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50 questions to help your CMMS search
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50 questions to help your CMMS search

Author : Joel Levitt

This article is an extract from Joel Levitt's book, The Handbook of Maintenance Management, and is kindly reprinted with his permission, and with the permission of his publishers, Industrial Press, Inc.. The book may be purchased through the Plant Maintenance Resource Center web site, in association with For more information, click here.

Work Order

  1. Produces an easy-to-use work order that allows future conversion to bar codes and other improvements to technology.
  2. Work order classifies all work by some kind of repair reason code: PM, corrective, breakdown, management decision, etc.
  3. Provides and easy way for a single person or designated group in maintenance to screen work orders entered by customers before authorization that work can begin.
  4. Prints up-to-date lockout procedure on all work orders automatically.
  5. Automatically costs work orders.
  6. Provides status of all outstanding work orders.
  7. Records service calls (who, what, when, where, how) which can be printed in a log format with automated time/date stamping.
  8. Allows operations people, tenants or facility users to have access to the system to find out what happened to their work request.
  9. Records backlog of work and displays it by craft.
  10. Work orders can be displayed or printed very easily.
  11. The system facilitates labor scheduling with labor standards by task, ability to sort, and re-sort the open work orders by location of work, craft and other ways.
  12. Records changes to inventory (receipts, chargeouts, physical inventories).
  13. Does the storeroom part of the system have part location to help the mechanic or store keeper find infrequently used parts?
  14. Can the system generate a parts catalog by type of part, vendor with yearly usage to facilitate blanket contract negotiation?
  15. Does the system recommend stock levels, order points, order quantities?

Maintenance History and Reporting

  1. Maintains maintenance history that is detailed enough to tell what happened.
  2. Provides information to track the service request-maintenance work order issue-work complete-customer satisfied cycle.
  3. Provides reports for budgets, staffing analysis, program evaluation, performance.
  4. Is able to isolate all work done (sort, arrange, analyze, select, or list) by work order, mechanic, asset, building, floor, room, type of equipment or asset.
  5. Provides the ability to easily structure ad hoc (on the spur of the moment) reports to answer questions that come up. This is sometimes called a report writer.
  6. Has the ability to generate equipment/asset history from birth (installation, construction, or connection) with all major repairs and summaries of smaller repairs.
  7. System reports are designed around Pareto principles where the system helps to identify the few important factors and helps you to manage the important few versus the trivial many.
  8. Allows operations people, tenants or facility users to have access to the system to find out what happened to their work request.
  9. System reports on contractor versus in-house work.
  10. Provides reports charging back maintenance cost to department or cost center.
  11. Has reports with mean time between failures that show how often the unit has been worked on, how many days (or machine hours) lapsed between failures, and the duration of each repair.
  12. Will the system highlight repeat repairs when a technician needs some help?

PM System

  1. Allows mechanics to easily write up deficiencies found on PM inspection tours as planned work to be done. System then automatically generates a planned maintenance work order.
  2. Automatically produces PM work orders on the right day, right meter reading etc..
  3. Is able to display work load for PM for a future period such as a year by week or month by trade.
  4. Is able to record short repairs done by PM mechanic and actual time spent.
  5. Does the system support multiple levels of PM on the same asset, does it reset the clock if the high level is done (if you do a yearly rebuild, does the monthly PM clock get reset?)?
  6. PM's are generated by location by trade to facilitate efficient use of people and minimize travel.
  7. Allow the input of data from Predictive Maintenance subsystems.
  8. Highlights situations where the PM activity is more expensive than the breakdown.
  9. Are there simple reports that relate the PM hours/materials to the corrective hours/materials to the emergency hours/materials? This will show the effectiveness of the PM program.


  1. Can the system handle 3-4 times more assets that you imagine having?
  2. System has a logical location system to locate assets and where work is done.
  3. System tracks the warranty for components and flags warranty work.
  4. Is easy to use for novices and quick to use for power users.
  5. System is integrates or can be integrated to purchasing, engineering, payroll/accounting.
  6. Can the system easily handle a string PM such as a lube route, filter change route?
  7. System runs on standard computer hardware, not some special hardware incompatible with everything else. Is the system compatible with Local Area Networks if it is a PC product?
  8. System vendor has filled out vendor information sheet and has the financial strength to complete the contract (and stay in business for several years)..
  9. Does the vendor have software support people, can you easily get through to a person? Is there an 800 number? Once you get through do the people know the product and something about maintenance? Is there an Internet site with technical support, user discussion groups, updates available for downloading, and other useful information?
  10. Can the vendor provide economical, necessary customization? Is this capability in-house?
  11. Does the vendor have a local installation organization?
  12. Are they experienced in the management of installation projects of the size of your facility? Do they have start up experience with projects this size?
  13. Are the vendor's technical people well cross-trained (Software, hardware and reality ware, like how a real building works)? It is important that the computer people have experience with building/facility maintenance.
  14. Has the vendor been in business 5 years or more?

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Revised: Thursday, 08-Oct-2015 11:48:30 AEDT
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