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What is a Maintenance Management System?

T. Webster
T. Webster

A maintenance management system is a system that helps businesses manage assets and equipment so that operations can run smoothly and productively. The most common and preferred type of system in recent years is the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), which uses specially designed software to handle records. The program must track issues that are relevant to a business so that important tasks will be completed.

Computerized maintenance management systems are often preferred over paperwork systems because they tend to be faster and allow a more efficient use of manpower. Less time is spent making handwritten records to document and track tasks. Some of the most common functions of a CMMS are keeping a list of assets, inventory control, tracking scheduled and non-scheduled maintenance, and making sure safety protocols are followed.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

The software used to operate a computerized maintenance management system can represent a significant cost. Business leaders can evaluate whether it is a good investment by projecting whether the system will increase asset life, reduce operating costs, and allow faster access to maintenance-related reports. For example, hospitals often use a CMMS because the breakdown of essential equipment could result in a life or death situation for patients. A CMMS is also helpful for manufacturing businesses that operate a lot of equipment.

To establish a maintenance schedule with a computerized maintenance management system, a business must first enter records of its assets. This includes information about the asset such as its name and serial number, when and where it was purchased, and the department where it is located. Preventative maintenance can include not only the schedule for equipment maintenance, but the availability of work crews. If necessary, the CMMS can also list the kind of maintenance needed for the equipment.

A computerized maintenance management system can be used to manage a range of details relating to ongoing maintenance and equipment breakdowns. This includes labor and overtime costs, work backlogs, the time taken to make repairs, and productivity lost due to equipment breakdowns. Recording equipment breakdowns can help determine whether it is profitable to keep repairing the equipment or replace it.

Another advantage of a CMMS is that it can set a protocol for employees to follow when equipment breaks down. This can increase efficiency because the same chain of command is followed each time. For large companies with a lot of equipment, notifications will likely be done via a computer system. For example, a production worker can notify the appropriate maintenance department by entering the information on a computer located in a work area. A maintenance supervisor would then track and control all work relating to the repair request.

Before deciding on a computerized maintenance management system, business leaders for a company should evaluate what functions the software must have. It is also helpful to have a list of functions that would be good to have and those that are unnecessary. Based on this information, a CMMS can be designed to meet the needs of a business.

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