Streamline Your Maintenance Workflow: Unveiling the Vital CMMS Software Requirements
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems are becoming a golden standard in work order and asset management. According to FutureMarketInsights, CMMS software market revenue reached $1.6 million in 2022 and is projected to grow to $4.2 million by 2033.
Yet, navigating through the multitude of CMMS solutions promoted by different software vendors can be a daunting task. The challenge is further intensified by the fact that most vendors offer similar CMMS features. To unravel this puzzle and arrive at the best decision for your business, it is crucial to look beyond the mere comparison of extensive feature lists.
In this article, we collected the key CMMS software requirements against which you can check your options. These requirements concern not just features – we’ll cover how exactly the ease of use and implementation of the solution, integration capabilities, vendor’s reputability, and other less obvious factors play into the ultimate success of your digital transformation project.
Let’s get started...
What is CMMS software?
CMMS software gathers all maintenance-related data into a centralized system. This system provides you with a live overview of the condition of your assets and lets you assign work orders to keep your assets working.
CMMS systems are ideal for industries that work with dozens of complicated, yet critically important machines. Maintenance tracking software has gained a good reputation for optimizing asset and work performance in the construction, health, and manufacturing industries to name a few.
Benefits of CMMS software
CMMS software provides your business with a range of benefits, such as:
- Automation of processes.
CMMS software automates manual tasks like scheduling shifts, assigning work orders, ordering missing parts, and refilling MRO inventory. This saves a lot of time for managers and improves work productivity.
- Asset visibility
CMMS software gathers vital data about your assets in an instantly accessible central depository. Having all the information at hand, from the frequency of breakdowns to warranty documentation, helps you prevent costly downtime and make optimal business decisions on the purchase, repair, and disposal of assets.
- Organized maintenance
CMMS software is an excellent maintenance scheduling tool. A CMMS asset management system lets you create different types of schedules and optimize the performance of both reactive and proactive maintenance. As a result, maintenance tracking software prevents overspending on maintenance and reduces downtime.
- Improved safety and compliance
In 2017, the average cost of non-compliance for businesses was $14.82 million, and the trend is going upwards. Maintenance software features make compliance easier. Safety procedure management and legislative compliance tracking save you from fines and your staff from job incidents.
- Cost reduction
In the end, CMMS is a lot about maintenance cost optimization. Automation of manual tasks and fast assigning of work orders let you do more in less time. On the other hand, effective scheduling saves you money on repairs, while reduced downtime increases the productive output of your facility. Doing more while spending less – that’s the aim of CMMS solutions.
Now, you can reap these benefits if you effectively use core CMMS software features. What are CMMS systems requirements in terms of core functions? Let’s take a look.
CMMS Software Requirements: Core Functionality
The core functions of CMMS software can be divided into 4 main areas: work order management, asset tracking, preventive maintenance scheduling, and reporting and analytics.
Work order management
CMMS software can automate assigning of work orders, scheduling of crews, employees, and shifts, and reviewing of the status of the work order. Usually, work orders in CMMS systems contain a description of the work order, its type and cause, assigned staff, and used materials. All actions can be visualized on a CMMS dashboard, where every worker can view their work orders and report the completion.
An equipment tracking system can use QR codes, GPS tracking, and IoT sensors to determine the location of the asset and its current status. You can simply click on the icon of an asset to learn how it was used and by whom, view performance and downtime statistics, and read associated documentation like warranties and repair manuals. This greatly simplifies asset tracking and repair for both managers and the maintenance crew.
Preventive maintenance scheduling
CMMS software can let you schedule preventive work orders based on statistics of usage gathered and analyzed by an in-built AI. Scheduling preventive maintenance based on meter readings and equipment usage, instead of just scheduling by date optimizes spending of resources and helps increase equipment life.
Reporting and analytics
Good CMMS software provides you with extensive opportunities for reporting and analytics. Usage and costs of materials, labor costs, performance and downtime statistics, average repair time, inventory turnovers, and more – the wealth of data lets you make better business decisions and make the most out of your assets.
Now, core features are not enough to fill a list of key CMMS software requirements. You need to pay special attention to certain oft-overlooked characteristics of the software if you want your digital transformation project to succeed.
CMMS software: Key Aspects
A successful CMMS implementation process depends on the integration capacities of the software, degree of intuitiveness, availability of customization and mobile access, scalability, and security. Let’s talk about each in more detail.
Most enterprises use at least several software solutions on a day-to-day basis. Before selecting a software solution, make sure that it can integrate with the software you already use. For example, integration with ERP systems can speed up spare parts inventory management, simplify purchase ordering, improve the accessibility of data, and boost planning efficiency.
Scalability and customization
Every business is different and has unique needs. When your CMMS system is customizable, it can fit seamlessly into your business operations and perform exactly how you want it to. And when it’s scalable as well, your CMMS will grow together with your business. As a result, you won’t have to spend money on a new system and retrain your employees in the future.
Ease of use and mobile functionality
Your CMMS should be as easy to use as possible – this is one of the most important CMMS platform requirements. Overly complicated interfaces can lead to an implementation failure: managers and crew workers might find it too difficult to use on a regular basis. Mobile CMMS applications are generally easier to use, and have a greater chance of success among technicians, as most now use smartphones to complete job tasks.
The average cost of a data breach in the US was $9.44 million in 2022. CMMS databases can contain sensitive information. Make sure your provider complies with security standards, and check whether your CMMS solution has automatic backup and disaster recovery features.
Now that we have considered all technical CMMS system requirements, let’s talk about the software vendor itself. Which criteria should the vendor of your choice meet?
CMMS Vendor Selection
To choose the right CMMS provider, consider three important factors: reputation, customer service quality, and overall cost. These factors will help guide you towards a suitable solution that meets your business requirements.
- Reputation. Choose an established provider with a strong market presence. The vendor of your choice should have hands-on experience in developing maintenance and facility management software. Read the case studies on the provider’s website and check customer reviews, for example on Clutch.
- Support. When things go wrong, you don’t want to be left alone to deal with the problem. The support team should be continuously available, and help you resolve any issues through phone, e-mail, and chat. A provider with long-term clients is a safe bet. Vendors who prefer long-term collaborations have established support processes in place.
- Cost. Last but not least, consider the overall cost of your project. The pricing models of vendors can be very different. For example, cloud-based maintenance software often offers a subscription model, where the cost increases with the number of users. Also, pay attention to additional costs. Whether the vendor, for instance, charges extra for training and implementation can significantly influence the cost of the project.
Now that we have looked at most of the key CMMS requirements, let’s delve a little deeper into how the high-quality CMMS implementation process should look like.
CMMS implementation process
A well-defined implementation strategy is a must for a smooth transition to new software. Of course, each strategy is individual, especially when it comes to custom solutions. Still, any high-quality implementation process should include these steps:
- Planning. At this stage, map out your old maintenance workflows and think about the ways they will be optimized with new software. Define the data needed for the system to run smoothly, including types of work orders, maintenance, and analysis. Define your success parameters and how they should be measured. Together with your vendor, develop an implementation plan with clear timeframes.
- Implementation. After the software is developed and installed, start the training process. A reputable vendor will help guide your team with online tutorials, interactive classes, consultative sessions, and other training services. You can agree with the vendor on how exactly the training will be conducted, the time needed, and the price.
- Post-release. Even the most thoughtful implementation usually reveals gaps that need to be fixed. Troubleshoot issues and collaborate with your provider to smooth out any inconsistencies. Track the KPIs defined during the planning stage to evaluate whether you’re meeting your goals. Be proactive and make adjustments to improve performance.
Now, let’s look at real-life case studies. These companies chose reputable vendors that met key CMMS software requirements. As a result, the CMMS system brought real benefits to their businesses.
- A large energy company from the US implemented a new asset management solution that replaced their old EAM system. The company established a tight 1-year implementation plan and successfully integrated a new CMMS system. As a result, the company improved operational control over the assets, minimized downtime, and achieved faster response rates.
- A leading US cheese manufacturer was seeking to replace an outdated CMMS system with an overly complicated interface, lack of mobile integration, and limited reporting. A new preventive maintenance solution increased asset reliability, decreased downtime, and reduced administration time. With enhanced reporting, the company can now track the KPIs better. In fact, it already increased the relative number of planned maintenance operations to 85%, and decreased the proportion of unplanned maintenance to 15%.
When making the decision, keep in mind key CMMS software requirements. Technical features, integration capabilities, scalability, customization options, ease of use, and security are all crucial. Choose a reputable vendor with high-quality customer support, and delve into prices to calculate the cost of your project. In simple words, do your research. Only well-thought decisions lead to digital transformation success.