A Computerized Maintenance Management System, also known as CMMS, centralizes the process of maintaining and managing assets, such as as cars, machines and equipment. The system helps firms in preventing problems and downtime, complying with OSHA and other legal requirements. Many industries use CMMS to help managing suppliers, warranties and insurance policies on the pricy items. Even hotels are now using computerized maintenance management systems to help out cleaning, plumbing and other issues involved in maintaining a hotel chain.Some CMMS systems are linked to accounting, updating fixed assets and in reporting any losses in real-time.

The best CMMS for strictly office use would be one that interfaces with office applications; it’s easy to use and management can run queries on it. If maintenance costs go beyond budgeted amounts, managers could research and figure out the reason for the overage by reviewing CMMS reports and queries.

With a CMMS, maintenance and repairs are scheduled on a methodical fashion, helping the back-office in planning and cash flows. For example, if a sophisticated equipment need routine checkups that are costly, knowing about those beforehand can make an accounting manager smile.

A CMMS requires lots of setup time to input all information about assets, including insurance and notes; but it’s a worthwhile effort because you will have all data in one place. You could run reports and prioritize the workload. If you run a car rental business, for instance, you will want to know what cars are scheduled to be maintained this week, so you don’t rent those now.

Below are some functionalities you should look for in finding the best CMMS for your situation:

  • Provide information on all equipment at all places in real-time—This allows management to analyze and identify problems, trends, costs and when to replace capital assets.

  • Document compliance with corporate policies—For example, if the policy is to check all machines in the plant quarterly, the software should identify machines that haven’t yet been serviced.

  • Monitor inspection schedules—Management could setup an inspection checklist and monitor any delays or discrepancies.

  • Standardize maintenance practices—This is very important to make sure quality is kept up with no deviations from proven practices. If an area is not following the same processes, management can identify that right away, allowing for timely decisions and interventions.

  • Integrate with hand-held devices—When dealing with remote or large locations, plant managers and other personnel can get the information anywhere, increasing the level of control over the maintenance process.

The best CMMS system is usually the one customized for your industry, requiring very little set up. An industry-specific CMMS can save you lots of time and money, minimizing the time it takes to get the system up and running. Be sure that after acquiring a CMMS, you and your staff input as much information as possible to make the system work right away to your advantage ASAP.

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