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FAQs on CAFM, CMMS and Maintenance Software

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What are CAFM, FMS and CMMS Software Systems?

Our web pages define CMMS (Computerised Maintenance Management Systems) fairly well and we have a section dedicated to this at What is CMMS? We can however, briefly define it as a computerised method of controlling the planning of all the tasks involved in maintaining your facility. This includes planned maintenance scheduling and the recording of breakdown information.

It also has many other functions including stock control, inventory and purchasing. It is worth noting that some companies find that the greatest return from a CMMS implementation can be had from the stock control functions.



What is the difference between CMMS, FMS and CAFM Software Systems?

Essentially there is little difference. Facilities Management Systems (FMS) otherwise known as Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM systems) do the same job in facilities as opposed to industrial sites.

Most CMMS vendors provide software that can be used equally well as FMS software/CAFM software. The specialist FMS or CAFM system software vendors may include some functions that are deliberately aimed at this market but the end objective is the same, i.e. the control of your maintenance systems.


How do I go about implementing a CMMS or CAFM System?

Information on CMMS and CAFM implementation is available in the implementation section of this site. Briefly, you need to:


Will a CMMS or CAFM System save me any money?

There should always be some sort of saving through the introduction of CMMS. The extent of this saving will depend on the correct software being selected and the quality of the implementation. Realistically you should be able to save between 5% and 15% of your annual maintenance budget. A calculator to help you with your CAFM or CMMS ROI (Return on Investment) is available by clicking this link.


Are there any legal requirements to have a CMMS or CAFM System?

There is no legal requirement to use a CAFM or CMMS system. These systems do however have one important function that can keep you legal. That is to control and issue work orders for mandatory maintenance and checks. These may include things like safety checks, machinery guarding checks, water tank and water tower inspections and portable appliance testing.


Why is it a good idea to get help from a CMMS consultant?

Many complex processes are involved in CMMS implementation. It is important to look at the structure of a maintenance organisation to ensure that the selected software package is the best match. During a normal career most maintenance managers have few if any opportunities to gain experience in this. It is however, extremely important that the person specifying the system has a good understanding of maintenance management and the implementation process. It is generally accepted that around 70% of all implementations fail in the first 12 months and this is mostly due to wrongly specified systems being selected.


Why is it important that the CMMS consultant is independent?

Most CMMS consultancies get their leads through alliances with a software vendor. This is a win/win situation since the vendors get the software sale and the consultancy may get the implementation work. Clearly however, it is not possible for a consultant who is allied to a vendor or vendors to be objective. They must try to sell the company product. This often leads to the purchase and implementation of packages that are not really suited to the requirements of the client. Using an independent consultant means that you can get assistance throughout the process including the definition of your requirements. You can go to the vendors and tell them exactly what you need rather than them telling you what you want.


CAFM Quotes ButtonWhat's the problem with CMMS implementation. Isn't it quite straightforward?

Unless you are fortunate enough to be overstaffed and have the right people available to do this, implementation will create a temporary but sizeable drain on your valuable maintenance resources. Don't underestimate the time it will take - this is not a routine task. Clearly it makes sense to use a temporary resource for a temporary problem. There are also tools and techniques that can be used to simplify the process. Most maintenance engineers just cannot devote the time that this type of project justifies.


Will CMMS and CAFM Software co-exist with my existing processes?

The answer to this is, once again, dependent on the quality of the implementation. The requirement to maintain existing systems should be considered during the maintenance audit and software selection process. Providing your current processes are based on modern practices and not too restrictive they may be able to be accommodated in the implementation.


What is a Maintenance Software Audit?

A maintenance audit is the process of assessing your current maintenance department structure, procedures and practices. It also takes into account links to other departments in your business (say IT or accounts), the resources you have available and your expectations and requirements. These factors are key to the selection process. .

Maintenance Shop Link


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