Companies taking their first steps towards preventive maintenance often start with homemade maintenance spreadsheets. A maintenance spreadsheet lets you log work orders, document upcoming maintenance cycles, and use filters to manipulate the data and produce lists of work completed. However, spreadsheets don’t talk to each other and can’t send notifications to technicians in the field. This means that maintenance managers and technicians must rely on other systems like email, phone, pagers, calendars, offline trackers, schematics, manuals, or even sticky notes to get a full picture of the work that needs to be done.
While they add more value than just pen and paper, spreadsheets have obvious limitations.
On the other hand, maintenance software like computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) lets the facility manager, technicians, and customers track the status of maintenance on their assets and the associated costs of that work in one comprehensive system.
9 advantages of a CMMS over a maintenance spreadsheet
1. Automated PM triggers
Preventive maintenance software helps reduce human error by ensuring PMs are triggered when they are due in compliance with regulatory or manufacturers requirements. A good CMMS system can also activate PMs based on a number of triggers including time, meter, and event.
2. Auditing & compliance
A CMMS digitizes your paper trail. Work orders are documented electronically as you go, which makes auditing a breeze.
3. Analysis & reporting
Typically, a CMMS will report key performance indicators (KPIs) such as MTBF, MTTR and availability with little effort. KPIs are used for evaluating the effectiveness of current operations, for making organizational and personnel decisions, and for determining whether assets needs to be repaired to replaced. Built-in reports enable you to refine maintenance processes and improve asset availability, ultimately improving your bottom line.
Maintenance spreadsheets live on a personal drive on a desktop computer, with pretty limited access. With a cloud-based CMMS, the data is stored on a remote server and can be accessed from anywhere over the internet. Most modern CMMS software also comes with a mobile app so you can access your CMMS via your phone or tablet in the field.
Plan, control, forecast, measure performance, evaluate, and report all from one system.
6. Real-time information
See your organization’s maintenance activities in real time. Managers can see which assets are offline, who is working on what and what still needs to be done.
Work requests submitted into the system can be sent to the correct people instantly. Technicians receive notifications automatically so they know what work is due.
8. Centralized database
Your CMMS is a database of all equipment information, documents, manuals, schematics and images, and materials. No need for your technicians to carry around bulky schematics or manuals. Over time, this becomes a repository for historical data on your assets, which gives you a fuller picture of an asset’s performance over time.
9. Supply chain management
A CMMS will automatically track parts inventory, manage suppliers and vendors effortlessly and help you keep inventory costs optimized. When parts are consumed during work orders, the CMMS depletes stock levels in real time. No need to go back to the desk and update those stock cards. If stock falls below minimum levels, the system will notify the required users or suppliers to start the re-ordering process.
While a maintenance spreadsheet is the cheaper option in the short term, it’s inflexible and doesn’t react to what is going on in your facility. So its ability to minimize the costs associated with downtime, stocking parts, and management reporting time is low, at best.
A CMMS streamlines and automates all of this, and many solutions can be customized to suit your maintenance processes, no matter the size of your organization. A CMMS can be effectively deployed by any business in any market sector for efficient asset management.