CMMS: understanding the Computerized Maintenance Management System

What you will find in this text:

  1. How does a CMMS work?
  2. The CMMS evolution
  3. The benefits of a CMMS
  4. CMMS x EAM x CAFM

A CMMS, or computerized maintenance management system, is a digital system put in place to aid with the organization of maintenance of equipment within a business setting. Most businesses have machinery or other equipment that has the potential to fail. It may be that a part has broken, or some regular maintenance has been overlooked. Something as simple as forgetting to oil a specific part can cause an entire production line to fail.

By using a CMMS, you can ensure that regular maintenance and checks are always conducted on time. Downtime can be scheduled and kept to a minimum, and maintenance tasks can be allocated to the relevant member of the maintenance team.

How does a CMMS work?

A CMMS relies heavily on data. It has a great deal of functionality, but the basis of the system is that work requests are fed into the CMMS, which can allocate tasks to particular staff members and identify related assets. Details of the work are updated as tasks are completed, this data is returned to the system, and can be analyzed and used for a variety of purposes.

With the effective use of a CMMS, work can be completed quickly, and tasks can be prioritized as to their importance. Such a system can reduce downtime and additionally, lessons can be learned from any failures. Perhaps more regular maintenance needs to be applied, or inspections need to be put on the schedule. A CMMS can automate much of this for you.

A CMMS also holds data on assets, not just the machinery or equipment itself, but possibly also its component parts. This also includes spare parts, so repairs and replacements are not slowed down by missing parts. Documentation can also be added to the system, so there’s full traceability of all work done, and the system can even be set to order parts and materials automatically, to replace those used, when they’re logged into the system as having been utilized.  

The CMMS evolution

The digital world has initiated some fantastic advances in CMMS processes. For decades, businesses have attempted to take control of their maintenance routines, and this has become easier and more affordable as time has gone on. While once unattainable for all but the largest enterprises, now, even small businesses can implement a CMMS.

Computers to run the software are cheap and powerful. Connectivity, across networks, premises, and even the globe, is superfast and low cost. And now, with advanced mobile devices being commonplace and inexpensive, remote access to important data can be given, and communicated to anyone, anywhere.

A CMMS can send information as easily to someone sitting in the office as it can to a remote on-site worker on the other side of the world. Additionally, the incorporation of cloud-based data storage ensures the security of the data, preventing vital data from being lost should a central computer be damaged, broken, or stolen.

The benefits of a CMMS

The more you use a CMMS, the more useful it becomes to you as the data builds, and increasingly accurate reports can be created. But you’ll discover a wide range of benefits from the start such as…

Ensuring completion of preventative maintenance

When it comes to maintenance issues, a reactive approach is not the most effective method. By using a CMMS, you can become more proactive. Your system will enable you to schedule maintenance and inspections.

The expected lifespan of individual parts can be predicted, and so their replacement can be anticipated, or conducted early, at a time to suit, rather than at a time of failure. This reduces downtime and means you’ll know to have the parts in stock and ready. Your CMMS may even have automatically ordered them for you.

Greater transparency of workflow and assets

Using a CMMS will give you a greater overview of your business. You’ll have a clearer picture of who is doing what and where, making allocating work easier. Assets are monitored and so you can easily run reports to determine particular issues, such as machines that break down often or are very inefficient.

Such information can be hugely impactful for future decision-making when it comes to boosting productivity and replacing equipment.

Building a useful knowledge base

In our digital age, data is king. There will be data gathered by your staff, but you may also have IoT data entering the system from equipment sensors and other instrumentation. This gives you the opportunity to create detailed reports for effective preventative maintenance. There’s added traceability of parts and accountability of labor, and this all puts you in good stead for compliance audits or health and safety inspections.


Overwhelmed by acronyms? If you’ve been looking into Computerised Maintenance Management Systems, there are a few other similar offerings you may have come across. Often the features of these systems can have much in common and this can certainly be confusing to the uninitiated, so let’s put things straight by taking a look at three of the most common systems you’re likely to come across…


CMMS – The Computerised Maintenance Management System we’ve been discussing in this article. A system that primarily focuses on managing maintenance issues for physical assets with an emphasis on machinery, but it can encompass other areas. It’s a system for identifying or pre-empting problems, and sorting out a solution, quickly, with the minimum of upheaval or downtime.


EAM – An Enterprise Asset Management system is an enterprise-wide asset management system that covers a wide range of physical asset types. This type of system can be used to keep track of office equipment, perhaps across several sites. This data can then be used for purposes such as maintenance, updates for computer workstation software, and for accounting purposes.


CAFM – Computer Aided Facilities Management takes into account your assets and helps you to manage your assets and facilities and your staff, within the space provided. This type of system offers you the most effective and efficient solutions for using your available space.

Perhaps what you’re really looking for is a combination of all these systems? Maybe there are aspects of each you’d like to implement within your own company?

Then you should definitely take a look at, a highly customizable all-in-one maintenance management solution.