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If you are not a Facility Manager, you may not be familiar with the term "CMMS".  So as we get started, lets make sure we have a good definition.

"Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS).  A CMMS software package maintains a computer database of information about an organization’s maintenance operations. This information is intended to help Management and maintenance workers do their jobs more effectively. For example, determining which equipment requires servicing/work, plan preventive maintenance and to help management make informed decisions."

In short, it is a computerized system to help your staff, who is responsible for the care and stewardship of your physical facilities, respond to Work Requests, process Work Orders, track Equipment, manage Vendors, schedule and manage Preventive Maintenance.  It is a tool to assist the facility staff to be more effective and efficient in their implementation of their responsibilities.  Plain and simple!

There was a blog (and audio version) posted by facilitiesnet of an interview with Walt Petters, the Director of Maintenance and Plant Operations at Brevard County Public Schools, Rockledge, Fla.  It would be worth your time to hear the interview first hand.  The following are the questions and answers from the interview that I believe help to explain how a CMMS program can be a huge asset to any facility owner:

1. What are the main functions your computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) provides for your organization?
Our entire organization is focused around our CMMS. It is the way our "customers" (i.e. staff and facility occupants) communicate their needs. We document work efforts, productivity, reoccurring facility problems and the need to demonstrate a particular area of need. For example, if we have continuous work-order requests with roof issues, the CMMS allows us to demonstrate the need to create and fund a roof-replacement program.

2. What role does the CMMS play in your organizations preventive maintenance and work-order processing?
Everything we do is tied to a work order and categorized routine, service, vandalism, etc.  Preventive maintenance work orders are generated to document efforts in keeping warranties in place, such as monthly HVAC inspections and testing. We also use preventive maintenance work orders to generate repetitive work, such as mowing competition football fields.

3. When specifying a CMMS, what tools are most important for maintenance and engineering departments?

  • Flexibility: The systems should have a user-friendly report-writing system since everyone looks at and needs information in a different format.
  • Support: The user needs to have reliable, 24-7 support with quick response.
  • Training:  Ongoing training and feedback that comes from the vendor and user groups to help identify common operational issues that others have encounter and solved. That information helps make the system a collaborative effort between software and everyday personal experiences.

4. Can you talk about the importance of training technicians on the proper use of a CMMS?
Training the technician is paramount in the CMMS having validated data and providing usable information. The information provided from the technician must be accurate for the CMMS to have value. It is just as important for the supervisors and managers to evaluate the data and make decisions based on facts. It also helps eliminate the politics of who gets what.

5. How has the CMMS made your organization more efficient? Has it helped save money? Can you provide an example of how it helped save money?
Absolutely. We have created our own weekly productivity reports each supervisor reviews based on estimated man-hours. Supervisors use the reports to help discuss any large overruns in time or material with the employee. The reports assures everyone we are watching the "store".

If your organization is looking for a more effective and efficient method to address your facility management and maintenance, then you need to explore a CMMS solution.  The recently released  eSPACE - Work Order & Asset Management is a "best-in-class" solution designed by Facility Professionals.  In addition, the Work Order & Asset Management module communicates/interfaces with our industry leading Room/Event Scheduler Software

For more information visit or call us at 1-888-448-5664

Tim Cool
Tim Cool is the founder of Smart Church Solutions, but more importantly, the husband to Lisa and father to 27 year old triplets. His passion is serving churches to be intentional with their facilities…and he loves hiking in the NC Mountains.