What is CMMS?

What is a CMMS or computer maintenance management system?

CMMS, or computerized maintenance management system, is a maintenance software application that lets you track information about your maintenance operations. These maintenance operations can include tasks like tracking equipment, tracking maintenance, scheduling work orders, keeping up with inventories, recording asset histories, safety procedures, and fleet maintenance. All of this information is collected and aggregated in a CMMS so facilities management can make better-informed decisions regarding resources, both monetary and manpower, resulting in overall improved productivity.

CMMS at its core isn’t a new concept. The basic ideas behind CMMS solutions have been around since the mid-1960s where businesses would use math based systems to document and verify manufacturing processes. And although CMMS software has become more advanced over the years, the core principles of a CMMS remains the same: To help with Regular Routine maintenance procedures, provide better insight into daily operations, identify areas to streamline maintenance and improve efficiency to help carry out maintenance work.

This principle manifests itself in multiple, though sometimes deceptively important, ways. It can be time saved by eliminating paperwork from your inspection processes, a substantial improvement in your ability to audit past work or something even as subtle as being able to see live updates from the field. In any case, there are many different ways that a CMMS will improve your ability to keep up with your maintenance operations.

How is CMMS software used?

Track Work Orders

CMMS Software gives you the ability to identify, describe, and classify problems with equipment. Work orders can be generated and technicians assigned to do the work required including, equipment maintenance service, emergency repairs, quick work, projects, standing work, dispatch work, etc.

Once a work order has been generated, the work order provides planned work review capability and duplicate work order detection. Change notice may be applied during the work planning process. When the review is complete, a work order package is executed.

Scheduling Preventive Maintenance

CMMS systems establish preventive maintenance performance frequencies. Multiple preventive maintenance triggers may also be defined. A CMMS allows the maintenance organization to fine tune preventive maintenance tasks by analyzing task performance. CMMS systems also provide extensive forecasting information including dates needed, labor requirements, materials and tools.

Preventive Maintenance component provides the ability to develop work packages and establish approval routing for maintenance managers. A list of equipment to be worked on or inspected is defined.

Inventory Control

A CMMS’s Inventory Control is fully integrated with Purchase Orders and Accounts Payable. This provides control over purchasing, with access to up-to-date inventory balances and comprehensive valuation statistics. CMMS systems provide an on-line, real-time picture of inventory quantities at various stages in the inventory cycle.

Asset Management

CMMS Software’s asset management provides cradle to grave tracking and analysis of asset information. This includes comprehensive boilerplate and specification data, asset location history, complete asset maintenance history, downtime and equipment failure statistics and analysis manufacturer warranties notification, maintenance service agreements, and asset performance analysis.


CMMS systems should allow three-way matching of the purchase order, goods received, and the vendor’s invoice. The CMMS system also should provide discrepancy tracking and variance approval. Complete vendor information defined within the CMMS system along with 1099 tracking, vendor to part price cross-reference, direct payment to vendor, vendor quotation, and performance.

Corrective Action

CMMS Corrective Actions provide the ability to report, classify, trend, distribute and review issues for resolutions. Corrective Actions are used to initiate the process of reviewing and correcting such problems. CMMS Corrective Actions consist of multiple sub-documents including reportability, operability and evaluation which are utilized based on the nature of the problem being reported.

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Benefits of a CMMS

CMMS Increases Efficiency

With CMMS Software they have easy access to information like inventories, service manuals, and other important information required to do their jobs properly.

CMMS Software also allows you to schedule tasks in a more reliable manner. Scheduling work more efficiently results in better performance from your workforce. Therefore your workforce results in less overtime, fewer work outages, and better value for your organization.

Better Communication

CMMS solutions allow all applicable information to be centralized in one location and is readily available for anyone in any department. When your workforce can freely and easily access the information they need, they become substantially more efficient and better efficiency from your workforce means better value for your business.



Better Auditing

Many fields of work require some kind of audit logs to verify work is being done according to any and all applicable protocols, and not being able to provide this information if requested can prove disastrous. Having a CMMS in place allows you to automatically log information about events that happen, such as what steps were taken to repair a piece of equipment. Not only does this reduce the amount of filing and aggregating you’re required to do, but it also drastically reduces the time needed to view the history of an asset.

Better Analysis

Beyond regulatory needs, being able to review the history of an asset provides valuable insight into trends and other metrics for measuring health and performance. CMMS Software gives you the ability to easily analyze work history, you’re able to then able to begin forecasting when assets need maintenance and schedule the work. CMMS Software allows you to truly understand what your maintenance needs are and take action accordingly. CMMS helps you take action sooner allowing your equipment to last longer.

How will a CMMS benefit my organization?

The answer to this question varies slightly as each industry has unique needs and requirements. But as a whole, the benefit of a CMMS remain the same. Let’s take a look at a small checklist that can be used to determine whether a CMMS is right for you:

  • I want to be able to go paperless or reduce the amount of paper I have to fill out every day.
  • I want to be able to see real-time updates from my workers in the field so that I can act if needed.
  • I want to be able to Audit easily review the history of my assets.
  • I want to be able to track inventory on spare parts and other resources more effectively.
  • I want to be able to easily comply with all regulatory standards.

If you’ve answered yes to any of these points, then a CMMS solution is definitely something you should be considering if you’re truly interested in improving the performance of your maintenance plan.

Where does CMMS software get installed?

There are Primarily two places that CMMS software can run.

On premise or on site at the client’s business, or on the internet.

On-site CMMS

Many times corporate policy dictates security and access to sensitive materials. On-site installation allows the customer to have full control over network access to their CMMS’s server.

Cloud-based CMMS or software as a service

When the CMMS Software is hosted outside of the clients facility, it is called cloud-based CMMS Software.

More Information regarding CMMS:

Here are some other resources if you are interested in CMMS: