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Find the Right Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)

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3PL Warehouse Manager
Vendor Name: 3PL Central
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Vendor Name: FSC Limited
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360Facility
Vendor Name: Accruent
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AgileAssets
Vendor Name: AgileAssets
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API PRO
Vendor Name: API Maintenance Sys.
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TabWare
Vendor Name: AssetPoint
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Vendor Name: Schneider Electric
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Axxerion
Vendor Name: Axxerion USA
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Guide Ti
Vendor Name: COGEP
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collectiveFleet
Vendor Name: Collective Data
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Dematic Sprocket
Vendor Name: Dematic
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DirectLine
Vendor Name: Megamation
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Dossier Software
Vendor Name: Dossier Systems Inc.
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Dude Solutions
Vendor Name: Dude Solutions
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eMaintenance+
Vendor Name: Urgent Technology
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ePAC
Vendor Name: EPAC Soft. Tech. Inc.
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eRPortal
Vendor Name: eRPortal
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FaciliWorks
Vendor Name: CyberMetrics
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FastMaint
Vendor Name: SMGlobal Inc.
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FieldAware
Vendor Name: FieldAware
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FMX
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Fracttal
Vendor Name: EAMS Global-USA Inc.
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FTMaintenance
Vendor Name: FasTrak SoftWorks
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I'mOnIt!
Vendor Name: Sigma Data Systems
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IBM Maximo
Vendor Name: IBM
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Infor EAM
Vendor Name: Infor EAM
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iOFFICE
Vendor Name: iOFFICE
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Landport
Vendor Name: Landport Systems, Inc
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Limble CMMS software review by Better Buys
Limble CMMS
Vendor Name: Limble CMMS
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Maint. Connection
Vendor Name: Maint. Connection
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Maintenance Coordinator
Vendor Name: Simplicity Soft. Tech.
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Maintenance Pro
Vendor Name: Innovative Maintenance Systems
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ManagerPlus
Vendor Name: ManagerPlus
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MAPCON CMMS
Vendor Name: MAPCON Tech. Inc.
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Maxpanda
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MCIM
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MicroMain
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MPulse
Vendor Name: MPulse Maint. Soft.
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Oracle eAM
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Vendor Name: Wizard Soft. Solutions
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CMMS Buyer’s Guide

What is a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system)?

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) helps businesses streamline maintenance operations by tracking equipment, inventory and labor. Staff can manage work orders and develop preventive and predictive maintenance programs. The software can reduce equipment downtime and maintenance costs, as well as improve asset life.

CMMS Stats

  • The global market for maintenance, repair and operations will grow to $660 billion by 2020. Source: Beroe Inc.
  • 82% of companies had at least one unplanned downtime in the last three years. Source: ServiceMax.
  • Unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers $50 billion annually. Source: Deloitte.
  • Businesses lose an average of $260,000 for every hour of downtime. Source: Aberdeen.
  • 72% of organizations rank having no unplanned downtime as their No. 1 priority. Source: ServiceMax.
  • Maintenance costs an estimated 15% to 40% of total production costs. Source: UpKeep.
  • 57% of manufacturers use a run-to-failure maintenance strategy. Source: PlantEngineering.
  • Running equipment to failure can cost up to ten times more than running a regular maintenance program. Source: com.
  • 55% of manufacturers use spreadsheets to track maintenance. Source: PlantEngineering.
  • Poor maintenance strategies can reduce productive capacity up to 20%. Source: Deloitte.
  • 70% of companies lack complete awareness of when equipment is due for maintenance. Source: ServiceMax.
  • Only 58% of maintenance teams are trained in preventive maintenance. Source: PlantEngineering.
  • A predictive maintenance program can save organizations up to 40% of maintenance costs compared to a reactive maintenance program. Source: ReliablePlant.

Common Features of CMMS Software

CMMS solutions include several typical features:

Asset management – Asset management lets companies track physical and fixed assets, such as equipment, machinery, vehicles and buildings. For each asset, a CMMS can record and store the purchase date, price, serial number, technical specifications, manual, warranty, location, condition, safety permit and maintenance history. The feature also lets companies organize assets by type, department and other categories.

Inventory management – Inventory management helps companies make sure that inventory, spare parts and maintenance tools are available when repairs are needed. The feature can monitor the quantity of spare parts, alert maintenance of low levels and automatically order new supplies. It also records and stores info for each item, such as type, model number, date of purchase, price, supplier, location and warranty.

Work order management – Work order management streamlines maintenance tasks, such as inspections and repairs. Customers and employees can submit maintenance requests through an online form or directly through the system. Managers can prioritize work orders, schedule repairs and assign tasks to specific employees. For each work order, the software can track the service technician, equipment issues, repair history, amount of downtime and cost of repair. Some CMMS solutions can even make recommendations for future maintenance steps.

Preventive maintenance – Preventive (or preventative) maintenance helps companies develop a routine maintenance schedule, based upon machine usage or time. Equipment is regularly serviced before a breakdown happens. Some CMMS solutions also offer a library of common preventative maintenance tasks and procedures.

Predictive maintenancePredictive maintenance analyzes machine conditions to predict potential machine breakdowns. The feature integrates with condition-based monitoring devices that track noise, vibration, temperature, corrosion, voltage, pressure and flow. If the condition goes beyond an acceptable range, the software can automatically trigger an alert and generate a work order.

Mobile accessMobile access lets maintenance workers in the field view equipment info and work orders via a smartphone or tablet. Users can take photos of equipment and repair progress, request help and order spare parts. Some CMMS solutions can also scan QR codes or bar codes on equipment or inventory to display info.

Scheduling – Scheduling functions let companies assign maintenance tasks based upon worker availability and predictive or preventive maintenance programs. The software can also alert users when maintenance is due based upon government regulations, industry estimates or manufacturer guidelines.

Reports and analytics – Reports and analytics helps companies generate audit-ready reports to demonstrate compliance with safety and environmental regulations. CMMS software also gives management analytical tools to understand key performance indicators (KPIs) for equipment productivity, maintenance labor costs and return on investment.

Top Benefits of CMMS Software

Computerized maintenance management systems have many benefits, including:

Less equipment downtime

Unplanned equipment downtime can bring business to a standstill and drive good customers away. With a CMMS solution and a proactive maintenance plan, equipment should run more smoothly and break down less often.

In addition, maintenance can be planned around important projects, during times when machines won’t be in use. As a result, planned downtime won’t delay services or interfere with production.

Increased asset lifespan and ROI

When one part of a machine malfunctions, it can result in permanent damage to other parts. Preventing breakdowns entirely can greatly extend the lifespan of equipment.

Purchasing equipment also requires a significant investment from the company. If the asset lasts longer, it can generate more profits, delay the need to buy more equipment and increase the return on investment.

Digitized maintenance records

In the past, maintenance departments kept asset info on disorganized pen and paper records or error-prone spreadsheets. Hard copies of manuals, warranties and permits could be easily lost or destroyed.

With a CMMS solution, companies can attach vital records and documents to specific assets in an electronic database. Assets can be assigned to particular departments or maintenance workers and viewed by categories, such as last service date or cost.

Scheduling tools and automated alerts

Many maintenance programs rely on a schedule of routine inspections and repairs. However, busy employees or departments with frequent turnover can often lose track of essential maintenance tasks.

CMMS software can alert users when maintenance is due based on various regulatory or manufacturer guidelines. In addition, monitoring devices can alert users when a piece of equipment is in danger of breakdown and even automatically generate a work order.

Predictive and preventive maintenance programs

Proactive maintenance programs, such as predictive and preventive maintenance, require data and organization. For example, preventive maintenance needs tasks to be completed on a schedule. A CMMS offers calendar features, automated alerts and checklists to streamline the process.

A predictive maintenance program needs to be integrated with condition-based monitoring devices. Without a CMMS solution, a company wouldn’t be able to access and analyze the data from these devices.

Better inventory control

Businesses need spare parts and tools on hand to maintain and repair their equipment. However, carrying too much inventory is inefficient, especially when supplies can be lost or stolen.

CMMS solutions help companies balance inventory needs and keep only necessary quantities in stock. Maintenance employees can note when they use spare parts or consumable items like oil, and the software can automatically order new supplies when inventory gets low.

Streamlined work orders

Work orders require coordination between the department that uses the equipment, managers in the maintenance department and service technicians who are responsible for inspections and repairs. With so many different groups, it’s easy for the ball to get dropped.

CMMS software streamlines the process to ensure that maintenance is completed on time and in the best order. Work orders can be automatically generated by monitoring devices, or submitted by customers or employees through an online form or mobile app.

Managers can then prioritize which work orders should be completed first and assign them to specific technicians. Service technicians can record what repairs are made, mark the work order as complete, order more spare parts or supplies, and schedule future maintenance tasks.

Improved labor productivity

Maintenance workers are valuable and their time shouldn’t be wasted on administrative tasks. They should be able to quickly and easily get the info they need to do their main job—making sure equipment is working properly.

A CMMS solution can improve maintenance worker productivity with several features. First, users can scan a QR code on a piece of equipment with a mobile app. The software will display previous work orders, maintenance history, the last inspection date, specifications, manuals and video guides for conducting maintenance.

While at a jobsite, maintenance workers can attach photos of problem areas or finished repairs and complete work orders. With a tool to access info quickly and coordinate maintenance, companies can increase their labor productivity and reduce costs.

Simpler regulatory compliance

Many businesses face safety, environmental or other government regulations when it comes to inspecting and repairing equipment.

These companies can use a CMMS to stay compliant by keeping worker safety procedures readily available, tracking maintenance histories and documenting completed inspections. These automated processes create a permanent and easily auditable maintenance record.

More data-driven budgeting and decision making

Companies can spend a lot of money to keep assets running smoothly, and it may not always be the right financial decision.

CMMS software collects data on a wide range of key performance indicators: downtime, inventory and supply costs, the amount of time it takes to repair equipment, etc. Managers can use the data to spot maintenance trends, prepare budgets and analyze the cost-benefit of different maintenance strategies.

CMMS vs. EAM

Computerized maintenance management systems and enterprise asset management (EAM) systems are sometimes confused, because they’re both used to manage company assets. However, EAM software covers the entire lifecycle of a wide range of company assets, such as:

  • Physical – products and inventory
  • Fixed – land, equipment and buildings
  • Digital – multimedia content and training materials
  • IT – software licenses and hardware

In contrast, CMMS software only covers physical and fixed assets. Because EAM solutions manage many types of assets, they also have broader functionality and greater scalability, including multiple locations and business units.

A CMMS solution can be integrated with an EAM, and both types of software can be integrated with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Preventive Maintenance vs. Predictive Maintenance

Many companies only perform maintenance once a machine has failed. However, this type of reactive maintenance strategy is inefficient and expensive.

Preventive and predictive maintenance are both proactive ways to conduct maintenance. Their goal is to service equipment before a breakdown happens.

However, the two strategies are not identical. Here’s how each strategy is defined:

  • Preventive maintenance is regularly performed after a certain amount of time or equipment usage.
  • Predictive maintenance uses monitoring devices to track specific conditions of the equipment, such as heat or vibration. If those conditions go beyond an acceptable range, then the equipment is serviced.

A preventive maintenance program is less complex and cheaper at first than a predictive maintenance program because the company doesn’t have to install expensive monitoring devices on its equipment. Small businesses, in particular, may not have the initial capital to purchase the devices or the internal IT knowledge to install and maintain them.

On the other hand, a predictive maintenance program can save businesses money in the long run, since maintenance workers only service a machine when it’s close to failing. With a preventive maintenance program, equipment is often serviced more than necessary, which can increase the cost of spare parts and labor. Technicians can also create more problems by accident when servicing equipment more often than it’s needed.

In general, both preventive and predictive maintenance programs are more cost-efficient than a reactive maintenance program. Companies should compare the benefits of each program against the costs and challenges.

In either case, CMMS software gives companies the necessary tools and technology to develop and keep track of a proactive maintenance plan.

Types of CMMS Buyers

Companies of various sizes and in different industries may consider purchasing a CMMS solution. These buyers generally fall into one of the following categories:

Large and enterprise-level companies – Larger buyers often have complex facilities and equipment in multiple locations and industries, so they benefit from a robust CMMS that helps them organize their assets and comply with various government regulations. In addition, they are more likely to have the capital to invest in monitoring devices needed for a predictive maintenance program. Larger companies should also consider a CMMS that can integrate with EAM and ERP solutions.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) – SMBs might only have a single-site facility and need straightforward upkeep and one-off troubleshooting. They benefit from a simple, intuitive CMMS to track assets and work orders. The software can also help them set up and schedule a preventive maintenance plan, which doesn’t require as much implementation and initial cost as a predictive maintenance program.

Industry-specific buyers – Some buyers may need a CMMS solution with advanced features for their industry. For example, a logistics company with dozens of trucks will need fleet management functionality that can not only track mileage and fuel economy, but also driver history and performance. Fleet management features can even make recommendations for optimized routes and driver schedules.

CMMS Pricing

CMMS software prices vary depending on method of deployment, number of users, and level of functionality and customizations.

For a web-hosted CMMS, small businesses with only one or two users might pay $50 to $100 per month, while mid-sized companies will probably pay several hundred dollars.

Companies can also purchase an off-the-shelf CMMS without customizations for $750 to $1000.

For customized on-premise solutions, vendors typically charge a base fee for the software and a separate fee for each user. Small companies might pay between $1,500 and $10,000, while larger businesses with more comprehensive needs can spend $10,000 to $40,000.

These prices don’t include support and software upgrades, which can run about 20% of the total purchase price each year.

How to Choose CMMS Software

CMMS software can range in features and pricing, so it’s important to take the time to research your options. We recommend the following steps when choosing a CMMS solution:

1. Identify your company’s needs

The first step in identifying your needs is to understand what type of assets your company has to manage. Do you have a fleet of vehicles, a single factory or multiple manufacturing sites in different countries?

The next step is to get input from maintenance staff and managers. How are maintenance records currently handled? What tasks require the most time from technicians? How often do machines break down and what’s the repair process?

You should also consider your maintenance program and the program you’d like to implement. Do you wait until equipment has failed before servicing it? Do you have the money and internal IT staff to implement a predictive maintenance plan, or would a simpler preventive plan work better for your needs?

It’s a good idea figure out which key performance indicators will be affected by a CMMS solution. Will it reduce downtime and increase asset life? Can it decrease labor costs? Gathering this info can help demonstrate a business need for CMMS software to get management buy-in.

2. Create a shortlist

Research vendors that best fit your needs. In addition to current requirements, consider the implementation process and the scalability of the CMMS solution.

The implementation process can vary significantly. You’ll want to speak with vendors and ask about timelines and fees. Be sure to ask if training is available.

Think about what types of assets you have now and may purchase in the future. If you plan to grow the company, make sure the CMMS is scalable. It should be able to handle various asset types and users.

Once you’ve researched these issues, you can put together a shortlist of vendors whose software matches your needs.

3. Contact vendors

Begin contacting vendors on your shortlist. You should request a demo of the solution to see how it works. Make sure to test the software with the managers and technicians who’ll use it most often.

As discussed in the Pricing section above, CMMS solutions vary in cost. You’ll need to factor in the number of assets and users required. It’s important to fully understand the vendor’s pricing structure.

Some vendors also charge extra for implementation, support and training. Keep this in mind when asking for a quote. You’ll want to compare all-in prices among different vendors.

4. Get customer references

Once you’ve completed a demo of the CMMS solution and have a better understanding of price and services, it’s time to get references from a vendor’s current or previous clients. If the vendor has been in business for less than five years, it’s particularly important to get references.

The vendor will give you the names of clients with positive experiences, but make sure to ask for companies that have similar needs to yours (e.g., businesses with a fleet of vehicles or that only have a single factory).

When contacting the reference, ask if there have been any issues with the vendor or the solution.

Challenges of CMMS Software

Every software has pros and cons. Using CMMS software has its own challenges, including:

Managing change

Implementing a CMMS solution requires coordination between various departments, including IT, maintenance, operations and accounting. These stakeholders may have issues with adopting new technology.

Operations might be slow to accept automated maintenance processes and make decisions based upon new data. Maintenance workers may be hesitant to stop using pen and paper record systems and printed equipment manuals.

It’s important to keep lines of communication open during implementation and to manage change for all employees.

Lack of goal setting

Investing in a CMMS solution requires significant capital. To demonstrate a strong return on investment, businesses need to set clear goals before purchasing the software.

Vague objectives like “saving money” and “fixing machines” can lead to unsatisfactory results. Instead, make sure to have specific, clear goals, such as:

  • Reducing downtime to X hours
  • Increasing asset lifespan to X years
  • Reducing labor costs by X percent
  • Streamlining the scheduling process to save X amount of time

Once a company has defined its goals and key performance indicators, it can better analyze whether the investment was a success.

Planning for future scalability

Companies purchase CMMS software to manage their current assets. As these businesses grow, however, new assets may require additional functionality. When researching the right CMMS tool for your business, consider future growth.

For example, if your business will eventually purchase more vehicles, be sure to look for a CMMS solution with extensive fleet management features.

Before committing to a specific vendor, it’s important to plan for multiple assets types, an increasing number of users and various kinds of maintenance programs.

Untrained maintenance team

CMMS software can streamline maintenance processes by extending the lifespan of machinery, organizing schedules and sending work orders from dozens of sources.

However, it can’t actually perform maintenance on your assets. Workers need to be qualified and properly trained in maintenance and repair for a CMMS solution to provide the desired benefits.

A CMMS works best with a professional maintenance team, not as a replacement for one.

CMMS Market Trends

Better Buys asked industry experts for the biggest CMMS market trends in 2019. Here are their insights:

Rise of cloud CMMS solutions

For years, on-premise CMMS deployments were the norm. Now more companies are investing in cloud solutions. In response, many vendors are re-engineering their old on-premise software for the cloud.

Cloud CMMS solutions are easier to implement and have lower upfront costs than on-premise solutions. The main downside is that cloud software generally offers fewer customizations. This might not be an issue, however, for small businesses with a single-site facility that need only basic functionality.

Adoption of IoT devices and predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance requires the use of condition-based monitoring devices, which in the past were too costly for many businesses. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), these devices are becoming cheaper and more readily available.

Small businesses can now purchase IoT devices for several hundred dollars. The devices can gather data to predict equipment breakdowns before they happen, which allows more companies to adopt predictive maintenance strategies.

Integration with asset performance management software

Many large manufacturers are now using asset performance management (APM) systems to maximize production and quality by ensuring assets are ready and available when needed.

The software integrates with CMMS and EAM solutions, and shares data between maintenance and operations departments. Managers can coordinate production schedules with maintenance needs in mind. And business leaders can analyze the financial impact of various manufacturing and maintenance strategies.

Recent CMMS Blog Posts

To stay up to date on what’s happening in the market, check out our recent CMMS blog posts.