CMMS/ Maintenance Software Setup In 8 Steps

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Maintenance Software Setup Challenges

cmms software setup

It can be hard setting up a CMMS system (maintenance management program) for the first time. This is especially true if you do not already have an existing maintenance management program. However, even migrating from an existing CMMS program has its own challenges!

Have you ever had this happen to you?

Based on our experience helping new customers get started with our FastMaint CMMS software below is a step-by-step plan how to set it up. This way your maintenance team can transition seamlessly to the new system. This plan is not specific to FastMaint so you can follow it even if using another maintenance program.

Before you begin the following steps you should have made a few decisions on how the maintenance program will be used. You should have an idea of the main maintenance stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities. See “How To Start Using CMMS Software In Your Maintenance Program” for more details.

Maintenance Software Setup In Eight Steps

1. Create your list of equipment & facilities

Go through all your facilities and equipment to get a list of all the equipment & facilities you wish to maintain. While this need not be an exhaustive list of everything you have, it should be quite comprehensive and have the major items that need maintenance. You can always add to this list at a later date.

2. Categorize your equipment & facilities by maintenance needs

Group the equipment & facilities into different types. For example HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning), Pumps, Vehicles and so on. Then sub-group them based them on similar maintenance required. For example HVAC compressors, sewage pumps, forklifts, etc.

3. Define the maintenance work required

Now you have a list of different sub-groups identified by type of maintenance required. You start defining the different types of maintenance tasks each sub-group requires. This covers both planned or preventative maintenance as well as unplanned or breakdown maintenance.

4. Who will be doing maintenance?

Here you review your maintenance personnel. List their skills and the calendars they may work on (for example Day shift, Night shift and so on). Enter this information into the CMMS software.

5. Define maintenance tasks to be done

Expand each maintenance task to identify frequency (e.g. weekly/ monthly, based on a meter, unplanned, etc.), how it is done (best practices), spares & supplies required, people required and time required. This will allow you to calculate costs & identify dependencies.

6. Identify the most critical equipment & facilities

These will be assets whose breakdown/ unavailability will cause major problems. Similarly identify the most critical tasks. These are tasks if not done will result in major maintenance failures. Start entering data into the CMMS/ maintenance software for the most critical equipment, facilities and maintenance tasks. Many maintenance packages should be able to import a lot of data from spreadsheets or text files.

7. Begin using the CMMS/ maintenance software system

You will begin using the CMMS system. You do not need to enter everything before you get started! Begin with the most critical equipment, facilities and maintenance jobs. Create work orders and update them in the system. Keep entering more assets and information (maintenance tasks, parts and so on) as you go along.

8. Regularly review system statistics to see how you are doing

You should start seeing improvements in work order backlog. There should be reductions in unplanned maintenance and more planned (preventative) maintenance work. Use the maintenance metrics you get to make improvements. For example if you see that task estimated times do not match the actual time taken, fix the estimates. Look for patterns, for example some tasks are always delayed being completed. Maybe the same maintenance technician is doing them or they require some parts you have difficulty getting.

Select The Right CMMS Software

Here we gave you some tips setting up CMMS software for your maintenance management program. However, finding the right CMMS/ maintenance software in the first place can also be a challenge. There are hundreds of CMMS systems available. Download our free maintenance management software selection guide. It gives you a checklist of different selection criteria that can help you identify the right one for your needs.

Free CMMS Software Selection Guide

Additional Resources

  1. How to implement a Computerized Maintenance Management System (
  2. Developing CMMS Implementation Templates (
  3. 10 Keys to Successful CMMS Implementation (
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