(photo: RF Studio)
15.01.2021, 12:59

CMMS and the Business of Managing Facilities

Operation & Maintenance, ICT, Cloud Solutions & Strategies, Technology

Shaon Shahnewaz, marketing lead at CloudApper, explains why computerized maintenance management systems are becoming increasingly popular.


Computerised maintenance management systems are often associated with industrial and manufacturing plants but are increasingly being implemented by a wider range of commercial and public sector organisations. 


A CMMS system, preferably with a cloud based and mobile phone access, that grows and develops alongside the company it is implemented in should be a prerequisite for all facility management departments. 


Implementing a CMMS ensures that the management of the facility will be more organised rather than reactive. After all panicking during a breakdown is not effective and with CMMS systems becoming more affordable, as well as increasing profits through their increased return on investments, there should not be a reason not to have one.  


The functions and benefits 

CMMS systems now provide an organized single platform for businesses. The benefit of this is simple, businesses can now store all the facility management related information on one easily accessible cloud based system that can be accessed by all whether it is through their computer in the office or mobile phone in the work site, this is extremely useful on work sites with a large footprint such as industrial plants. 


Equipment manuals, warranty information, operating methods and procedures, audio and visual guides as well as maintenance history, these can all be accessed on the system. Barcode scanning functionality also allows employers to gain deeper insight on the maintenance history of the facility and the assets in case the business chooses to sell equipment later on.  


Maintenance allocation has never been easier. Create, receive and assign workers orders and once they have been allocated the order can be easily monitored through the system. Work orders can be created quickly as soon as a breakdown may occur to reduce the amount of time lost and employers can be certain the order will be attended to efficiently as they can monitor the process.


Managing work orders provides other benefits as well, assigning employees to conduct preventive maintenance reduces the possibility of breakdowns from occurring. Reducing breakdowns reduces facility costs and increases the return on investments a business will receive from the assets, notably their manufacturing equipment and worksite. 


It is vital for facility management professionals to steer clear of the trap of reactive management which is characterised by a propensity for unforeseen breakdowns. CMMS solutions with functions that make allocating employees and resources easier through the application. This is done by streamlining the work order processes and allocating the correct amount of resources needed based on historical information recorded on the system. 


Uploading and sharing information becomes easier. Maintaining archaic logbooks is no longer acceptable in any businesses, the files can be easily lost or damaged. Paper based logbooks are also inaccurate and prone to human errors such as a double entry in a maintenance schedule. CMMS systems manage maintenance and asset information, for example if a business has a preferred vendor for their materials used or assets purchased then receipts, invoices and material details can all be uploaded and accessed on the system.  


Work conducted by external contractors can also be captured on a CMMS system in order to ensure a comprehensive maintenance history on a company's assets. 


Understanding the budget or equipment replacement forecasting is important however so is the ability to convey this information when necessary. The platform CMMS makes available to employers makes reporting between departments easier and more accurate. 


If maintenance or repairs is carried out within the workplace by an external contractor, or in the case of large enterprises an independent department, then a CMMS system can provide a overview of the process to the financial department who will be paying for the services, costs can also be included as this information along with expenses will be on the system. 


Leveraging the benefits of a CMMS solution to its full potential also means that employee reports can also be drafted. To be certain of the efficiency of the staff reports can be created tracking the hours spent on maintenance duties from information gained from the CMMS reports, this information can then be compared to time spent on other duties to make informed employee decisions.


CMMS systems provide transparency of maintenance management activities

An often overlooked benefit that a company will receive from a good CMMS system is an improvement in the relationship with customers. The business environment is increasingly goal driven, a business wants to work with another company that they are confident can deliver. In order to remain reliable and always deliver the facilities and assets a business uses must always remain in optimal condition, a CMMS system can help businesses be certain of this. Insight gained will always be beneficial, being able to update customers on the status of their work orders will be highly appreciated by customers and in turn strengthen the business relationship. 


Leveraging the functions of a CMMS system to reap the benefits of automated maintenance reporting and management is not just a smart decision but, in most cases, the responsible one to make.  


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