What is CMMS?

What Is CMMS?

CMMS Helps You:

  • Centralize maintenance information
  • Facilitate maintenance scheduling
  • Access real-time asset information
  • Complete work order requests quickly
  • Improve facility and equipment safety
  • Implement preventive maintenance
  • Track maintenance team performance and assignation
  • Manage inventory and assets
  • Operate from the field

Centralize Maintenance Information

So what does CMMS stand for? CMMS stands for computerized maintenance management system.

The simplest CMMS definition is software, or CMMS tools, that streamline the management of various maintenance tasks and duties through computerized systems. They enable effective management of equipment, inventory and maintenance teams, whether in a single location or across global organizations.

With work order modules, inventory management tools and maintenance scheduling features, these platforms can efficiently manage the maintenance of equipment, machinery and other assets.

Maintenance departments typically use CMMS software as their primary maintenance software due to their diverse range of functions. However, some may opt for enterprise asset management (EAM) or facilities management software to meet specific needs.

Facilitate Maintenance Scheduling

A CMMS can simplify maintenance scheduling for businesses, regardless of whether they need to maintain large machinery or tenant plumbing. In addition to providing scheduling assistance, some CMMS solutions offer customized schedules for all types of maintenance tasks, accommodating various schedules.

When you perform multiple maintenance procedures in the same location, scheduling becomes particularly beneficial. With a CMMS, managers can access an overview of their maintenance strategies, such as preventive vs. reactive maintenance and examine individual strategies to track successful tasks.

Access Real-time Asset Information

Using a CMMS, you can easily view various assets and their respective health statuses, often represented by color-coding or categorical labels, providing a quick understanding of the facility’s overall health. By receiving real-time asset data and frequent updates, identifying weaknesses within a building becomes more accessible.

In addition to preventive maintenance, a CMMS’s asset management tool allows you to track numerous asset-related data elements, including asset specifications, warranty details and purchase dates. They can also monitor more significant statistics such as projected lifetime and service history.

The service histories of assets are particularly crucial as they track all maintenance work performed, enabling users to determine whether and when maintenance occurred and predict when issues might arise. Analyzing the service history information may help you identify trends in specific issues, such as a part failing every ten months, so you can optimize maintenance scheduling.

Complete Work Order Requests Quickly

Effective work order management is a critical aspect of any CMMS. With the increasing use of mobile devices and computer knowledge in the workforce, organizing and storing work orders digitally is far superior to using pen and paper. It’s crucial to keep records of all work orders, particularly recent ones.

CMMS’ work order management modules significantly reduce the likelihood of losing records by storing all work orders in a searchable database. Users can log in to check the progress of each work order and see who’s responsible for each task, fostering accountability and highlighting areas for improvement.

Before the advent of CMMS, work orders required time-consuming paperwork, sorting and physical filing systems. CMMS tools simplify work order classification by allowing staff members to submit and follow up on work requests. After classification, you can assign the appropriate technician or team to each work order.

Moreover, the CMMS can generate automatic work orders upon meeting certain conditions, such as machine cycle counts, work requests submitted by certain people or measurements read by condition monitoring sensors.

Improve Facility and Equipment Safety

By serving as a database for vital safety items such as inspection checklists, a CMMS can assist a facility in monitoring the health and safety of its personnel. Additionally, CMMS tools can handle employee injury reports, analyze failures and facilitate the creation of a safer working environment.

As CMMS applications continue to advance, these benefits will only increase through various innovative approaches, including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and asset performance management. The maintenance management industry can expect significant improvements and innovations as the future of CMMS unfolds.

Implement Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is essential for a business with heavy equipment or machinery. CMMS tools enable users to plan routine equipment failure maintenance, promoting a more proactive approach to maintenance.

Additionally, CMMS preventive maintenance software can communicate with your various assets through the Internet of Things. Sensors embedded in your equipment can detect significant and minor issues and automatically alert the relevant personnel to address the problem. This is another preventive measure that ensures the ongoing efficiency of your machinery.

Track Maintenance Team Performance and Assignation

CMMS tools can also assist maintenance managers in scheduling their maintenance teams. Creating schedules manually can be a time-consuming and difficult task, as anyone who’s attempted it can attest. CMMS tools help you automate this process by scheduling maintenance workers for shifts and specific tasks during their shifts.

With an automated schedule, maintenance managers can be confident that teams complete maintenance activities as needed. Additionally, users can configure CMMS solutions to send out scheduled maintenance alerts when various triggers occur, such as time intervals, component failures, warranty expirations and more. This removes the burden of remembering to schedule maintenance from administrative staff.

Manage Inventory and Assets

CMMS offers useful inventory management features. Unlike an inventory management system that oversees products and items distributed from a warehouse, a CMMS manages spare parts used for asset maintenance.

Knowing when you’re running low on a crucial part is critical since it can cause extended downtime if you run out. CMMS inventory management tools automatically monitor your spare parts inventory levels and notify you when you’re nearing a predetermined threshold. This way, you can order additional spare parts before you run out.

Operate From the Field

While it may seem like everyone is too glued to their phones, using mobile devices for business software can provide convenience and flexibility. Cloud-based CMMS solutions often offer mobile capabilities that allow users to take the system with them on the go. While it’s unlikely someone would access their CMMS for entertainment during their off-hours, there are numerous benefits to using a mobile CMMS while on the job.

For example, maintenance managers overseeing multiple facilities can easily input notes directly into the system, regardless of which facility they’re currently at. Mobile access is also useful for maintenance workers or managers at a single facility, as they can update work orders and add maintenance notes as they complete tasks.

Additionally, you can provide company-owned tablets or similar devices to ensure secure and easy access to the CMMS.


How does CMMS work?

What is CMMS software and how does it work? These can be tricky questions to answer.

A CMMS is a software solution designed to streamline and automate maintenance operations. It works by consolidating all maintenance-related data, such as asset information, work order history and inventory, into a centralized database.

Users can access this information through a user-friendly interface that allows them to track and manage maintenance tasks efficiently.

To begin, users enter information about their assets into the CMMS, such as equipment specifications, maintenance schedules and warranty information. The system then generates work orders based on this information and allows users to assign tasks to specific technicians or teams.

CMMS platforms also track work order progress and provide alerts when tasks are overdue or require additional attention.

Another critical function of CMMS is inventory management. The system tracks spare parts and materials needed for maintenance tasks and alerts users when inventory levels are low. This helps ensure that necessary parts are always available when needed, reducing downtime and preventing delays.

What is CMMS

What are CMMS pricing and deployment options?

CMMS systems are available in a range of pricing packages, including open-source and premium, so you can choose the one that fits your budget and requirements. Additionally, CMMS can be deployed in various ways: it can be hosted on-site through hardware, hosted in the cloud via the vendor’s servers or a combination of the two.

CMMS Pricing and Deployment

Who uses CMMS?

Many industries can utilize CMMS, but asset-heavy enterprises mainly adopt it due to having significant physical assets needing maintenance. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Manufacturing
  • Life sciences
  • Education
  • Health care
  • Municipalities
  • Government
  • Retail
  • Construction
  • Food and beverage

What are the types of CMMS?

We’ve covered the main question — what is CMMS? — but it has different types too. CMMS can incorporate features from other types of software such as EAM, facilities management, inventory management and warehouse management software.

Enterprise Asset Management

EAM software, on the other hand, focuses primarily on asset management and extending the life cycle of equipment to maximize ROI. It accomplishes this using various techniques, including tracking mean time between failures (MTBF), depreciation method computations and more.

In the past, there were significant differences between EAM and CMMS, with EAM being more sophisticated in analytics and management tools.

However, as vendors developed CMMS solutions, they started providing many of the same functions as EAM software. Today, EAM and CMMS are often used interchangeably.

Computer-aided Facilities Management

CAFM software is a type of CMMS that specifically focuses on managing facilities. It aids in planning and organizing every aspect of a facility, including procedures and remote control of windows, lights and thermostats, for energy conservation or burglary prevention.

Facilities management software includes functions like space use and resource allocation, life cycle management, and property maintenance.

Asset Performance Management

Asset performance management is believed to be the next stage in the growth of asset and maintenance management systems, following EAM. Its objective is to decrease operating expenses and risks while enhancing asset availability and dependability.

What is the difference between CMMS and EAM?

EAM and CMMS share many functions, and the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the difference between the two lies in their scope. While CMMS handles maintenance management, EAM includes all of these features and incorporates additional asset management functionalities.

What is the difference between CMMS and facilities management?

While CMMS incorporates several features of facility management, facility management software is generally more focused and specific. For a more detailed comparison, refer to our article on CMMS vs. plant management.

How do I select a CMMS?

When selecting a CMMS, it’s crucial to take into account several factors, such as operational requirements, budget, deployment method, company size and industry.

These factors can simplify the vendor selection process. To help you find the best CMMS vendor for your business needs, we’ve developed an easy-to-use requirements interface. You can refer to our CMMS requirements checklist or the list of CMMS advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re having trouble finding the right software vendor, we’re here to help. Contact our team for personalized recommendations by calling us at 855-850-3850 or emailing us at

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CMMS articles are written and edited by:

Zachary Totah

Content Manager

As SelectHub’s Content Manager, Zachary Totah leads a team of more than 35 writers and editors in their quest to provide content that helps software buyers find the right system for their company.

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Ryan McElroy

Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst

Ryan McElroy is a Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst at SelectHub who writes content on EHR, EMR, home health, telemedicine and construction scheduling.

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Kriti Agarwal

Technical Content Writer

Kriti is a Technical Content Writer at SelectHub, covering CMMS, EAM and facility management. She is an avid reader, daydreamer and animal lover, especially dogs.

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SelectHub has sought out and invited thought leaders to contribute to our CMMS industry articles and resources. These thought leaders ensure we deliver quality content with the most accurate information, focusing on what matters most. No thought leader is compensated for their contributions but shares our belief that information should be democratized so everyone can make the best decision.

Deb Noller

Deb Noller

CEO and co-founder, Switch Automation

Deb Noller is the dynamic CEO and co-founder of Switch Automation, a smart building software company specializing in building performance optimization.

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Ryan Chan

Ryan Chan

CEO and founder, UpKeep

Ryan Chan is the CEO and founder at UpKeep. He’s a chemical engineer from UC Berkeley and was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Manufacturing in 2018.

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Daniel Golub

Daniel Golub

Chief Operating Officer, Hippo CMMS

Daniel Golub is the Chief Operating Officer at Hippo CMMS, a Canadian based software company

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Steven Kyriakidis

Steven Kyriakidis

Co-Founder, Maxpanda CMMS

Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.

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