Excel Spreadsheet vs. CMMS for Effective Maintenance Management

by Elena Haidukova, Comindware

With each New Year, we still strive to further increase the efficiency of how we work or go about our daily activities.

In this particular case, we want to highlight one particular business tool that has long improved work efficiency. That is the iconic Microsoft Excel. Since its introduction in 1985, Excel has always held the top spot in B2B solutions. Its multitude of features, functionalities and flexibility made it the business favorite it has become.

Blog post by Comindware on BetterBuys.com

Businesses of all sizes have implemented Excel as a trusted analysis too. More relevant to this piece, it has also been widely deployed as a maintenance management tool of choice.

For scores of companies, however, today’s business needs and trends have outgrown the scope of what Excel offers. As business goals have grown more sophisticated, companies have demanded more options and functionality from Excel.

What, then, is next in Maintenance Management?

Nevertheless, a large percentage of businesses across the globe have come to rely on Excel as a maintenance management tool, despite its limited functionality in that arena. In the gap between what maintenance managers demand from Excel and what it can actually do, a new solution is in the offing and being actively pursued by facilities management.

This emerging solution is CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems), which aims at doing all that Excel can while offering more powerful options and features that extend maintenance management functionality.

We’ll take a look at this growing trend in maintenance management and compare it to current, conventional Excel spreadsheets.

A brief comparison of the two Maintenance Management Tools

When it comes to the management of resources and tracking project progress, there is no doubt about the functional quality that Excel has provided over the years.

However, to meet the maintenance and project management demands of 21st century businesses, solutions have had to keep pace – or be invented. And that’s where CMMS has gained traction and marketshare.

CMMS expedites work and parts orders to accelerate repairs and minimize downtime.

To help further understand the effectiveness and value that a CMMS tool provides when you invest in it, here are two noteworthy aspects to consider:

1. Complexity of Functions

Excel spreadsheets are known to be handy in performing some otherwise difficult-to-accomplish calculations and analysis. Its scope is, however, limited compared to what CMMS software can offer. CMMS performs more complex functions while at the same time producing faster results. This functional complexity and speed promote operations efficiency and supply better decision-making analytics for a company.

2. Data handling

Research has shown that nearly 84% of all spreadsheets contain errors, usually a result of human input or data merges from disparate databases. In addition, accessing data on Excel spreadsheets is easy even for unauthorized persons. This raises the question of data security.

CMMS features, on the other hand, have been designed to adequately address both these issues, promising accurate, secure and robust data-handling performance.

4 Key Features of CMMS Software

Those features which really set CMMS apart from Excel are:

  • Dedicated work-order section
  • Simple and interactive GUI and dashboards
  • Efficient and well-advanced reporting tools
  • Remote accessibility

Adopting a CMMS solution affords many benefits over Excel. Three of the most valuable are:

1. Swifter response rate

Due to CMMS’ web-based nature, tasks – like submitting work or parts orders – can be dispatched to concerned parties as they happen. This means that whenever an issue occurs, real-time response can be effected. Response times are trimmed. Repairs are completed sooner.

2. Sharper decision-making

Due to the rapid nature of CMMS software to analyze and produce results, it can allow managers and higher executives make better, faster decisions when addressing maintenance issues.

Furthermore, CMMS stores a repository of all necessary information for a particular issue, compiled for reference or re-analysis under different parameters to get the results you need.

3. Increased productivity

Owing to the efficient and powerful nature of the CMMS, tracking activities within a company has been simplified. This means that variations in expected output or input can be easily identified and rectified.

In Conclusion

Excel has been around for more than 30 years and has consistently proven itself a powerful and useful tool that continues to be deployed by many businesses. However, as demand for more sophisticated maintenance management grows and extended functionalities become essential, CMMS will continue to take market share away from Excel. If your company hasn’t yet, it should explore this next big thing in business maintenance management.

Comindware guest blog for BetterBuys.comAbout the Author: Elena Haidukova is a Marketing Manager at Comindware Inc., and a passionate advocate for empowering executive managers onward to workflow automation and running their businesses effectively.

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  1. Shayur Maharaj says

    Great piece. I think it really highlights the benefits of a CMMS system rather than other forms of tracking and recording this information