Many businesses turn to maintenance software for help when they have the need to optimize their maintenance operations through the efficient work order management system or problems tracking their inventory levels.
While those are perfectly good reasons to try out a CMMS, the benefits of a fully utilized computerized maintenance management system reach far beyond that.
That is why it isn’t surprising that 37% of organizations are looking to increase their investments into CMMS/EAM in 2018.
To give you a better picture of how useful and flexible this software can be, we decided to create a comprehensive list of benefits that explain why any business should consider using a modern CMMS software to greatly improve their maintenance management capabilities.
The list is divided into 4 sections:
1. Cost Reductions
Properly utilized CMMS will significantly reduce your cost of operation across your whole maintenance department. Since maintenance managers are always on the lookout for the potential ways to reduce the cost of their maintenance operations, it seemed like a perfect way to start of this list.
- Reduce equipment downtime and unplanned shutdowns
A successful maintenance team shouldn’t only be focused on quickly fixing problems as they come up but to actually take preventive actions to predict and prevent potential breakdowns.
A computerized maintenance management software will help you easily incorporate and automate predictive and preventive maintenance strategies that will help you reduce equipment downtime and avoid costly unplanned shutdowns.
ITIC’s latest survey data finds that 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs them over $100,000 with 81% of respondents indicating how 60 minutes of downtime costs their business over $300,000. And a record one-third or 33% of enterprises report that one hour of downtime costs their firms $1 million to over $5 million.
- Reduce overtime
Less downtime automatically translates to lower overtime expenses. When your assets are kept at their optimal health, there is less chance for any kind of breakdown which results in your employees not having to work overtime to get a critical asset up and running.
On top of that, CMMS lets your team communicate in a more efficient manner which means the work can be started faster and subsequently finished under set deadlines.
- Reduce average time to repair
CMMS enables your maintenance team the access to all crucial information about past problems and applied solutions (work history) so they can quickly figure out the best strategy for the problem at hand.
The system can also store electronic versions of documents. Having one point of access (preferably through mobile devices) for everything from technical sheets and equipment records to troubleshooting charts will help your technicians to do their job quickly and efficiently.
- Prolong the life of your assets
Through a properly implemented CMMS strategy, you can ensure that your assets are always well maintained and working efficiently. As an overall effect, you get to increase the longevity of your assets.
- Lower repair cost
When you add up everything we mentioned so far, the result is lower repair costs!
Ensuring high uptime and asset health reduces the need for major repairs. You cut down on the expenses related to labor and other resources, saving huge costs. You can also find out the best practices and focus on the ones which are the most cost-effective.
- Improve your budgeting
Another very useful CMMS feature to reduce your overall maintenance costs is the ability to predict costs beforehand and use that information to improve your budgeting.
Reviewing all previous costs related to materials, resources and repair activities will give you enough insight to accurately estimate future costs. That means you can create an effective budget making sure your resources are allocated optimally.
2. Inventory & Asset Management
Managing your assets and all the parts you have to keep in stock can become really challenging, really fast.
Having too much inventory in stock is not good, but it is even worse if you’re missing a critical part needed to fix a machine whose breakdown caused the shutdown of the whole production line.
Successfully balancing on this thin line is almost impossible without utilizing the capabilities of modern maintenance software.
- Optimize stock levels
A good computerized maintenance management system will help you to optimize your stock levels by catching patterns of material consumption and adjusting your supply ordering accordingly.
What is even more helpful is that you can set desired stock levels for every part. If the number of selected items in stock falls below your set threshold, the system will automatically notify you so an order can be made in time.
- Eliminate human error through automated tracking
Get rid of costly human errors. Perform everything from tracking and information recording to monitoring automatically, without human intervention. With highly accurate and reliable data, the need to conduct manual inventory checks drops down significantly.
- Track maintenance upgrades and work history
Having access to the complete work history of your equipment and machines is one of the staples of computerized maintenance management systems.
A complete overview of work history along with work orders over the entire lifecycle of every piece of equipment sets you on the path towards a perfectly optimized maintenance plan by answering some very important questions.
- Standardize Your Best Practices, Improving Quality Control
With a CMMS you can track the performance of your maintenance operations to find which practices are the most effective and why.
At that point, you can set your business’s specific best practices as a standard to optimize your future workflow and increase productivity and efficiency.
- Optimize Resources by Limiting Scrap and Rework
Cut down on your costs on scrap and rework by optimizing your resources for higher productivity. A CMMS enables you to maintain your assets at their peak efficiency which reduces chances of significant material losses.
In manufacturing plants, a CMMS cuts down production failures by keeping your assets healthy through various strategies like preventive maintenance.
- Diagnose problems faster by looking up critical asset information
With immediate access to critical asset information, you can identify and diagnose problems much faster and with greater accuracy.
- Implement barcodes for easy identification
The barcoding technology helps you to quickly and easily identify your inventory. You can reduce manual data entry tasks and bring down costs by using the technology to connect your work orders, assets, spare parts, and purchase orders.
A computerized maintenance management software that has the support for barcodes lets you mark your asset with a QR code so your team can instantly look up the asset in the field. Your technicians can just scan the barcode and get all the necessary data in one simple swoop.
3. Workflow Improvements
If you are a maintenance manager in charge of multiple facilities at different locations and responsible for leading large maintenance teams, then you probably had those days where your whole shift was spent on your phone delegating tasks and answering questions.
Leaving you with the feeling that you weren’t able to do anything productive that day.
Luckily for you, this is where the CMMS shines. With the ability to automate a major part of the dull, repetitive tasks, speed-up the communication between your maintenance team and a whole set of other benefits we will discuss below, it is a life saver for every busy maintenance manager.
- Improve communication between your maintenance team
CMMS facilitates improved communication between your maintenance team. The platform can be used as an efficient communication tool which keeps your team on the same page.
Managers can quickly change work priorities, work orders, and due dates and communicate them quickly to the whole maintenance team. For example, you can leave a comment on specific work order which automatically notifies the technician (who is assigned that work order) allowing him or her to instantly view your comment in real-time on their mobile device.
You can use your CMMS to assign duties, create standardized maintenance processes and offer a stable communication platform for regular and emergency maintenance tasks.
Some CMMS even offer the ability to upload pictures to work orders as some things are much easier and faster to explain through a picture than through words.
- Have all the necessary data in one place
Are you tired of looking through endless spreadsheets, emails, text messages, Outlook calendars or other insufficient methods of tracking you have been using so far?
Within a CMMS you can have work orders, maintenance schedules, work histories, stock levels, machine health, asset information… – all necessary information in one place that can be accessed from anywhere.
If that alone wasn’t enough, some CMMS solutions will allow integrations with your current ERP software and similar solutions so you can leverage all of its advantages in combination with other tools.
- Understand future needs
Just like with inventory management, the wide spectrum of data in your CMMS helps you understand your future needs so that you can properly organize, automate and simplify your maintenance operations.
- Keep track of work progress from anywhere, at any time
If you are working in a facility that still hasn’t adopted mobile devices as a part of their daily workflow, now is the perfect time to put that on the list of your top priorities.
What’s the point of having one point of access for all of your critical information if you need to sit behind a desk to access it?
The true ability to track work progress from anywhere, at any time, can only be fully utilized with a computerized maintenance management system that has the support for multiple mobile devices.
Your productivity will skyrocket when you aren’t restricted to your office trying to keep tabs on the progress of all your team’s maintenance work.
- Quickly change work priority and assignments
Have a change of plans? Sudden machine malfunction? Technician taking a sick day?
You can get on your phone and start calling your team members one by one to let them know about task reassignments and work priority changes.
Or, you can let everyone involved know about the change in their work priorities with a simple task reassignment in your maintenance software.
One bad day is enough to throw your maintenance team into chaos if you do not have the ability to quickly communicate which work has the priority and who is in the best position to take care of it.
- Improve response time
We are all aware how breakdowns of critical assets can result in tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars lost in profit for every hour the line isn’t moving.
That alone should be the reason enough to put extra effort into improving the response time of your maintenance team.
- Eliminate unnecessary paperwork
CMMS eliminates the need for unnecessary paperwork and saves countless hours of manual labor and repetitive data entry. Barcode scanning, sensor transmitted data, automated scheduling, work history…we could go on for ages.
This alone should be the only reason you need to finally throw out that filing cabinet out of your office and upgrade to a CMMS.
- Improve accountability
Track each work order’s progress, status, delays, costs and time spent by who it is assigned to.
Unlike a traditional paper-based maintenance approach, a CMMS doesn’t allow work to get “lost” or “forgotten.”
Additionally, you can keep track of everything from your dashboard with real-time updates, avoiding a host of accountability issues as the system clearly shows who was responsible for any given task, the progress of that task and any comments as to the task’s status.
- Easily implement an effective preventive maintenance strategy
A good CMMS greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to set up and manage a preventive maintenance strategy.
You can use the system to quickly generate balanced automated schedules with detailed instructions and guidelines. The schedules can be automated based on a calendar or meter reading specific conditions.
The PM Builder feature in a CMMS is ideal for easily and intuitively implementing preventive maintenance plans.
You can create detailed PMs with step by step instructions, required parts, estimated labor and other job-specific resources within a matter of minutes. All of the PMs are automatically assigned, notified and delivered to the assigned employee at the right time for the right asset.
A CMMS can also be used to streamline your inspection process, helping technicians quickly finish and report the completion of their inspections.
- Ensure better safety
The platform is engineered to prevent major malfunctions, keep machines and equipment healthy and identify problem areas so that they can be addressed immediately.
When your equipment meets safety standards and you reduce the risk of critical failures, you automatically minimize any chance of accidents and ensure a safer work environment.
According to the Plant Engineering maintenance study 2017, when it comes to personnel training, the first spot is reserved for safety training with 81% of respondents saying that their personnel receives training in safety.
4. Tracking & Reporting
One of the first things you will notice when you start using a CMMS is the sheer amount of tracked data and reports you have at your disposal. It is something you can never achieve through manual tracking or Excel spreadsheets.
As with most other IT solutions, the main goal of maintenance software is to transform available data into helpful insights that lead to informed decisions and better business results.
Imagine a world in which instead of making guesses that “feel right”, you can make decisions based on hard statistical data with reports that let you justify your decision-making process to your boss.
- Find out your average time to repair (MTTR)
You can utilize your CMMS system to automatically calculate an average time it takes to repair or recover from a breakdown. It can also display and compare average repair times over select time periods. An excellent way to weigh your past and current performances.
All automatically done for you without having to break out a calculator.
- Find out your average time between failures (MTBF)
Another metric that can be very useful is finding out the average time a piece of equipment works without a hiccup.
Knowing how often a specific group of assets breaks down allows you to forecast and predict when the next breakdown may occur. This information greatly enhances your maintenance planning efforts and allows you to properly allocate your maintenance resources.
If you want to learn more about MTBF, MTTR, and MTTF and how to efficiently use them, check our in-depth guide on failure metrics. Formulas, screenshots, and examples included.
- Find maintenance trends and averages
Your CMMS dashboard presents multiple KPIs with real-time tracking. It combines all the saved historical data with a powerful analytic tool that helps you identify different trends and patterns.
For example, you may find that a specific HVAC unit has malfunctioned multiple times over the course of a year so you know that you need to increase PMs to avoid the same problem next year.
- View who has done what and what is that costing you
Overseeing bigger maintenance teams is challenging by its nature. If we are also talking about multiple locations and remote work, things get even more complicated.
Having a system that tracks work orders for each technician, makes it easy to spot underperforming employees allowing you to take timely corrective measures.
On top of that, you are also able to see if your schedule is fair and balanced so you can quickly reassign tasks if there is ever a need for it.
- Eliminate preventive maintenance waste
While taking preventive actions is commendable, spending too much resources on preventive maintenance is far from optimal.
Using CMMS to identifying preventive maintenance waste is yet another tool at your disposal.
The asset performance data tells you how many times a machine has broken down. If you find an asset never facing problems, there is a possibility you are doing too much preventive maintenance on it. That’s what we mean by ‘preventive maintenance waste.’
You can test scaling the work down a bit to reduce the time your maintenance team spends on an asset that probably doesn’t need to be maintained so often.
- Find out which assets are costing you the most and why
Keeping maintenance costs to a minimum is impossible without knowing which assets are costing you the most and why those costs are so high. This is where CMMS comes into play, laying out an asset’s total operating costs over its lifecycle.
When you combine that with additional information like the average cost of downtime per hour, spotting the most expensive assets and finding out the reasons behind it becomes exponentially easier.
With such deep insight, your team can come up with ways to control cost and introduce remedial measures.
- Find out which one of your locations is performing the best and why
Discover your most effective locations and learn how they are doing it, with access to all the information you need through your CMMS.
You can compare the performance of all your facilities on multiple levels to figure out why a particular location is either falling behind or outperforming the rest.
As it is often the case, the answer is in the numbers.
- Ensure compliance with regulatory standards
Lastly, CMMS ensures you comply with regulatory standards.
Industries need to abide by regulatory standards mandated by the government and international standard agencies.
Businesses involved in health, environmental, safety and food industries feel the extra pressure to create a safe and reliable working environment that meets required standards.
A CMMS will help you prepare for any incoming audit through detailed report generation.
As you can see, it is an impressive list that goes to show how claims about CMMS solutions bringing numerous benefits have solid foundations.
However, it is important to note that not every CMMS can bring all of the benefits mentioned above. That is why you should never compromise!
Always look for a mobile maintenance software with a user-friendly interface, features suited to cover your specific needs, and the ability to adjust to your workflow.