What is CMMS?
CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System.
At the core of any CMMS is the asset hierarchy (often called the asset register). The asset hierarchy is essentially any valuable asset for which the asset history should be known and accessible, and on which work is to be performed and tracked.
The asset component is essentially what differentiates CMMS from more basic field service or work order software. That said, many maintenance or service providers may still use a CMMS if their goal is purely to control and manage work orders.
Since assets are being tracked, a natural function of CMMS is to manage preventative maintenance (sometimes called "PM" for short, or scheduled maintenance ) that we know, in advance, is required on those assets. This form of maintenance is performed based on pre-defined intervals, such as time-based maintenance, or meter-based (from a meter reading), or another metric applicable to the asset.
Most CMMS will also offer the ability to manage inventory. While CMMS does not strictly service inventory management, a natural extension exists given that spare parts and consumables are being consumed via work orders and they are an important factor in determining the cost of maintenance and of ownership of any asset over its lifetime.
Inventory components will usually include the ability to create a full spare parts list, stock locations or warehouses, as well as stock transfers and spare part purchasing to those locations. Barcoding systems will help identify parts, and well as assist with stocktaking and booking parts out.
CMMS will also capture work time. That is, the time technicians, or other user types for that matter, spend fixing issues or working on scheduled maintenance. Again, this is important data when considering the total cost of ownership of any asset.
More advanced CMMS or work order software will extend the capture of work time to include a timesheet facility and may even go further to the point of allowing you to integrate with payroll software and therefore create a seamless solution to avoid double entry of data for users.