What is CMMS? Introduction to Computerized Maintenance Management Systems

Streamlined Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) With CMMS

Keeping up with the latest acronyms is a never-ending chore for decision-makers in the challenging business environment of Industry 4.0, soon to evolve into Industry 5.0. In today's fast-paced digital business environment EAM, enterprise asset management, is critical for fleet managers and in fact any asset-intensive enterprise, to stay ahead of equipment maintenance demands. EAM's definition varies depending upon who is using the acronym and who you ask. Some will say it stands for "Efficient Asset Management" or for marketing purposes "Excellence in Asset Management". Actually, these are all accurate descriptions of just what EAM can accomplish with a CMMS, for Computerized Maintenance Management System.

Maintenance Management in the Smart Age

In the smart age of Industry 4.0, extending asset life-cycles while optimizing uptime for maximum fleet and plant equipment availability is the prevalent goal for industries across the board. Our previous post, "What Does Preventative Maintenance Accomplish?”, laid out the fundamentals. Now it's time to dive a little deeper and look at the software used to achieve optimized maintenance with CMMS and the benefits it brings including:

  • Significantly Reduced Equipment Downtime

  • Increased Productivity

  • Much Lower Maintenance Costs- Predictive maintenance from analytics takes preventative maintenance to a new level.

  • Streamlined Work Orders and Work flow

  • Extended Life-cycles of Equipment and High-Value Assets

  • Precisely Scheduled Preventive Maintenance-(too early is a waste of resources, too late can result in run to failure)

  • Improved Inventory Management- Replacement parts tracking avoids costly surpluses and critical spare part shortages.

  • Generate Custom Reports- Keeps everyone on the same page with company-wide alerts and solutions in real time.

  • Enable Data Driven Maintenance Decisions- Incorporate data which is buried in paper reports or never collected by human monitoring.

  • Meet Compliance & Safety Standards- The CMMS is easily updated with variations and requirements for different areas of operation and changes to DOT policies and makes them available for immediate company-wide access.

CMMS Terms Defined

Advanced Computerized Maintenance Management Systems can streamline the achievement of fleet and plant maintenance with advanced data gathering and analytical techniques. Attention to the details of equipment performance with thousands of data points is the key advantage of CMMS.

These maintenance management enhancements simply can't be accomplished with old-school pencil and paper maintenance programs which are now viewed as more of an obstacle than a solution for staying ahead of the maintenance game in high-value, asset-intensive operations. With paper-based procedures, too many important details, or data points, are overlooked or even impossible to track with human resources on a fleetwide basis, no matter how many personnel are allocated to the task.

Let's clarify the CMMS concept term by term to demonstrate the paradigm shift in modern digital maintenance practices and the advantages they bring to the table in terms of Return on Investment (ROI) for the companies who wisely embrace CMMS.  

The Computerized Element of CMMS (Digital Transformation)

It's obvious but essential for enterprises to make the inevitable move to the computer and away from antiquated paper processes in all aspects of 21st Century enterprise. This is known as the process of "digital transformation". The rule for now and the decades to come is "Go digital or go home" and there's just no getting around the need to embrace the computer to enhance all enterprise operations, especially asset maintenance.

Without the computer, enterprises are operating in a pre-1980s environment which forces maintenance to be reactive, unplanned, and costly. It's called "management by the rear view mirror" and it's a practice that puts the enterprises who use it at a severe competitive disadvantage when the key performance indicators (KPI) are uptime and productivity.

The Power of the Cloud Levels the Computerized Playing Field

No expensive mainframe computer? No problem. Today, cloud technology has leveled the playing field for enterprises large and small. The huge infusion of cash required for onsite computer mainframes is no longer necessary with the versatile resources of the cloud. Software as a Service (SaaS) choices enable SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) to avail themselves of cutting-edge technology such as CMMS without the need for an expert IT team. As we'll see, Big Data and analytics are the keys to optimized maintenance management, and the computer is the engine which drives it all.

Maintenance in CMMS

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We're still far from the day when robots replace the hands of skilled mechanics and human technicians to execute maintenance work orders. But CMMS ensures that these valuable knowledge employees are allocated to the most appropriate maintenance tasks. CMMS prioritizes maintenance both corrective and preventative to put the right teams on the right jobs. Work orders are available, update-able, and electronic logins ensure that managers know exactly who completed each assigned task. 

The Management System Element in CMMS

Data-driven decision making is a CMMS solution which relieves two of the biggest pain points in today's maintenance management systems, and they're challenges which face all industries operating in the age of Industry 4.0. These are aging equipment combined with an aging workforce.

Continuous real-time monitoring with CMMS can get the most out of aging equipment and rolling stock and inform decision-makers about replace or rebuild options and which is more cost-effective. Managers have access to the Big Data they need to spot trends and schedule necessary preventative maintenance to provide the extra care required to extend life-cycles for specific makes and models of equipment

Data-driven decision making also makes the enterprise less reliant on the aging workforce, those highly experienced members of the human maintenance team who take valuable knowledge and experience out the door when they retire. In this age when 50% of tech-savvy millennials say they are open to changing jobs,  the technical knowledge base stored in the CMMS helps for more seamless personnel transitions and training when these workforce changes inevitably occur.

Whip Around and CMMS

Whip Around combines the versatile, scalable, power of the cloud with the convenience and familiarity of the smartphone to make the power of CMMS available to fleets and enterprises large and small. Drivers become your fleet's first line of defense and Whip Around's DVIR capability ensures that critical inspections can be accomplished at any time, anywhere.

When faults are flagged mechanics and maintenance managers are brought into the maintenance process immediately, so immediate action can be initiated in real-time. Custom form building, maintenance templates, and checklists are all available to all authorized personnel with a smartphone, to provide the benefits of CMMS techniques to enterprises large and small.

When you're ready to enhance your maintenance, industrial operations,  and fleet performance you're ready for Whip Around so don't hesitate to contact us.