Maintenance Management System – Do I need one?

I guess that you know that I wouldn’t have written this article unless the answer was “Yes”, right…? but seriously speaking – there is some rationality behind this definite answer. During my career in information systems, I am often told: “Do I really need to buy software for that? We have our procedures and excel files that we use for years and it works just great!”. This was the exact case a few years back when I was a CIO of a Hi-tech Company.

We had a car fleet of over 100 vehicles and the fleet manager claimed he was doing just fine with his excels and with the papers and folders on his desk until we had a demo presentation of a fleet management module (as a part of a larger maintenance management software). He quickly realized that this specific module could help him improve his performance by automating the following processes and tasks:

Do I really need to buy software for that? We have our procedures and excel files that we use for years and it works just great!

  1. Track all the assets
  2. Schedule and track the maintenance and repair tasks
  3. Manage suppliers and work orders
  4. Plan fleet maintenance budget, cost reduction, and actual spending
  5. Provide better reports to management
  6. Document all required information and
  7. Have a better IT infrastructure in terms of hardware, support, backup, and information security

So… do you need a maintenance management system (aka CMMS)…? Well – if your company has assets that require timely maintenance activities such as heavy machinery, car fleets, buildings, designated areas and equipment, specific storerooms or areas – you probably do….

As part of an overall goal of cost reduction, you want to extend the lifespan of your assets thanks to a series of effective maintenance processes. A good CMMS will help you in that by:

  • Managing your assets and inventory
  • Tracking internal and external work requests and orders
  • Planning preventive maintenance activities
  • Scheduling maintenance staff and tasks and sending reminders
  • Recording assets history
  • Automating certification processes (if required)

Once you decided that you need CMMS, the next logical thing to do is to check if the current ERP system that is installed and implemented in your company has a maintenance module. Why? First – since in most cases, ERP systems already contain records about your assets, and second -since eventually, maintenance processes have a significant influence on budget, and they are tightly connected to financial processes. I strongly recommend consulting your ERP experts on that.

If your ERP system does not have a maintenance module, or in case it does not fit your specific needs, you can choose a CMMS based on the processes mentioned above, but also based on:

  1. The number of users that will work on the system (as opposed to the number of company employees)
  2. Specific maintenance requirements such as calibration
  3. Your Geographic spread – do you have multiple locations? Do your remote employees report using a mobile device? Alternatively, do they work on your internal network?  I would strongly suggest that you will consult your IT experts if you have such requirements

Take a Look at the following table. It contains our recommendations for some very good, user-friendly systems out there that you can choose from:

FunctionalitySmall (less than 10 users)Medium (Between 10-100 users)Large (Over 100 users)
Asset Management
Requests and work
orders management
Scheduling, Assignment
and reminders
Assets History
Calibration Management   
Mobile Access 
Recommended SoftwareMicroMainChamps EAMFMXMaintenanceEdgeMaintenance
FasTrackHippo CMMSFasTrackChamps EAMeMaint X3
FMX  ServiceChannelMpulse

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