proliferation of PCs, the onset of the internet, and most recently, mobile internet access, organizations and businesses in all industries are implementing a CMMS solution.

Additionally, there is now a trend toward SaaS (Software as a service) or cloud deployment as buyers see the cost saving benefits of minimal demands on their IT departments, easy access to their data anywhere they have an internet connection, and low upfront costs. Facility management software are now being implemented in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, resorts, government facilities, restaurant and retail chains, religious institutions, shopping malls, and more! Computerized maintenance management systems are ideal for virtually any facility where equipment up time, efficient workflow management, and monitoring facility and operation costs are a priority.

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Discover how a solid CMMS system can benefit your organization based on industry.



Computerized Maintenance Management Programs Are Trending

CMMS is a software solution that has been around since businesses started using computers. Depending on who, or what the source is, some in the industry date the dawn of CMMS as early as the introduction of punch cards.  25 years ago, most maintenance management systems involved huge installation processes and were very costly. Installations almost always involved a lot of customization and time to deploy on internal computer systems and servers. Today, this is not the case at all. The computerized maintenance management world has been turned completely upside down with accessible internet, and the explosion of smart phones and tablets. Maintenance managers are quickly shifting from installed, on-premise deployments to SaaS browser-based solutions.  Web-based CMMS maintenance software is recognized as a win-win for both the maintenance management system provider and the customer. With cloud deployment, CMMS updates are delivered in seconds to all customers and data is maintained and backed -up in state-of-the art data centers. This has basically removed the IT department from the equation and any related costs.

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One integrated system, many powerful features

A powerful CMMS program consists of a variety of features. Common features include: 

While some CMMS systems include higher level features:

  • Helpdesk

  • Interactive floor plans

  • Dashboards

  • Predictive maintenance

  • Inspection scheduling

  • Room booking

  • Mobile application

A solid CMMS system has many benefits

Generally, a CMMS system is understood to help facility and maintenance managers ensure that their facilities and equipment are up and running as expected.  The benefits actually go beyond this. Maintenance management systems help to improve productivity. If used properly, a CMMS solution identifies bottlenecks quickly and ultimately helps to prevent problems before they happen.

The following are some key benefits implementing a cmms provide:

Better decision making from real time access to maintenance information 

A web based computerized maintenance software enable managers to compile information on an organization's maintenance operations, easily refer back to historical data and records and make forecasts and informed decisions.

Reduced downtime of equipment and extended life-cycle

Organizations make large capital investments in equipment and other assets. CMMS systems have tools to ensure preventative maintenance programs are in place and are being carried out. Preventive maintenance decreases equipment failure and in turn reduces repair costs. In addition, preventive maintenance extends the longevity of equipment. We are now starting to understand the ROI.

Reduced labor costs from increased productivity and improved scheduling

Maintenance management systems have tools that help managers track utilization rates and show variances between estimated labor time and actual. Most CMMS programs have calendar tools which allow managers to make decisions on labor resource allocation and scheduling. These tools help identify under-utilization and productivity bottlenecks.

Faster responsiveness to work orders and critical events

Web-based maintenance CMMS systems trigger real-time e-mail alerts when incidents occur. Mobile devices receive notifications instantly resulting in improved response time by technicians and contractors. Maintenance managers are constantly monitoring KPIs like MTR (Mean Time to Repair) and MTTR (Mean Time to Respond). These computerized maintenance programs often can provide these metrics. 

Better inventory management 

Having the right part replacement when needed makes all the difference when equipment goes down. The problem is, companies don't want to carry too much inventory because parts depreciate over time, and some go missing due to theft. Maintenance managers try to apply Just-in-Time principles, and CMMS software helps them achieve this. Computerized maintenance programs come with inventory management tools that track parts usage, reorder levels and can be configured so that when inventory reaches a threshold, purchasing is notified and purchase orders are sent to suppliers.

Other CMMS benefits include:

  • Facilitation of standard operating procedures

  • Transparency

  • Better performance measurements

  • Improved compliance and standards tracking and staff-training

Ultimately, the end goal is improved customer satisfaction. When facilities and equipment are operating well, regardless of industry, the customer is happier.

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Who Uses Maintenance Management Software?

CMMS software was initially used by manufacturers. Today, however, these solutions are being used by organizations, both private and public in a variety of industries. They are being implemented in healthcare facilities, hospitality, educational institutions, municipalities, non-profits, manufacturing, buildings and facilities, and any other organizations where facility and asset management are viewed as high priority. On a more micro level, CMMS systems, up until recently were used primarily by maintenance and facility managers, COOs and CFOs, technicians and mechanics. This was primarily due to the high cost of installations and user fees. Recently, some maintenance systems are offering unlimited users and are more affordable. With unlimited user packages, organizations are expanding CMMS users to upper management, the entire maintenance and facilities department and even all employees with requester access. Maintenance management software is a flexible platform, applicable for a variety of industries.






"Hippo CMMS is the perfect solution for processing our agency work orders. Setup is easy and creating work order requests is simple for users to access. The technical support and service is excellent and training is clear and informative. Hippo is very affordable when comparing to other maintenance management vendors.
We enjoy its easy access as it’s web-based and the ease of operation and responsive customer support. In addition, its simple tracking and notification system and the calendar dashboard are great tools to ensure our jobs get done".
Hippo CMMS Software
Date published: 12/09/201stars.png
5 / 5 stars

Crozdesk 5 star ratings of Hippo CMMS Software