4 Ways to Get Serious About CMMS

Dan Hounsell advises managers to embrace CMMS in order to improve facilities and generate C-suite support.

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor  

It’s time to bite the bullet. In fact, it’s beyond time to get serious about computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). 

For too long, maintenance and engineering managers have had a lukewarm relationship with the software. It’s time to commit. Why now? Because CMMS are more powerful than ever and because C-suites have embraced the role of data in decision making. Managers who cannot justify department performance, priorities and plans with data will fail, and facilities will suffer. 

Many departments have a CMMS, but few take anywhere close to full advantage of its features and functions. Surprisingly, more than a few departments still operate without a CMMS. A facilities consultant I spoke with recently visited about 20 facilities. He said he was stunned to find a few stragglers that still used paper to track technician activities. 

Here are four ways to get serious about a CMMS: 

Buy it. The universe of inexpensive CMMS has expanded greatly in recent years. Managers have no excuses for not tapping into the digital benefits a CMMS can bring to departments. 

Use it. Emphasize the critical need for accurate, reliable data. Train front-line technicians to gather and enter data on all activities, and make data management part of job descriptions if need be. 

Upgrade it or replace it. Software ages. Facilities expand. Eventually, it's clear an existing CMMS will not do. Decide whether upgrading an existing CMMS or replacing it is the smartest move. Then make the move. 

Maximize it. Use it for more than managing work orders. Make technicians more mobile. Generate reports to justify projects and budgets. Create dashboards the C-suite can understand and act upon. 

Managers who get serious about a CMMS will be able to harness its power set priorities, maximize resources and produce results that make the C-suite and even building occupants take note. 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facilities market. He has more than 30 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 

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  posted on 7/28/2023   Article Use Policy

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