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I have over 30 years experience of maintenance management systems and computerised maintenance management systems and I would like to share something with you.

Computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS), whatever the software; whoever the developer/supplier do not in themselves constitute a maintenance management system, they are tools that support a maintenance management system.

I speak from bitter experience of trying to help clients who, when I ask, tell me they have a maintenance management system… its called SAP or Maximo or … chose from a hundred others.  The truth is these are aids; tools to ease the administrative burden not in themselves a system.

One of the bravest decisions I have encountered was at Bulmers cider plant in Ireland where the maintenance manager had inherited a computerised maintenance management system but recognised that maintenance management simply was not working.  Colin Sanders and Bill Lowry of CSA helped him put together the basics of a maintenance management system which include;

  • Identifying what service the customer (production) needs
  • Manning to support production first line breakdown needs
  • A comprehensive asset list down to lowest maintainable unit (LMU)*
  • Work reporting systems for breakdown, planned and follow on maintenance
  • Supporting documentation to support these systems


* Too many do not have comprehensive asset listing, one even told me proudly that they had 70% of their assets on their maintenance management system!  If they had been personnel managers how impressed would you be that they had accurate records for 70% of their staff?

Effectively the CMMS was discarded until a maintenance management system had been established and then a specification was put together for a CMMS that would support the maintenance management system.  The result?  An increase in production of 1.5% within 3 months.

Maintenance management systems are essential to the smooth running of maintenance but the strategy they support, (yes you should have one) the reporting systems needed to capture reliability and performance information and the development and day to day management of maintenance routines (condition based, planned preventive, etc) must be established before or with any CMMS implementation.

If you already have a CMMS and you are not sure if it is acting as a maintenance management system ask yourself

  • Do all assets come under the maintenance management system?
  • Is all work being captured accurately?
  • Are maintenance routines managed (periodicity and content reviewed)?
  • Are production getting the service they want/need?
  • Are operators fixing problems instead of calling maintenance?
  • Are machines breaking down despite routine maintenance?
  • Is each machine maintained according to the impact of its loss?
  • Are maintenance routines addressing the cause of breakdown?


CSA have implemented cost effective maintenance improvement programs for many leading manufacturers. For a no obligation initial chat; please complete the form and we will be happy to contact you to discuss how we may be able to help you.

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