What is a CMMS? | Computerized Maintenance Management System

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The abbreviation CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System – also known as Computerized Maintenance Management Information System (CMMIS). The term describes a computer-aided maintenance and servicing software. It centralizes maintenance data and simplifies the maintenance process for buildings, machines, vehicles and other assets. On the one hand, the data stored in the software package help field service teams to do their job more efficiently. On the other hand, management can make data-based decisions. A CMMS is therefore responsible for the operational part of building and real estate management.

In this blog post we explain what a CMMS is, what it can do, how it works and what the fundamental difference to CAFM is.

An essential feature of a CMMS is the digitization of the maintenance and servicing processes – i.e. paperless work. A second automation – in other words, excluding manual steps as far as possible. Instead of endless spreadsheets and piles of paper, there is software, the core is the database. Information about the buildings, devices and systems to be maintained is organized in this database. A CMMS software promises you the following:

  1. Optimized planning of maintenance activities increases operational efficiency.
  2. Efficient inventory management reduces maintenance costs.

A computerized maintenance management system is used in all areas in which an operational vital infrastructure is available – for example in real estate, construction, oil exploration, aviation and energy. The first versions of the maintenance software had a work order system that could only be deciphered by card-reading IBM computers. Only large, asset-intensive companies could afford this. Today it’s different – luckily. Licenses for CMMS software are available in different price categories.

What can a CMMS do?

The functions of a CMMS are broad. A comprehensive system offers you the following options:

  • The management of orders (ticketing) is one of THE main functions of a CMMS. It includes the creation of a new order including order number, (image-based) description and assignment of the priority of the task, order type and responsible personnel.
  • With the help of the recurring maintenance you can automatically perform tasks in initiate at a specified interval. This function is part of the concept of preventive – ie preventive – maintenance.
  • The automatic reporting eliminates the need to manually create documents that give an overview of the activity carried out . A CMMS can usually generate a report for each order in a matter of seconds – real-time overview guaranteed.
  • With a CMMS software you can track your issues. The maintenance history is a log of all changes in the course of an activity. The check of an order and the end date can also be seen here.
  • Resource and employee management ensures a constant overview of the availability of your team and your devices. You can assign jobs accordingly.
  • With the help of the asset management function, you can save all relevant asset information. This includes, for example, the manufacturer, the model, the serial number, value and service life, location and position and other documents of the system (pictures, instructions, videos).
  • Material and inventory management simplifies the inventory, distribution and consolidation of the equipment and consumables required for maintenance and repair. You can automate susceptible reorders, manage suppliers, and track inventory costs.


How does a CMMS work?

A CMMS software offers a wide range of functions. It combines all aspects of maintenance and servicing in one place. In addition to the desktop application, a maintenance management system is primarily characterized by its use by mobile phone. Field service teams can access and edit all data on the go. This saves you and your team travel time and unnecessary communication.

But how is a new order created? We’ll show you. The operation of the CMMS can be divided into 4 stages:

  1. The work order is created – either manually in the case of reactive orders or automatically in the case of recurring maintenance measures.
  2. The maintenance manager assigns the work order the field staff or a service provider with all the necessary information about .
  3. The work order is being carried out. The person carrying it out provides all the necessary information (e.g. photos, time expenditure, costs, inventory used, etc.) in the CMMS software.
  4. The maintenance manager in checks the completed work order and analyzes the available data (e.g. maintenance costs, productivity etc.) in order to identify potential for improvement.

For a high quality CMMS, this process should be simple and intuitive . It’s about making the day-to-day work of field service teams easier and having an overview of all relevant data at all times.

What is the difference between a CMMS and a CAFM?

The abbreviation CAFM stands for Computer Aided Facilities Management. Although CMMS and CAFM are often equated, this is not the case. A CAFM focuses on the physical workplace and everything that is in it. The software takes over the creation of floor plans and manages the use of space. The aim is to use the available space as efficiently as possible – in terms of equipment and human resources. The CAFM provides facility managers and external service providers with important information about their work areas and tasks at a glance. This information includes, for example, the utilization of office space, cleaning cycles and maintenance and servicing specifications. In a CAFM, the entire building technology can be mapped down to the last screw.

As with the CMMS, all building information is also saved in a database with the CAFM. The data can then be called up via the user interface. The CAFM stores as much data as possible related to the property. The CMMS mainly stores the operationally relevant data. You can think of a Computer Aided Facilities Management program as a large static library in which all information about rooms and facilities is stored. The CMMS, on the other hand, is a history of all operational activities for the maintenance of a building and is therefore dynamic.

Our blog post has helped you to better understand what CMMS software is and what it can do? That’s our pleasure! On our blog you will find further articles on topics related to servicing and maintenance. For example, we will tell you here which 7 key figures are important in successful facility management.

If you would like to contact our team directly to find out more about Wowflow, please get in touch here.

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