What is a CMMS (Computerised Maintenance Management System)?

CMMS is a topic with plenty of buzz in the area of asset maintenance. But what does CMMS stand for and why should you care? Find out why it matters and how these systems extend equipment life, reduce risks and maximise asset availability and performance.

What is CMMS software?

A Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is a digital system that stores and uses key information to plan, manage, communicate and optimise the maintenance of an organisation’s physical assets. For businesses with a large inventory of machinery, vehicles, property and other assets, these systems can mean the difference between growth and profit or stagnation and loss.

Rather than reacting to unexpected asset failure, CMMS software automates the scheduling of two key types of maintenance: preventive and predictive. Preventive maintenance is routine maintenance designed to keep an asset in good repair. Predictive maintenance is maintenance based on real-time collection and analysis of asset data, allowing you to predict and correct failures before they occur. In both cases, automating maintenance workflows enables your team to proactively plan and perform maintenance on all your physical assets. This is key to efficient operations in critical industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas, power, transportation, construction and innumerable others. Regardless of your industry, a holistic CMMS – meaning one that addresses all your organisation’s requirements – is the best way to ensure a solid return on investment.

EAM vs. CMMS – What is the difference?

Although the terms Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and CMMS are often used interchangeably, differences exist between the two even as the lines have blurred over time. CMMS software, as the name implies, specifically automates the communication and coordination of maintenance-related activities. In that regard, CMMS could be considered a subset of EAM, which includes a wider range of enterprise tools to catalogue, track, manage and preserve assets throughout their lifecycle.

While some EAM software does offer maintenance capabilities, a targeted CMMS offers an attractive, more cost-effective option for smaller organisations that need to simplify work orders, anticipate outages, ensure on-time delivery of spare parts, etc.

What are the advantages and benefits of CMMS?

CMMS solutions that integrate multiple functions offer far greater value than manual processes or clunky legacy systems. Consider some of these key advantages and benefits:

    • More effective utilisation of assets. The ability to collect and report maintenance data lets you deploy equipment in the most efficient ways. For example, you can ensure equipment availability during busy times, avoid operating unnecessary equipment during slow periods and easily locate any piece of machinery with equipment tracking software.
    • Reduced downtime. Downtime of a vehicle, machine or other asset is expensive and puts the company budget at risk. Avoiding equipment failures with preventive and predictive maintenance that leverages artificial intelligence saves money, increases customer confidence and enhances your company’s reputation.
    • Optimal work order scheduling. When not carefully planned, asset maintenance can interrupt normal operations. Digital work order tools help you choose a technician with the right skills for a job, avoid unnecessary overtime, and plan maintenance during holidays and weekends when possible.
    • Information access anytime, anywhere. An ideal maintenance management system offers mobile access to real-time information and reporting from any location using a smartphone or tablet.
    • Lower repair costs. CMMS software tools can significantly reduce overall repair costs by flagging maintenance issues early – before they become significant problems.
    • More efficient purchasing. Well-maintained assets tend to last longer, reducing the considerable cost of premature replacement.
    • Reduced risk of accidents. Ensuring that equipment, vehicles and other assets meet all required safety standards reduces the risk of physical harm and protects against company liability.

In light of these, it is clear that the right CMMS, when fully leveraged, increases productivity, reduces costs, enhances safety and contributes to overall success.


Xalt technology digitally transforms work order management tasks and integrates them with existing workflows for real-time access to:

  • Asset tracking with preventive and predictive maintenance data using artificial intelligence
  • The precise status of maintenance in progress from creation to completion
  • An archive of maintenance history of all equipment and its components
  • An inventory of spare parts required to perform maintenance work
  • Efficient scheduling of time and work for maintenance teams using historical analytics such as mean-time-between-failures and mean-time-to-repair
  • Mobile access to information from anywhere on smartphones and tablets

How do I use CMMS software?

An organisation can use its unique maintenance requirements to schedule, monitor, manage and communicate maintenance information.

One way you can schedule maintenance is by date, at intervals such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. This approach works for some assets but could be less than optimal for others. For example, maintenance on infrequently used assets might be performed before it is needed, thus wasting money. Likewise, it could result in underperformed maintenance on overused assets, thus causing an unexpected failure.

Another option is to schedule maintenance by equipment usage or meter-reading. This enables more efficient scheduling, but also requires accurate and timely meter readings – either manual or imported.

Other options that target your specific maintenance needs are worthy of analysis to determine the safest, most efficient ways to schedule preventive and predictive maintenance tasks across the organisation.

What are the industry applications for CMMS?

Any business with multiple assets to maintain can benefit from a customisable, mobile-enabled solution. Here are just a few examples of industries with machinery, infrastructure, office equipment and other assets that need ongoing maintenance:

  • Manufacturing
  • Processing
  • Renewable energy
  • Oil and gas
  • Vehicle dispatch
  • Government offices
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Facilities management

On one hand, a one-size-fits-all CMMS offers limited features that likely also limit its benefits. On the other hand, an overly complex system may be difficult to configure and use, thus reducing its value to your organisation.

It is also important to carefully evaluate your post-implementation needs, including training, support and other resources when selecting the right solution. With the right software, many customers realise a return on their investment almost immediately.

Streamline your maintenance management processes with digitised work order management from Xalt Solutions. Visit hexagonxalt.com, request a demo or call toll free at +1 800-939-6812.