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With so many CMMS (preventive maintenance software) vendors available, you need a reliable place to ask your questions about CMMS software and get a non-biased answer. We want to thank  Perspective CMMS Selection Consulting for sponsoring this area, and giving our readers the free advice as an independent cmms consultant non-biased to any CMMS vendors. Start by viewing the CMMS information FAQ. Or jump to our CMMS solutions and advice area.

Ask Perspective a question !

Your Name:  

Your question:

CMMS Type:         Manufacturing        Facilities

Current CMMS Brand:

Budget to Implement a CMMS program:

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Please browse the previously asked questions below too.




CMMS Software and Selection Questions Answered

cmms software selection Selecting a CMMS for a specific industry? Solution by Perspective

cmms software selection Case studies of savings by implementing CMMS in an oil refinery? Solution by Perspective, Solution by BIN.

cmms software selection How to select and evaluate a CMMS software?

Solution by Perspective

cmms maintenance preventative Which cmms integrates with accpac?

Solution by Perspective


cmms maintenance preventative Is there an industry best practice to Job Plan Naming?

Solution by Perspective


What is CMMS?

Our web pages define CMMS fairly well and we have a section dedicated to this at What is CMMS? We can however, briefly define it as a computerized method of controlling the planning of all the tasks involved in maintaining your facility. This includes planned maintenance scheduling, 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.   [TOP]

How do I go about implementing CMMS?

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

bullet Define your requirements bullet Select a suitable package bullet Prepare your data bullet Install and test the software and any hardware required bullet Input the data bullet Train the personnel bullet Go live!                                                      [TOP]

Will CMMS 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.      [TOP]

Are there any legal requirements to have CMMS?

There is no legal requirement to use a CMMS. 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.      [TOP]

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

Many complex processes are involved in CMMS implementation. It is important to look at the structure of a maintenance organization to ensure that the selected software package is the best fit. During a normal career most maintenance managers have few 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 implemented.      [TOP]

Why is it important that the consultant is independent?

Most CMMS consultancies get their leads through alliances with software vendors. This is a win/win situation since the vendors get the software sale and the consultancy gets 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. This means that you can go to the vendors and tell them exactly what you need rather than them telling you what you want.      [TOP]

What's the problem with implementation. Isn't it quite straightforward?

Unless you are overstaffed (joke?), and have the right people available to do this, implementation will create a temporary 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.      [TOP]

Will CMMS 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 not too restrictive they may be able to be accommodated in the implementation.      [TOP]

What is a Maintenance Audit?

A maintenance audit is the process of assessing your current maintenance department structure, procedures and practices. It also take into account links to other departments in your business (say IT), resources available and your expectations and requirements. These factors are key to the selection process. More information is available in the maintenance audit section of this site.    [TOP]

These FAQs brought to you by Non-biased cmms solution and CMMS advice

CMMS Software and Selection Questions Answered

Question : Selecting a CMMS for a specific industry?

"What CMMS software package best suits equipment / machinery maintenance management for the offshore drilling industry. One that can be customized to fit and would focus on recording "readings & measurements" for tracking trends. Tom from

Many ask. 'what is the best CMMS Software for my industry?' The answer below is for this common question...

Solution by Perspective:  


I don't think this forum is a vehicle for specific recommendations and as a rule I don't make recommendations for clients without having full information on their specific requirements. Suffice to say that there are several applications available that will meet your needs. When making your choice I don't think it's necessary for you to search for a system that is specific to your industry. Equipment and Machinery maintenance management is effectively the same for most applications. For example there are systems in use in hotels and buildings that could do an equally good a job on an oil platform.

For your readings and measurements it would depend on whether the inputs for these have to be interfaced via SCADA or whatever, but if you just require a system for recording these readings then there are many with this functionality. With regard to customization it depends on the degree of customization that you require. For example if you only require to rename a few fields and headings then there are a few systems available that allow this. If you need the system to be integrated with your existing systems then be prepared to pay big money for this.

Regards, Bryan Weir (PEMMS)


Question : Case studies of savings by implementing CMMS in an oil refinery?

Solution by Perspective: It can be difficult to quantify the benefits of CMMS implementation but there is no doubt that a properly implemented system can realize both a financial return and a better organized maintenance department. This link to my web site provides some information -

This link may help explain what a CMMS can be used for -

There is a lot of information on the Internet about this and I have supplied a few links for you at the bottom of this email. Have a look at these but remember that the software companies may make exaggerated claims about the savings to assist them to sell their wares.


Note: Perspective CMMS also has a innovative new "audit by email" service for maintenance departments. The audit is intended to assist companies in the selection of a CMMS vendors. Currently the "audit by email" is available in two versions, for facilities and manufacturing maintenance, the form includes detailed notes that assist in its completion. Email to learn more.


Solution by B.I.N. : For your OIL REFINERY - LIBYA study on cost savings through CMMS....

An in depth look at all aspects of oil refinery for best of class benchmarking, see ...
Continuous process improvement teams in one study [27] audited and eventually upgraded 56 refinery pumps. The purpose was to reduce overall maintenance and energy consumption costs. The resulting increase in MTBR was 2.32 years on average (from approximately 0.69 years) with a net reduction in repair costs of $ 363,810/year and annual energy costs savings of $ 103,004. In yet another study, in a medium sized UK refinery, the MTBR of all the mechanical seal failures was improved by a process improvement team from 36 months to 82 months [28].   
Also may be of interest ...
Ed Cannon, manager of reliability engineering for Amoco Oil's refinery in Whiting, Ind., discusses the benefits of an integrated maintenance and process control system which makes use of Honeywell equipment. "Before asset management, maintenance and reliability had been completely separate from process control. Here's our chance to bring everyone together."   There can be enormous benefits. Mr. Cannon cites a potential weight balance application. Instruments on the unit measure product accountability (product in vs. product out). "If calibration is off just 0.1%, that can mean 5,000 barrels of gasoline."   And that can mean a lot of lost revenue--revenue that can be recovered with the right asset management system.    
Implemented TEAM
TM process at a major oil refinery to improve throughput by $20 million annually. learn more about how oil and gas companies uncover hidden profit potential with asset lifecycle management, call 1-800-328-2636 (USA and Canada) or e-mail 


General Question : How to select and evaluate a CMMS software?


Solution by Perspective to specific question: "At Perspective CMMS we produce a CMMS specification Kit, which was designed specifically for this purpose. To use this you would select a short list of vendors whose software matches your main requirements then carry out a comparison by scoring the relevant features of the system in accordance with these requirements.

My understanding of baseline information is the identification of the data required to populate the CMMS and make it work in your plant. This data would be stuff like the department structure, the asset register, asset condition reports, required maintenance procedures, staff and skills information, etc."


Solution by Perspective to general question : I always make the point that the selection and evaluation of a CMMS is dependent on the specific requirements of the user. Your first must be to survey or audit your existing maintenance department practices and procedures. You can do this yourself or contact an independent consultant for help during this process. A survey should look at factors like:

    • Your Company and Maintenance department structure.
    • Your Existing manual systems.
    • Your Existing unplanned or breakdown reporting system.
    • Your assets, production, process and facilities equipment.
    • Your current problem areas.
    • Your IT section structure and available support.
    • Your specific and detailed requirements and functionality.
    • Your expectations.
    • Your available Project and Software budgeting information.
    • Resources available for implementation, operation and support.
    • Users reporting requirements.
    • Target dates for completion.

When your survey is completed you must then draw up your user specification
to ensure that you have listed the main functions that you need from the
software. After you have pulled this information together you may then start
looking at the packages that are available within your price range before
requesting demonstration copies. Basically it is then a case of test driving
the demos in an attempt to find that which is the closest match to your
requirements. You will find that the decision will be easier if you are
replacing an existing system because you will already have a good idea of
what you want.

When selecting a CMMS for the first time or even when replacing an existing
system, some companies prefer to use the services of a consultant. The
selection process is one that they have never been through before and there
is unlikely to be any in-house expertise available. There is more helpful
information available on the Perspective CMMS web site at

Perspective are also now offering a good low cost alternative to an on-site audit through their audit by email process.
( Either way, best of luck!

Bryan Weir
Principal Consultant


Question : Which cmms integrates with accpac?

Solution by Perspective: I am not aware of any strictly CMMS vendors who offer this. I am sure that several vendors would be willing to bespoke their product for you but this would obviously entail additional expense. I do know one vendor who provides a service management system that includes maintenance management and integrates with ACCPAC. I think your problem depends on what has the highest priority for you, ACCPAC or your CMMS.

I have some questions that may help me to help you.

Can you tell me if you are in manufacturing? 

Can you also tell me if you already have a CMMS or are you involved in an initial implementation? 

How many employees are at your site?

Regards, Bryan D Weir MIIE MIAM

Perspective CMMS "Putting maintenance into perspective"



Question : Is there an industry best practice to Job Plan Naming?

Duane of Suncor goes on to explain ..."Our company is very spread out with business units thousands of miles apart. Not always practical to get together to workshop and hash out details with one another. We are looking for ideas on how to name our Job Plans so that all Business Units can share templates developed. An example of what we
are considering as follows.....

Equip class,sub-class,make,model
Pump,centrifugal,GIW,TBC 46

Does this make sense...our IT dept is pushing back as it requires the field lenth in our CMMS to be increased from the out of the box 8 characters.

Solution by Perspective: There are many opinions on this and I have my own equipment numbering method, which is described in a handout available on request from the Perspective CMMS website at Alternatively you may want to have a look at this link to a website in Denmark, which provides an extensive guide to this. (The document is in English.)


Bryan Weir



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