Data is a powerful asset for virtually every business. Data can inform processes, help identify inefficiencies and risks, and succor effective decision-making within an organization; enabling one to replicate workflows and capitalize on opportunities. In regard to operations and maintenance (O&M) within the commercial building space, computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are certainly no exception.
This post will explore the role of a CMMS within commercial buildings, discuss its evolution from an early concept to a trusted solution, and finally examine the capabilities and benefits of a CMMS.
What is a CMMS?
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a management software solution designed to support the management and tracking of O&M processes and activities. This is achieved through various functions, which increase the efficiency and productivity of maintenance personnel; while also enabling management to make more informed decisions, ensure compliance and effectively and efficiently utilize available resources.
Some specific functions of a CMMS include:
- Generating and tracking work orders
- Managing and controlling spare parts
- Organizing and maintaining key assets, including equipment and systems
The Evolution of Maintenance/Management Processes and the Birth of CMMS
Before the technological advancements that marked the 1970’s, those responsible for commercial buildings manually managed their assets. For example, those overseeing the maintenance and repairs departments routinely made rounds within the building with their staff to inspect assets. After this process was completed, facility managers and staff spent hours examining the gathered information to determine what actions should be taken and if/what improvements could be made to the maintenance schedule.
As technology evolved and commercial owners, maintenance teams and facility managers became increasingly frustrated with inefficient and costly processes, a shift toward technological solutions and automated systems occurred. This transition initially took the form of what would today be considered basic programs and applications, such as Microsoft Excel. While Excel provided a platform in which managers could organize and evaluate data, innovations in the commercial building space soon rendered the program obsolete.
In 1965, the first CMMS system was introduced. However, it would be more than 25 years before CMMS solutions were accessible and affordable to the broader market of commercial buildings.
Today, CMMS is one component of what amounts to a suite of automated systems that are widely utilized and considered the norm in the commercial building space.
The Benefits of CMMS
The most valuable benefit and advantage of a CMMS system is its ability to collect and categorize/aggregate real-time data in a format that is easily accessible and retrievable.
The data provided to commercial building owners, maintenance teams, facility managers, and original equipment managers (OEMs) through a CMMS is actionable – practical information that can improve the operations and efficiency of a facility.
As the data is available in real-time, maintenance/building managers and OEMs can be alerted when issues and needs arise. This functionality, in essence, replaces time-based maintenance with need-based maintenance – a benefit that results in more efficient staffing and cost savings.
Other key CMMS benefits include:
- Proactive identification of potential issues before failures and errors actually occur, reducing both failures and customer complaints
- Inventory management and control with improved forecasting for spare parts, helping to prevent shortages and minimize waste and excess inventory
- Functions that support planned maintenance activities and more efficient staffing
- Tools to help ensure optimal equipment performance in order to minimize outages and downtime and extend the life of the equipment
- Asset tracking that provides a system for recording all actions related to a piece of equipment – from the date of purchase to the details and time of its last repair
- Improved data security through both local and cloud backups to ensure both the safety and quality of data
The Bottom Line
In today’s digital world, the efficient operation of commercial buildings is synonymous with computerized maintenance management systems. From management and tracking assets to developing maintenance schedules and addressing potential issues before they develop, a CMMS provides commercial building owners and managers with the benefit of actionable, real-time data, efficient tools, and proactive solutions.
Data and Tools to Help You Harness the Power of Your Commercial Building
From small office buildings to large networks of enterprise locations, Scanalytics offers innovative solutions to take control of the experience and performance of any commercial space. Real-time data and integration with CMMS is an essential component of the formula that we utilize to achieve success for our clients.
To learn more about how Scanalytics is using cutting-edge technology and data to provide critical insights into event, retail, and commercial foot traffic, visit our website or contact us today to set up a demo.