CMMS Market Trends
Important changes are coming.
Intelligent hardware has hit the market, and many solutions have started to upgrade features and services.
Without a doubt, CMMS is headed upward — toward the cloud.
Movement Toward the Cloud
What used to be done from 9 to 5 in an office chair is now done around the clock while on the go.
Across all industries and software groups, cloud and mobile technologies are changing the way businesses operate. But the maintenance space was hesitant to catch on until the right practices were in place.
For CMMS software, this means platforms that were once hosted on-premise are now offered through the cloud with the benefits of:
- Faster service
- Less expensive storage
- 24/7 access via tablets, home computers and mobile devices
CMMS on the cloud can be completed in a matter of days.
The most consideration should come before deciding on a vendor, followed by consultation on custom needs, then account creation. With software that has to be installed on-premise, deployment can take weeks or months. While on-premise still offers the highest security, cloud options allow companies to quickly scale out operations.
Since there is no hardware involved, there is no lag time waiting for IT to install new parts or warehouse data.
Less IT Involvement
In addition to saving on hardware fees, CMMS on the cloud requires fewer personnel to maintain the system.
A service representative doesn’t need to come to your location to install hardware, either. The entire set up is simplified and can be orchestrated from different locations.
Some vendors have noticed a problem called subscription fatigue, when buyers are tired of paying for Software as a Service through monthly or yearly fees. To address this, some vendors have begun offering bonuses by supplementing paid services with free cloud hosting.
Too often, staff working with on-premise systems have to back up their information on another server. This is clumsy, time-consuming and not always reliable. But it’s also necessary, as it’s too dangerous to risk losing information on asset history, work orders and other critical data.
CMMS on the cloud handles these difficulties. Information is available online 24/7. And increasingly, vendors are promising that software will be operational at least 99% of the time, including scheduled downtime.
Companies looking to stay competitive in a business world that never rests are finding cloud solutions to be invaluable.
Maintenance managers can be very effective when managing operations on the warehouse floor. CMMS offers key information in real time and in the palm of your hand.
As adoption of mobile CMMS increases, vendors are developing more specialized versions of their products for specific jobs.
Increasingly, CMMS vendors are making mobile technology their top priority.
One of the most obvious benefits of any kind of mobile technology is convenience.
In the maintenance world, this may look a little different, but the end result is the same: saved time, resulting in saved money.
When a new order is put into the system, drivers no longer need to travel all the way back to the office or even get out of their trucks. They can find out what they need to know from their phones, and arrive at the destination faster.
While mobile solutions initially began as a way to limit or eliminate paperwork, functions have evolved. Now, users want more and more features on-the-go.
This way, a maintenance manager doesn’t need to stop at an office to access a dashboard or report for the day. Everything is accessible from anywhere.
On a very practical level, mobile CMMS means users don’t need to worry about printing work orders and carrying them around, so less paper is wasted.
There are no more paper stacks or disorganized cabinets. Modern employees are accustomed to carrying a phone, and now that maintenance can be managed with an app, taking information on the go doesn’t require a stop at the printer. Maintenance staff can cut down on the clutter of printed work orders, warranties, purchase receipts, training manuals and more.
New technology can be nerve racking.
Many maintenance end-users aren’t familiar with new technology. Despite this competency gap, mobile platforms have proven to be an effective way of getting buy-in from employees. While most CMMS users may not recognize the admin panel of a Windows computer, many recognize the navigation on an iPad.
Applying this knowledge can help users adapt to mobile CMMS technology.
In one university facilities department, managers gave employees smartphones and encouraged them to download apps and play games. As those employees grew accustomed to mobile technology, they became more likely to effectively use CMMS on the job.
Because implementation is one of the biggest challenges companies face with CMMS, It’s important to figure out how to ensure widespread adoption.
Vendors are quickly adapting to customer needs.
As the market changes, developers are creating smarter, faster and more intuitive software to meet the evolving needs of maintenance professionals.
We’ve surveyed industry analysts and experts in the CMMS field and developed three key predictions for the future of maintenance tech.
1. CMMS vendors will become software innovators in response to more technically advanced maintenance staff.
New technology has typically been around for a while before it’s used by a CMMS solution. This is partly because of a general resistance to new technologies in the maintenance profession – but all of that is changing.
There’s a new mentality within the maintenance profession, dispelling certain past stereotypes. As Rui Alves, President of commaCMMS states: “Previous assumptions about what ‘maintenance guys’ can do with computers are going by the wayside.”
Maintenance technicians that were once considered low-priority Mr. Fix-its are empowered with data like never before.
As these technicians adopt smartphones, iPads and other new devices, more intuitive CMMS solutions are being developed in response. Pairing technology with data allows staff to take advantage of an intelligent maintenance system.
Maintenance departments are having a greater impact on the bottom line according to Paul LaChance, President & CTO of Smartware Group: “Maintenance professionals are recognizing their department as a profit center for getting the most out of the company’s equipment through better reporting and analysis aimed towards an ROI.”
CMMS plays a large role in how companies are shifting toward long term efficiency.
All of this lands right in the palm of a maintenance guy’s hand.
2. Condition-based maintenance will grow as a feature separate from preventive or predictive maintenance.
Preventive maintenance relies on a routine to avoid a potential break down.
While it’s important to schedule routine maintenance, it’s not the only maintenance method available. Other methods analyze data to determine ongoing trends and take a scientific approach to monitoring a company’s assets.
Condition-based maintenance is the next generation of preventive maintenance.
Instead of determining repairs based on the past, condition-based programs base recommendations on the present. Edward Garibian, President of eRPortal, describes this type of feature as: “Alerts and triggers in place for notifying staff of significant changes as they happen in order to act on them without delay.”
Real-time notifications allow greater insight into how high capital equipment is operating. With the right hardware in place, CMMS can support any asset’s life-cycle. When maintenance departments invest in high capital equipment, the solution can collect all the data needed for keeping track of performance.
The next advancement for maintaining equipment is through predictive technology.
When CMMS couples reporting functionality with condition-based maintenance, users can predict when an asset will need attention. Fred Schenkelberg, Reliability Engineering and Managing Consultant with FMS Reliability, explains predictive maintenance as “an advantage over condition-based maintenance because this method uses both a degradation pattern and formula to know how it’s wearing out.”
CMMS is capable of keeping track of your maintenance needs whether you rely on preventive measures, condition-based readings, or an upgrade to predictive technology.
3. The user’s experience will improve through streamlined tasks.
As technology improves, CMMS continues to hone in on what matters most to its users.
Dashboards and user interfaces (UI) have evolved to become even more intuitive and easy-to-use.
Vendors are paying close attention to how maintenance personnel use CMMS while on the job. According to Rona Palmer, Marketing Director with eMaint, features are evolving to meet faster, more streamlined needs: “Clients want to be able to take a photo of a problem, attach it to a work order, assign work, look up and call a vendor to order a part – all on the fly.”
Mobility has become a must-have for employees on-the-go. CMMS provides the specialized tech for a maintenance staff’s needs.
Other display innovations give CMMS users a customized image of exactly what they need to take action. Jason Johnson, VP of Sales & Marketing with MPulse says: “Our Asset Status Board features allow maintenance personnel to get a real-time picture of their entire operation on a single screen—then drill down to handle ‘hot spots’ at a glance.”
These custom visuals offer greater potential than standard dashboards, and ensure that everyone with CMMS access is on the same page in real time. Then, when a problem does occur, everyone is ready to respond.
In a fast-paced work environment, users have the information needed to make decisions when and where it matters most.