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Erik Hupje

What is the best CMMS?

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On 12/4/2019 at 4:27 PM, UptimeJim said:

I would agree with Narender. The actually software you choose / use isn't really all that important - it's all about the user and how they use it.

I agree.

May I add one most important feature - its database access as one extend option and functions - give new dimensions (for example I have using open source ERP ADempiere with libero manufacturing and looking every day at the database oracle/postgresql and UI forms to solve problems as standard work, and SQL give me all information's so database give to me ALL DATES and I know how, when, where, why ......etc and in this way I dont have 'black box' in front of my eyes, I have all clear information's)

regards Gordan


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On ‎12‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 10:04 PM, Corry said:

What a question... over my time in P&S Systems, I've had very brief experience with Pulse and JDE, and a lot of experience with SAP, and I am now with a business that is using Ellipse.

I'm unable to comment on Pulse, JDE or others, like Maximo etc, as my exposure to them isn't enough to give them fair judgement. As a SAP P&S Trainer, I love SAP. Like most others, you need to be using it to learn and retain your skills. There is a lot it can do, and can be a lot friendlier to the end user than others I've seen.

Now I've been using Ellipse for a touch over 2 years, and what can I say... damn I miss SAP. What I could do in a normal day with SAP, now takes, I would say, up to 30% longer to do, and it isn't what I would call user friendly.

In saying that, the most critical thing to get right is your Master Data, if your foundations aren't there, you don't have anything stable to build on. Depending on the business, and what you are wanting to get out of your CMMS, nearly any of them would suffice, but from what I've seen, for online support, third party software compatibility and end user experience, I don't think you can go past SAP.

Cheers, Corry


Hello! I have never used SAP but I have used a few different CMMS software system over the past 3 decades. At one time, I had created a 13 page detailing all the attributes I had been looking for in a CMMS software package. Following this I had reviewed over 20 systems and what I discovered was that very few actually focused on gathering data of  what I considered the basics of gathering repair history information.

To add to this, most of the software trainers actually had limited knowledge or experience of maintenance / engineering in order to build rapport with the trainees. In addition, an inability to provide a business purpose for using various software functionality to assist with defect elimination, PM optimization, KPIs use and/or planning & scheduling.

Regarding your thoughts around getting the master data correct, I totally agree with you. Does the software meet the business needs to establish a foundation of good usable data  that can be used to make good business decisions and can be expanded upon. From my experiences, ALL of us are looking for the same base information required to make good business decisions.

In summary, maybe the best CMMS system is the system that meets the company's or the project manager's business needs.





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My first CMMS was a home grown system called, "Dynamic Equipment Information Systems" (DEIS) at the PetroChemical complex where I worked as a maintenance engineer. It was a very basic work order system that provided job plan details, parts lists and history. Each job was recorded in text fields and all the history was printed with any work order. The thickness of the work order print out was an indicator of troublesome equipment, or a long BOM. Our refinery (next door) was using a paper based system. Both worked well for work management and since discipline of recording what was found wrong and corrected was actually pretty good, both systems had fairly useful information for reliability purposes. I put that down to the discipline our craftsmen had and the attention that we paid to what they wrote.

My consulting days began some 7 years later, when CMMS were still largely replacing paper based systems. They were more complex and feature rich and even handled spares inventory. Some handled automated buying and other functions. However, our customers seemed to be struggling far more than I did with getting good information to make reliability decisions. I've probably seen hundreds of different systems, some easy to use, some that were user hostile, some with very basic functionality working very well and some that were feature and functionally rich but under-utilized. I've only seen one or two that I thought were bad for the job they had to do in the customer's working environment. Most work well but most are also poorly implemented, poorly (or not) supported, operated by poorly trained or untrained maintainers, and incapable of generating needed reports without extra programming, extra software bolted on or a lot of effort manipulating data on spreadsheets. Most customers today are more "data distracted" than "informed". Their CMMS' add cost but little real value. I do not blame the software (in most cases). The problems usually arise from poor implementation, poorly thought out business processes (automating the old and not taking advantage of new functionality), poor fit of functionality to requirements, poorly stated requirements (e.g.: focused on technical specs rather than functionality), lack of training, no training, training by the person sitting next to you (learning others' bad habits), rushed implementations (out of budget, time), etc. In some cases the systems are far too complex for maintenance and reliability purposes.

The systems available are not well designed to give basic failure and proactive maintenance related history information (e.g.: did it fail? what was failed? what was the failure mode? can you identify the cause of the failure? if it hadn't yet failed, would it have failed soon? was the job a result of some PdM finding? etc.). Designers of these systems are not reliability engineers so the data being gathered doesn't answer the questions that need to be asked. All too often the data being gathered does not provide information that is fit for purpose. 

In "our world" of maintainers too few really understand failure modes and failure management strategies. Although we are supposed to deliver "reliability" we focus on "maintenance". Arguably we have the emphasis in the wrong area - the means, not the ends. We don't use RCM as much as we probably should. We've failed to inform the programmers who design these systems of what we really need (many of us really couldn't define it well anyway) and for the most part the programmers don't know what they don't know. 

The end result is a myriad of systems with a lot of unused functionality, little of which (used or unused) actually helps us to improve reliability and reduce unwanted breakdowns that in most cases (by far) could have been foreseen.

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Good morning Jim! - Well written respond to CMMS systems. I have experienced the issues you have stated and most certainly agree that most of our issues are not a software but implementation issues. In addition and on the topic of implementation, I had added a few notes of information under the heading of leadership regarding culture and also my own personal take on implementation via a chocolate cake analogy. You can find it under the topic heading "New position, new journey".

Thanks again for the well written and insightful view on maintenance management.

Have a great day!


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