CMMS software is a useful and popular tool to handle work orders and asset management. However, for many organizations, complacency has set in. Work orders are being tracked and completed, processes seem to be working…everything seems to be “fine”.
In recent years, we have seen an awakening of sorts. Facility managers are exploring ways to use their CMMS as a MANAGEMENT tool, rather than just a workflow tool. They are looking for activity reports, cost tracking, efficient scheduling, and more. This shift in thinking is evidenced by three major changes we see taking place in how CMMS systems are being used today:
1. CMMS reports being used as tools for day-to-day decision-making
2. Widespread use of CMMS throughout the FM department
3. Mobile solutions used by management and technicians
CMMS and Decision-Making
For many years, CMMS software has been an integral component of the facilities operations. However, the systems have been primarily used as a workflow tool. The focus has been on operational efficiencies and process improvements. CMMS software is now being utilized more and more as an actual management tool. Facility managers are screaming for data and reports from their CMMS. Among other things, they are looking for operating information and asset performance data. We expect CMMS software usage to continue evolving as an integral component of operations and management workflows while also playing a pivotal role in providing managers with operating information for day-to-day decision-making.
Department-Wide Use of CMMS
In the past, CMMS software was used by a small handful of administrative staff within a facilities organization. Aside from these few administrators, user interaction with the CMMS was typically limited to work order entry and closeout. Many organizations are now instituting widespread use of the software by all facilities employees for their day-to-day tasks. Technicians are expected to utilize CMMS data for analysis and equipment monitoring. Supervisors are using the CMMS for labor scheduling and workload balancing. Managers are starting to utilize the CMMS for financial budgeting and operations analysis. The CMMS is beginning to take the shape of a true enterprise system rather than just a work order processing tool.
It is abundantly clear that mobile CMMS solutions can add value to the organization. Among other benefits, they enable better point-of-use access to information, better response times, and improved workflow efficiencies. Until recently, one of the main barriers from implementing mobile solutions has been cost. Specifically, the perceived benefits of a mobile solution did not outweigh the implementation costs. Now, with the availability of smart phones and tablets at significantly lower costs, facility managers are eager to evaluate and implement a mobile solution for themselves and for their maintenance technicians, supervisors, and inspectors. Mobile CMMS solutions in the facilities environment are steadily becoming the norm, and they are no longer just for the field technicians.