You might be wondering what are the main differences between using spreadsheets or professional software for a CMMS. Is it a better option to invest in specific software adapted to maintenance needs, or should a custom tool be developed ?
This article will highlight the main benefits and disadvantages of each solution so that you can better quantify the interest of using suitable software.
Quick overview of what CMMS is : it is business software (Computer Aided Maintenance Management) designed to manage the maintenance of equipment for businesses and facilities.
A CMMS can help with all of the management related to equipment fleets, assets, curative analysis, work flow for preventive and regulatory interventions, inventory and purchasing, reporting through dashboards and statistics … and all of this while taking into account the field realities.
Benefits and Limitations of developing through Excel
Using Excel to manage and organize interventions is not new to the world of maintenance !
But did you know that it’s possible to create a CMMS from this well-known spreadsheet software ? Given some time, a little mastery and ingenuity, we can create a tool that makes it possible to plan technical interventions, manage equipment, vehicles, or monitor inventory …
Among the benefits of Excel for maintenance management, here are some key points to note :
- great flexibility when it comes to recording desired data
- easy understanding and training for employees
- accessible on different devices (workstations, tablets, etc.)
However, this spreadsheet software will quite quickly show its limits.
With frequent use, it will not be effective in meeting the needs of managers and field technicians.
Here are some of the drawbacks most often given by teams :
- no alert system, no notifications, no reminder or calendar,
- not suitable for multiple employee use at the same time and not adapted for mobility,
- unclear information as to important data updates (date of update, by whom..) and risk of multiple versions of the same file being saved,
- complicated to manage access rights (either all or nothing in terms of employee access),
- difficulty in cross checking data and making the best use of a file (the data is generally scattered in several files or several tabs),
- complicated analysis and calculations for indicators.
Aside from the technical and daily-use points of view, there’s also the issue of regulations, and it’s quite clear that conformity auditors feel better if a business software is used and implemented by all employees.
What’s the difference between a spreadsheet-based CMMS and a professional CMMS software ?
When you choose to to use a spreadsheet-based CMMS through Excel, the most common arguments are often : that it’s free, and the alluring aspect of a customizable tool.
However, the time needed to develop the tool so that it can meet your specific requirements must be taken into account (whether this is done internally or externally through a service provider), and the amount of time can quickly become overwhelming. Not to mention the common glitches of the first versions of this software.
Also, the people responsible for developing the tool will not necessarily be able to ensure the follow-up and evolution over time (such as a staff member leaving the company, a service provider who no longer exists, outdated technology, etc.) and this leads to other complications such as data being no longer usable when there’s a problem with the file.
The main strength of a professional CMMS is that it can be adapted over time to different changes in operating methods and new technology, which will not necessarily be the case with a spreadsheet-based tool.
Also, a tool developed internally within the business will not guarantee the high level of data security which is a must for businesses and facilities.
A professional CMMS software, if chosen correctly, will be able to be quickly used all team members, and will simplify their missions thanks to adapted modules such as:
- management of common frameworks (machines, buildings, vehicle fleet) including document management,
- planning and monitoring the intervention requests,
- creating and using work orders and their logs,
- access-rights management according to the type of user (department Managers, technicians, etc.),
- geolocalization tracking for interventions,
- stock management (alert thresholds),
- integrated purchasing management or interfacing with third-party software,
- precise and reliable customizable statistics,
- use of the application while being on-the-field
- and much more…
When it comes to weighing out the pros and cons of cost, the main point to remember is that there is a real and tangible correlation between implementing a professional CMMS and higher production performance.
A “tailor-made” professional CMMS is able to adapt to the specific needs and requirements of each customer. A CMMS can also be easily interfaced with other information systems within the business or facility so that time spent on data re-entry is a thing of the past !
So … why choose MAINTI4® ?
Making the choice to invest in professional CMMS software is not the easiest thing to do.
With more than 25 years of experience, MAINTI4® is a CMMS that has been designed for and based on field experience.
It’s a software that has proven itself again and again! In just a few clicks, you get a turnkey tool adapted to your specific needs.
What makes us different is not only our focus on technology, but also our substantial experience and our values.
Over time, MAINTI4® has been adapted to different company and facility sizes, and to different and very diverse sectors of activity. We’ve no doubt that we can bring support and help you achieve your goals.
TRIBOFILM®, MAINTI4®’s publisher, is a team of professionals who are experts in their software and work on a daily basis to make it evolves to suit the needs of its users.
With MAINTI4®, you can be sure to quickly have a reliable and efficient tool, adapted to your business or facility, whatever its size.
All the teams need to be operational is some simple training !
Your tool will then evolve with your company or facility and be adapt to new technology and needs, all the while progressing yet keeping your history.
TRIBOFILM is much more than a software publisher. We support our clients over the long term thanks to a whole range of services : audit, support, training, support service, inventories, data entry, integration … Our relationship with each of our clients is at the heart of our operations !