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What is CMMS?

Before computers went mainstream, organizations had to rely on paper to keep up with maintenance records. However, things have accelerated rapidly to the point where they no longer require paper or scattershot spreadsheets for those requests. Instead, large and small enterprises use a CMMS to create more efficient maintenance operations, typically as part of an overall enterprise asset management (EAM) strategy.

What Does CMMS Mean?

What is CMMS? CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System. It’s often used along with the term CAFM, or computer-aided facility management software. The primary differentiator between CAFM and CMMS is that CMMS is a component of CAFM software that is entirely focused on maintenance.

Let’s take a closer look at what CMMS software is to gain a better understanding of each component.


The word “computerized” refers to a CMMS being a software program designed to track company assets. For example, any work orders for asset management get logged and tracked within the program. In addition, organizations rely on a CMMS to produce reports and keep up with any assets that may require preventative maintenance. That way, companies can extend the lifespan of assets while reducing costs and generating higher profits.


The Maintenance portion of CMMS refers to one of the primary purposes for the software. It’s designed to improve the way organizations maintain and repair the assets in their facilities. One of the biggest challenges for companies is making sure that their equipment is maintained and repaired to decrease downtime and improve operational efficiency. Additionally, CMMS software helps to ensure that your facility is making informed maintenance decisions such as not making unnecessary equipment purchases.

Records of maintenance are also a critical part of this software. Ensuring that work orders, inventory supplies, and preventative maintenance are stored in a centralized location helps organizations know the state of their equipment and assets. This ensures that their assets are ready to serve their customers and guests and avoid costly downtime.


The management component is an essential part of a CMMS. It’s what allows users to gain a 360-degree view into the current state of facility maintenance and allow facility managers to quickly take action on maintenance needs. For example, an organization can use the CMMS to set work order schedules, make inventory forecasts, and create reports that provide snapshots of the state of a company’s asset management strategy.


The system is what ties together the features housed within a CMMS platform. The capabilities provided by a CMMS vary depending on the system type. Ideally, an organization can find a CMMS that integrates easily with its current maintenance practices.

How Does a CMMS Work?

When asking what is CMMS, it’s important to realize that it functions as more than a data storage system. It assists users by generating workflows and insights that help organizations improve their operations functions. In addition, a CMMS gives your employees a better understanding of the needs of assets throughout the entire organization. Other positives that companies gain by investing in a CMMS include:

  • Gaining more clarity about where they’re spending asset dollars
  • Better record-keeping around inventory storage within the company
  • Helping organizations stick to industry compliance standards

Core capabilities of a CMMS include:

Facility management software

Facility management software is essential to establishing a framework for an EMS. A robust CMMS helps organizations track the availability of workers and certifications on equipment. In addition, companies can assign work orders and create teams to address issues with company assets.

  • Asset registry
  • Businesses can use their CMMS database for functions like:
  • Keeping up with serial numbers, equipment type, and equipment classes
  • Saving asset codes
  • Tracking asset cost
  • Logging asset performance and downtime
  • Storing documents, videos, and other images associated with company assets

Work order tracking

Your CMMS can streamline work order management by capturing information like:

  • Work order numbers
  • Personnel assigned to handle a work order
  • The order type, like a repair or replacement
  • The cause of the issue
  • Associated remedy codes

In addition, an organization can use their CMMS for functions like:

  • Automatically generating work orders
  • Reserving any necessary equipment or materials
  • Attaching documentation to work orders

Material and inventory management

An additional consideration in regards to what is CMMS and how it can help your organization is how it can transform your asset operations. A CMMS provides a centralized repository for keeping up with inventory across different storage areas. Companies can use it to keep up with distributing, repairing, and reclaiming equipment as needed. In addition, organizations can manage their suppliers, keep up with inventory costs, and automatically order new supplies through a CMMS.

When businesses have a firm grasp of the assets within their organization, they put themselves in a better position to make more informed purchasing decisions. A CMMS also helps companies stay on top of preventative maintenance, which extends the life of an asset and helps businesses save money.

Reporting and analysis

Use the information captured within a CMMS to create reports for different maintenance categories like material usage, labor costs, and asset availability. Other capabilities provided by top CMMS systems include analyzing data and coming up with performance trends and ways to optimize maintenance and repair processes.

What are the Benefits of a CMMS?

The following considerations should play into any decision around investing in a new CMMS for your organization.

1. Easier reporting and tracking

The insights gained from the information housed within the CMMS database can lead to better decisions around assets. For example, companies can see exactly what equipment may need replacing or may require preventative maintenance. By using a CMMS, an employee no longer must try and piece together what may be happening with an asset by reading a paper request or making sense of a bunch of spreadsheets.

2. Better ability to meet industry standards & regulatory compliance

Companies bound by specific industry maintenance standards and regulatory compliance can leave themselves better prepared for an audit by investing in a CMMS. Instead of frantically digging through reams of paperwork and electronic records spread out over the company, you can tap into your CMMS database to pull reports containing all necessary information.

3. Easier transfer of knowledge

Too often, organizations rely on one person who understands everything that’s happening with company assets. However, if that person retires or leaves the company for other reasons, an organization ends up having to scramble to replace that knowledge. Having a CMMS that contains all asset info makes it possible to pass that knowledge on. That way, another company employer can step into an asset management role and maintain consistency.

Why Your Organization Needs a CMMS

A CMMS system can simplify the process of creating work orders for assets. That cuts down on disorganization and helps employees use their time more effectively. Having a centralized database housing your asset information reduces the risk of losing an important piece of paperwork that could cause problems down the line.

Contact ServiceChannel for a demo of our solutions, or if you have questions about what is CMMS or to learn more about how we can help you obtain the right CMMS platform for your enterprise.

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