What Is CMMS Software: A Complete Guide

what is cmms software
An engineer using CMMS software for plant maintenance

What is CMMS software? Like a doctor’s bag, it gives you tools that allow you to monitor and manage the health and status of your most critical assets, machinery, and infrastructure. This can include the ability to use a machine’s real-time conditions and vitals to identify and address any abnormalities that might lead to system failures. 

In today’s industry 4.0 environment, manufacturers are moving towards proactive maintenance—even predictive maintenance over reactive maintenance to improve machine uptime, optimize operations, and stay ahead of compliance and competition. The aim is to keep the productivity chain unbroken and mitigate future risks down the line. In this regard, an ideal Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) application helps you run the company with reduced reactive maintenance and minimal downtime. A true ROI on your technology investment.  

What Is CMMS Software?

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a software application that helps asset-intensive organizations maintain a virtual data repository for managing assets, centralizing maintenance operations, and easily tracking work orders. The software integrates with any sensor and control system of the machine to track and analyze the state of all assets on a real-time basis. In short, it is a predictive maintenance model for 24/7 running organizations that cannot handle extended downtime.

There is a difference between predictive maintenance and preventive maintenance. Predictive maintenance involves analyzing the current state of an asset and suggesting just-in-time maintenance to improve system efficiency in the long run. Unlike preventative maintenance, which is most often set up as recurring, scheduled maintenance actions, predictive maintenance uses data analytics to create decisions for maintenance action, thereby flagging an asset for fixation before a fault occurs. As a result, your organization avoids equipment breakdown and unplanned downtime. Again, leading to a significant return on your CMMS technology investment. 

How Does CMMS Software Work?

A well-constructed CMMS software system collects and tracks all essential machine information in the cloud and, when required, on edge devices at the plant or machine system level. Anyone with permission can access all maintenance information from any mobile device in real time. Technicians and maintenance personnel can use the application to auto-schedule upcoming preventive maintenance work orders as well as look for signs of risk, either to a critical component or asset or in terms of supplies and logistics bottlenecks that may impact work schedules. 

While working on any piece of equipment, maintenance personnel can access past work orders, manuals, and other vital information to save time in preparation or to shorten repair cycles. At the end of the task, the software updates the database again with the progress made. The data becomes instantly available to others for future reference and audit considerations.

 A custom graphic answering what is a CMMS and CMMS benefits.

The Benefits of Using CMMS Software

CMMS software will benefit your manufacturing or overall operations efforts by providing:

  1. Real-time plant-wide asset status visibility
  2. Enhanced operations efficiency and safety
  3. Reduced inventory and labor cost 
  4. Reduced MTTR
  5. Improved workforce efficiency 
  6. Always compliance-ready 

Real-Time Plant Wide Asset Status Monitoring  

Large organizations have a wide range of assets with different status and condition parameters. In this regard, acknowledging the exact plant-wide asset and work cell status in real time is challenging. However, through CMMS software, organizations can easily track all assets (live and idle) in real-time and easily view areas of potential operations risk.

Enhanced Operational Efficiency and Safety

The software helps the organization achieve and maintain the desired operational efficiency by optimizing equipment performance throughout the enterprise. This includes developing a proactive workforce, often with the use of real-time machine analytics, and a process mindset that works to avoid unplanned downtime and to ensure workplace safety. 

Reduced Inventory Cost 

An understocked inventory impacts operations just as overstocked inventory does. While the former situation may lead to extended downtime, the latter could hurt the plant economy with overpaid storage space and obsolete, unused spare parts. An ideal maintenance management software knows how to strike a balance between the two situations. It seamlessly integrates with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and tracks past delivery and usage records to order only the required parts in time for any scheduled maintenance. 

Reduced MTTR

The mean time to repair (MTTR) score represents the average time required to repair a system or re-condition equipment. The CMMS software performs real-time data capture from machine sensors and generates automatic alerts followed by work orders and requisitions for any fault or impending fault. As a result, it minimizes any productivity disruptions in the process and lowers the MTTR score. 

Improved Workforce Efficiency 

A CMMS solves many of the root causes of delayed maintenance—one example is being able to detect faults at their early stage. Moreover, maintenance technicians can check their daily and upcoming to-do lists from the application dashboard, even when remote or at home.   

Always Compliance-Ready 

Auditors don’t like repeated breaches of scheduled maintenance as it puts the operation, the product, and the workforce at risk. Here is where CMMS software can also be highly beneficial. It significantly adds group-level collaboration to the maintenance process and streamlines logistics to ensure that compliance-driven scheduled maintenance or calibrations are done exactly when required.

Top CMMS Software Features:
Cloud-Based and Mobile-Ready KPI Management and Analysis
Automated Sensor-Driven Asset Monitoring Customized, Role-Based Displays
Machine Learning Predictive Maintenance Comprehensive Reporting
Paperless Control Over Inventory and Assets Seamless integration
Complete Transaction and Event Logging Available Customer Support

The Differences Between EAM and CMMS

While EAM and CMMS solutions are different, they share a number of overlapping features that, when compared closely, can make them appear more alike. However, CMMS is built to manage maintenance operations and includes tools for managing work orders, scheduling preventive maintenance tasks, and tracking inventory. An EAM software, in contrast, is more comprehensive because it has CMMS features with enhanced capabilities to manage asset tracking, lifecycle management, and financial management.

The scope of the systems, their level of functionality, their level of integration, and their costs should all be taken into account when comparing these systems. While EAM offers more extensive functionality, CMMS is typically more focused on maintenance management. Additionally, implementing an EAM solution might take more effort and money.

Ultimately, the choice between CMMS and EAM should be determined by an organization’s specific needs and goals. Organizations should carefully evaluate both options to determine which software best meets their needs.

How to Choose The Best CMMS

If you want to implement a CMMS solution, you should first evaluate your company’s specific maintenance operations. For example, you should have a detailed list of all machinery and equipment that requires regular maintenance, as well as a solid understanding of the maintenance processes required to support operations. 

Use this data to zero in on a solution that includes the features you require to support your maintenance operations, such as work order management, inventory tracking, and preventive maintenance.

Additional factors to consider include ease of use, scalability, cost, and customer support services. Choosing a solution that can scale to accommodate growth while remaining within your budget is likely to be a top priority. It is also strongly advised to choose software that is intuitive and user-friendly, as well as software that provides the necessary training and support to help users quickly adopt a new solution and customize a solution as business needs change.

Choosing to work with a vendor like LLumin can provide you with the added security of having access to dependable customer support services to ensure that any issues or questions you have during and after implementation are promptly addressed. Before making a final decision, read customer reviews and carefully evaluate the level of customer support services provided by your chosen CMMS solution.

Would you like to know more about this topic? Read “Top CMMS Software Companies To Consider Before You Buy”

Why Is LLumin the Best?

LLumin’s CMMS application is unique in utilizing machine-level data to flag abnormalities in advance. Our predictive analysis platform reduces plant downtime by 40% within a year of integration and customers’ MTTR score by 20% within 24 months of implementation. It’s easy to deploy, and your dedicated project manager will help you throughout the implementation process.  

You can easily configure our system to maximize adaptability throughout every area of your operation. For instance, you can decide the hierarchy of information flow and communication for any potential event, request, or fault that occurs. This includes automating ordering spare parts from the best vendor available to minimize downtime and maximize productivity.

You can upload any document or training material to the database to help operators or technicians with quick fixes. LLumin even enables maintenance personnel to cross-reference resources in other geographies to address an issue as quickly as possible. 

With a seamless, user-friendly display, visualizing the current status and vitals of your assets is just a click away. Moreover, LLumin CMMS+ streamlines work orders and facilitates paperless approvals and sign-offs to complete permission hierarchies quickly.

Also, the role-based dashboards help mechanics and technicians prioritize work orders with ease, including suggested routing or work order ordering, to maximize efficiency. In short, LLumin can help your operators, technicians, and maintenance personnel set new performance levels while driving ongoing continuous improvement best practices.

Getting Started With LLumin

LLumin develops innovative CMMS software to manage and track assets for industrial plants, municipalities, utilities, fleets, and facilities. If you want to learn more about ‘what a CMMS software is,’ we encourage you to schedule a free demo or contact the experts at LLumin to see how our software can help you reach your maintenance and asset management goals.