What is a CMMS?

Computerised maintenance management systems is a bit of a mouthful, so it was abbreviated to CMMS. But what is a CMMS and how should you choose one?

What is a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS)?

At its most basic level, a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) is the digital means of recording information related to maintenance of the built world. Slightly more specifically, a CMMS provides a system of record and solution for organisations and individuals to support the management of maintenance of properties, teams, assets, resources, contracts and compliance. 

CMMS and Integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) are often used almost interchangeably however, computerised maintenance management systems are typically more focused on maintenance of the built world whereas IWMS also handle its operation, for example rent collection, lease expiries and the like.  

For more information on the difference between the two, look at this article ‘What is the difference between a computerised maintenance management system and an integrated workplace management system?’

The History of CMMS

Computerised Maintenance Management Systems were first introduced in the 1980s when the complexity and scale of property and facilities management required that there be something to replace the previously manual recording of processes.

At their core, CMMS are designed to efficiently handle aspects of facilities management such as:

During the 1990s, CMMS morphed into Enterprise Asset Management systems (EAMs) and there is not a clear line between the two today. EAMs were typically more focused on the maintenance of the operational infrastructure for a company and enhanced the level of information around assets such as:

  • Root cause analysis
  • Predictive maintenance, and 
  • Total Cost of Ownership or asset lifecycle analysis

In the 2000s, with the development of the internet, CMMS became more than just a static repository of information and were extended to include the ability to field operatives to obtain information such as asset job history and field service management as well as documentation upload and download.

CMMS Today

The advancement of CMMS has continued and today the most comprehensive computerised maintenance management systems provide all of the above as well as the automation of workflows, integration with building management systems (BMSs), internet of things and sensor (IoT) integrations, machine learning and artificial intelligence plugins and an endless opportunity for configuration. 

Which CMMS is best?

There are lots and lots of computerised maintenance management systems available on the market. Homyze has (more than once) undertaken an evaluation of the marketplace to determine which solution was ‘the best’ in terms of:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Ease of implementation
  3. Configurability 
  4. Functionality
  5. Value for money

As you can imagine, there is an inherent tradeoff between various aspects of the above however by working with customers such as Homyze, we are repeatedly told that Cleverly offers by far the most powerful and intuitive solution for dealing with all aspects of maintenance. 

Every organisation’s requirements are unique and we would suggest that you likewise consider all options for your CMMS provider. What works for one company may not be right for another. 

Perhaps most importantly, when choosing a CMMS, ensure that the company behind it is committed to maintaining and advancing the features and functionality. The facilities management industry is undergoing rapid change, and given that changing your provider can be problematic, you want to ensure that your chosen provider can be with you for the long haul.

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