How to Measure the Impact of CMMS

Implementing computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software can have a significant impact on your maintenance operations. Over time, this impact increases as users learn the software, historical data is analyzed to facilitate changes, and a preventive maintenance schedule is implemented. CMMS software provides benefits that are both easy (quantitative measures) and not so easy (qualitative measures) to measure. It’s important to learn how to measure the impact of your CMMS to help you determine whether you are meeting your goals and where you can make improvements.

KPIs that Measure the Impact of a CMMS

There are numerous key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use to gauge the success of your CMMS, and to guide your maintenance activities. The most valuable KPIs to measure will vary by organization, depending on what is important to them. However, here are some important ones that most maintenance teams measure:

  1. Work Order Efficiency – Implementing a CMMS will improve the maintenance team’s productivity. If you are able to schedule preventive maintenance jobs in a CMMS, your work order process will be more organized, and you’ll get more done faster. You should measure scheduled, completed, and past due work orders. Overall, a CMMS will improve the efficiency of your workflow by a measurable percentage.
  2. Estimated vs. Actual Time Spent – Put simply, this is the actual time spent performing a job compared to the estimated time it takes to complete a job. A CMMS makes this key performance indicator easy to measure while tracking specific data to help you make decisions to facilitate improvements.
  3. Costs and Spending – As your preventive maintenance increases, your reactive (or corrective) maintenance decreases, leading to quantifiable cost savings.
  4. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) – While OEE does not apply to every industry, it is a widely used method for measuring the output of various types of equipment. A CMMS provides data on repair times for assets, one of the variables involved in calculating your OEE, which your maintenance department can give to the production department as a means of checks and balances. Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) can also be determined by a CMMS and contribute to OEE.

Expected CMMS Implementation Results

After a CMMS has been in use, there are results you can expect to see over time that are both tangible (quantitative) and intangible (qualitative).

Quantitative

While the numbers will vary for every company, there are several common tangible improvements that are most likely to occur. Some measurable results you can expect to see include:

  • Improved on-time preventive maintenance job completion
  • Increased work order process efficiency
  • Reduction in surplus MRO inventory
  • Reduction in asset downtime
  • Lower time to repair
  • Faster troubleshooting through viewing digital maintenance history

Qualitative

Not every benefit of using a CMMS can be easily measured. There are many benefits which are harder to measure, but still prove a CMMS is a worthwhile investment. Dave Dulak, an FTMaintenance Product Expert at FasTrak SoftWorks, Inc., described in detail some of these ‘less measurable” benefits he has seen many customers experience since working with them over the last 10 years.

One benefit of using a CMMS that cannot be measured is that it facilitates better informed maintenance decision-making. The ability to record, review, and analyze data, then draw conclusions from it, is much easier to do with a CMMS. You’ll be able to prioritize maintenance jobs more efficiently, allocate labor hours more effectively, order spare parts in advance, and much more.

A computerized maintenance management system leads to improved communication within your maintenance department and with other departments.  You’ll be able to check the status of jobs, assign and close work orders, and electronically adjust inventory counts. You can also report data to all stakeholders in a clearer, more organized way.

Another metric that may seem difficult to measure is extended asset lifecycles.  While, this data can be measured over time, it can take years to collect enough data to draw meaningful conclusions.  Assets last for several years or even multiple decades depending on the type of asset, so a true comparison of asset life before and after implementing a CMMS can take an entire career to measure. However, you will reap the benefits of your assets lasting longer in the immediate future.

Finally, one of the most important intangible results you will see from using a CMMS is raised visibility of the maintenance team as a valuable component of the organization. It will make maintenance staff look good to upper management and help the organization truly recognize the importance of a skilled maintenance department.

Assessing the Impact of a CMMS

The areas of impact resulting from using a CMMS depend on the stakeholder. Some may be more important to executives and others may be more important to maintenance managers. Executives will assess whether or not they are still hearing about problems a CMMS was supposed to solve. If they are hearing about them less or not at all, they consider the CMMS to be a success. On the other hand, maintenance managers will ask themselves if their staff is able to do their jobs better because of a CMMS. If the answer is yes, they consider the CMMS implementation to be successful.

One important way to assess the impact of your CMMS is through reporting. You can correlate any and all data in customizable reports to find the comparisons and numbers you’re looking for. CMMS systems have reports available on work order completion, mean time between asset failures, estimated versus actual labor hours, inventory counts, purchasing information, and more. Finding set timeframes to review this data (monthly, bi-monthly, every six months, yearly) that work for your organization is essential. In order to ensure your reports provide accurate and useful data, there should be guidelines put in place for what data needs to be entered and when, which should be shared with your entire team.

Using consulting services, available through your CMMS vendor, is another way to further assess the impact of your CMMS. A consultant can make recommendations on process changes, help you learn how to better use the software, and show you how to interpret reports.

Choosing a CMMS for Greatest Impact

For the greatest beneficial impact to your maintenance process, it is important to choose the correct CMMS. A good CMMS will provide the tools needed to measure its impact on the organization. Better Buys provides businesses in the market for CMMS software with information and reviews about the industry’s top CMMS vendors. You’ll get an overview of each system’s features, customer service and support, screenshots, and more to help you determine which CMMS is right for you.

Author Bio: Sarah Beackley is an Online Marketing Specialist for FasTrak SoftWorks, Inc, provider of FTMaintenance computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software. She writes for the FTMaintenance blog, in addition to contributing case studies and other website content.

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