CMMS Maintenance Software – More Trouble Than They Are Worth?

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reviewing  maintenance software generated reportsRecently one of our sales people was in touch with a possible client regards the value of CMMS software for maintenance of equipment and facilities. They had some serious concerns whether a maintenance management software program would help them or hinder them.

CMMS software concerns/ complaints:

  1. It takes too much time to update. It forces maintenance personnel into a different sort of workflow where they have to keep updating items in the software. Tracking all your equipment and entering information about them makes it an unwieldy system to use and eats up a lot of staff time.
  2. You will not be able to capture all data and interactions in the software. Even if it was possible it would take a lot of time and most likely maintenance technicians and others will skip doing it since it holds them up from doing their jobs.
  3. Without all the data the statistics you capture are probably inaccurate and do not give you a true picture of your maintenance program. Managers and others unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of the maintenance program will use this inaccurate data to make decisions.

These concerns are quite valid. However, using maintenance software even if you are not able to exploit its full capabilities still provides benefits. You have to aware of the limitations of using it as part of your maintenance management program. Let us try to address each of these concerns:

  1. It takes too much time to update: It may seem that using a CMMS program wastes time because you have spend time entering or updating information instead of working on a maintenance job. However, being able to track and capture job status provides a valuable benefit. You are less likely to miss critical maintenance work. You also have a good idea of what is pending so that you can adjust your schedule to get critical jobs done. The concerns of a convoluted workflow that slows down work are quite valid. This is why we have put in the ability to email or text work orders to technicians and to process their email or text responses to update & close these work orders in FastMaint. This makes a much simpler workflow and allows technicians to do their jobs and easily send back updates without having to spend time navigating through different screens and entering data. This can also make the life of the maintenance planner or manager simpler since you can have the system send out reminders to technicians if work orders are pending for more than say 3 days and so on.
  2. You will not be able to capture all data and interactions in the software: It should be understood that you really will not be able to track all data or interactions in the software nor is it desirable. While it may seem good to have a large amount of information in the system most of it will not be relevant to taking care of maintenance management. Collecting all such information will take up time – hence it is likely to be skipped or entered inaccurately after some time. The critical information you need is work orders pending and work orders completed. Everything else is really secondary. Even in terms of work orders, you do not need to track all possible work orders – some will be for less critical tasks. What matters are the critical breakdown and preventive maintenance work orders that you have to do. These work orders if not done will keep critical equipment or facilities unavailable due to a breakdown or cause them to perform poorly to deliver a poor quality product or service.
  3. Without all the data the statistics you capture are probably inaccurate: Since you cannot capture all data or interactions only a few critical statistics will be accurate and useful  (see “Key Maintenance Management Statistics For Maintenance Planners“). This is why in our FastMaint CMMS software program we try to gather these few statistics in a single page Statistics report. These handful of statistics provide a good view of how your maintenance program is running and what areas you may need to address. While it may be tempting to look at various colorful graphs or meters showing different statistics and probabilities remember that with time most of the data being collected is probably inaccurate. Making decisions based on them is not a good idea. Plus even if accurate many items will not tell you the entire picture and could lead you down the wrong path.

Download CMMS software trial:

If you are thinking about getting CMMS software for maintenance management of your equipment and facilities we hope this has convinced you of their worth. You can download and try out a fully functional 30-day trial of our FastMaint CMMS and see how it will work for you. We also have 5 minute video tutorials that can help you setup FastMaint quickly and get started.

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