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by Taylor Short,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: July 27, 2015



We wrote this guide to help you determine what kind of system will best suit your organization.
Here’s what we’ll cover:

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is CMMS Software?
Common Features of CMMS Software
Important Features to Consider
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems BuyerView | 2014
Using CMMS to Earn LEED-EB Credits
Recent Events You Should Know About

What Is CMMS Software?

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) help organizations track the upkeep of their assets and associated costs of the work, with the ultimate goal of prolonging an asset’s lifespan at minimal expense. This could include maintaining assets in a single facility or a range of facilities, or maintaining a group of equipment like a fleet of vehicles or other types of machinery.

CMMS and enterprise asset management (EAM) systems are closely related, and the terms are often used interchangeably. However, CMMS is a departmental application used by maintenance departments, while EAM is accessible across the entire enterprise. CMMS is implemented to prolong the lifespan of physical assets. EAM, on the other hand, oversees all of an organization’s assets, including fixed assets, IT assets and digital assets.

This is Maintenance Connection's CMMS module menu

There are industry-specific maintenance management systems, too. We’ve written buyer’s guides that cover CMMS for specific industries, including fleet management software, equipment maintenance software applications and aircraft MRO software, as well as a guide for Web-based solutions.

Common Features of CMMS Software

Asset tracking Maintains information about an organization’s assets (equipment, machines, buildings, fleets etc.). This includes when the asset was purchased, its expected lifetime, warranty information, the upkeep history, costs, depreciation and more. It may be used by several departments, including accounting and maintenance. Vendors that offer asset tracking include eRPortal CMMS, eMaint X3 and Maintenance Connection.
Inventory tracking and purchasing Tracks parts, tools and other materials required to perform routine upkeep. Features may include a scheduling system for personnel to reserve tools; an auto-notifier to alert staff when more materials need to be purchased; and support for multiple currencies. Many vendors offer a purchasing module that allows you to keep track of where you purchased supplies, when they were ordered, the total cost and the quantity ordered. This module may be able to send out automated requests for quotes to suppliers when the stock of an item is low. Examples of vendors offering this functionality include ManagerPlus and 4Site.
Preventive maintenance Preventive maintenance software allows you to schedule tasks based on meter readings, dates, or by setting up custom triggers. You can view all current and future maintenance activity on a calendar. You can also set up custom groups and routes. Some systems also have a preventive task library to help define the right tasks and procedures. Example vendors include Sprocket CMMS and Series4000.
Predictive upkeep and condition monitoring Minimizes surprise failures by monitoring the condition of assets and analyzing historical trends in asset performance. These applications automatically schedule tasks based on performance indicators like noise, vibration, temperature, corrosion, pressure and flow. Users can define upper and lower boundaries of these parameters for each asset, and automatically create a work order when a reading falls outside the boundary. Bigfoot CMMS, Tabware by AssetPoint and eMaint X3 offer intuitive condition monitoring solutions.
Work order Manages the work order process. This includes scheduling repairs, assigning personnel to the job, reserving materials, recording costs, tracking the cause of the problem, tracking downtime and making recommendations for future action. Other features may include permission and notification settings, department and technician routing and a portal where customers or other employees can submit work order requests. Vendors providing work order tracking include MPulse, WOW! On the Web and NetFacilities.

Important Features to Consider

Mobile capabilities. Technicians often work in the field. The use of mobile devices has become prevalent in this market, providing personnel with the capability to immediately update records and make data available across the organization. Mobile tools can also generate work orders directly from the device, track labor and inventory use and issue, return and receive parts in real-time.

Vendors like Micromain offer mobile dashboards

Other examples of mobile capabilities often offered in some CMMS include:

  • QR/barcoding capabilities. Many CMMS provide quick response (QR) coding and barcoding capabilities. Scanning an asset’s code provides a glimpse into its entire maintenance history, giving immediate insight to the last task performed, the next upkeep due, troubleshooting notes, warranty information and more. These capabilities also allow technicians to include notes about an asset that are immediately accessible organization-wide.
  • Voice recognition. Technicians often need to use both of their hands while performing work. Voice recognition capabilities empower technicians to record notes hands-free. In addition, speech-to-text features allow voice notes to be automatically converted to text and entered into the CMMS. This saves time that would otherwise be spent transcribing notes by hand for manual data entry.

Asset ranking tools. Asset ranking tools “grade” equipment performance, highlighting equipment that’s historically underperformed or tends to perform well. This helps organizations identify equipment that needs replacement or repair. These tools calculate the costs of operating equipment as well as predicted asset lifespans based on performance. Asset ranking tools create a sense of transparency that can save time and money, while reducing the likelihood of reactive maintenance over time.

Bigfoot CMMS offers an asset grading feature.

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems BuyerView | 2014

Every year, Software Advice talks with thousands of owners and managers looking for the right computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) for their business. This provides us with unparalleled insight into the needs of CMMS software buyers.

We recently analyzed a random selection of 385 of these interactions from 2013, in order to uncover prospective buyers’ most common pain points and their reasons for purchasing new CMMS solutions.

Check out the full 2014 CMMS BuyerView report for more details and analyses.

Using CMMS to Earn LEED-EB Credits

Energy and atmosphere is one of nine key areas measured by the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED-EB (Existing Building) certification. By using a CMMS to monitor meter readings including pressure, temperature, voltage and hours in operation, personnel can “pinpoint” poorly performing equipment. This can help organizations achieve an overall reduction in energy consumption.

For example, 100 Park Avenue in Manhattan received the LEED-EB Gold Certification in 2014, after recieving a Silver Certification in 2009. Re-certification is available every five years, and the U.S. Green Building Council upgraded the property's rating for improving efficiency, including achieving 77 percent recycle rates and a water consumption reduction of 10 percent since 2009. 

Recent Events You Should Know About

Growth predicted in U.S. manufacturing. U.S. manufacturing production is expected to grow by about 4 percent in both 2015 and 2016, according to a report from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. Despite a lull in auto manufacturing, 23 industries should see growth, due to new employment, lower debt and rising consumer wealth.

Reshoring of U.S. manufacturing is slowing. New research reveals that the reshoring of manufacturing jobs, where formerly overseas production returns to or near the U.S., is slowing; though the initiative is still in its infancy. While cheaper labor costs typically encourage the offshoring of manufacturing, many industries moved operations closer to the U.S. to shorten the supply chain to consumers.

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