Web Based CMMS Requirements Reviewed
You’ve decided it’s time to bring a CMMS on board to help make your department more manageable. As you begin to review the software, you see that there are two differing approaches available. One is traditional, time tested, in house software, while the other is based on the technology offered by the now ubiquitous Internet in the form of Web Based CMMS. At first glance, you might think that newer translates into better, right? Well, maybe, but let’s look at the entire picture and see what makes sense for you and your company.
What are the most important features you are looking for, and how do they perform in a Web Based CMMS as compared to a Local Network CMMS solution?
- Preventive Maintenance – If you are like many maintenance departments, your number one need is to implement simple and reliable preventive maintenance software. It is a well accepted fact that effective preventive maintenance is the number one time and cost saver for most companies, consistently delivering rapid Return on Investment. The predominant consideration for the preventive maintenance area of your CMMS is ease of use. If your staff doesn’t use this portion of the software, your implementation cannot succeed.
- Scheduled Work Orders – Frequently a close second on the list is the ability to enter and track other, non-preventive maintenance, work orders. This can be a large and difficult to track list, especially when there is no preventive maintenance software in place to help minimize breakdowns.
- Equipment Maintenance History – One of the advantages of CMMS software is that it compiles a list of work orders and parts used to maintain a piece of equipment with no extra effort. This information is indispensible when researching equipment history. A host of management reports can also be generated from this information.
- Inventory Control – Nothing is more frustrating than having a machine down because you are missing a part that you know you should have had on hand. A good CMMS installation will make it simple to control your inventory.
Web Based CMMS Option
With the traditional Web Based CMMS option, implementation starts with the initial task of setting up all the different lists used for the various areas of your company’s data base. Each screen must be individually set up. Cross referencing another list requires either exiting the current screen or initiating an additional session in a new browser window. Drop down lists are either not available or very slow to load and difficult to navigate. When finally set up, implementation shortcuts are few and far between as they are difficult to manage in a web environment. Reports, sorts, and selections are slow to appear and must be printed for practical use. A newer Web Based CMMS option is the CMMS Hosting Service. With this service, functionality and speed are comparable to the Network Based CMMS.
Network Based CMMS Option
The Network Based CMMS option allows for the more familiar user interface. Lists can be accessed on demand from within the current window as well as the current input screen. Drop down lists appear quickly and offer many options. Your staff can actually begin using your CMMS Software after the first piece of equipment has been entered. There is no need to wait until all the various lists are completely populated to make it practical to utilize the current entries. Implementation of a single area or department produces time savings that allows additional areas to be implemented more quickly, and so on.
The Networked Based Equipment Form shows the ease of adding to lists when new items are required.
Implementation Wizards and Copy shortcuts are highly functional and easy to use encouraging staff enthusiasm. Reports are locally generated and appear quickly for viewing or printing.
There are some instances where remote access to your CMMS data is essential. In this area, the Web Based CMMS options need no additional features as all users, no matter where they are located, can access it the same way. The Network Option, however, needs to carefully consider this requirement to see the best way to address the need.
For other requirements, such as the remote entering of work order requests from users outside the network, or the transmitting of new work orders to the appropriate staff personnel, a simple, integrated email system is available from Network and CMMS Hosting Service vendors like COGZ Systems, LLC. These are inexpensive, highly responsive alternatives to the Web Based CMMS solution. Additional information on Web Based CMMS features can be found at https://www.cogz.com/articles/web-based-cmms-systems-compared.htm.
As you can see, there are now alternative approaches available for CMMS Software. Careful consideration of your company’s specific requirements will lead you to choose the appropriate system.