Are The Profound Transformations Triggered by The Emergence of Industry 4.0 Calling Into Question The Use of The Term CMMS?
With the advent of the first computers in the industrial sectors, the first professional software dedicated to every business department quickly started to bloom. This is how maintenance services started using the first CMMS software (Computerized Maintenance Management System) in the 1980s. Back then, the idea was to centralize all the maintenance interventions and to improve their spare part management. These solutions have been improving progressively: first tree views, scheduling modules for predictive maintenance, order management and data analysis modules.
Maintenance management software evolved a lot during the 1990s and 2000s, and then started to slow down in 2010: as a matter of fact, interfaces remained outdated, and the gap between the tools used by users in their daily lives and at work had become too big. Maintenance management then were confronted to several issues, including:
Technology is moving too fast
Many maintenance management solutions were caught off guard due to the quick technological developments that happened in the 2010’s: computers, tablets, smartphones, smart glasses, etc. Technology is constantly evolving, and software development in this field is running late, while the gap keeps widening.
Furthermore, the technology used by these software did not evolve, and it is very complicated to adapt it to offer applications like the ones we like to use in our daily lives. Users are facing ten-year-old technologies regarding programming or databases, and it is usually complicated to carry out the migration. Maintenance management software editors are facing a technological gap between their own solution and the current technologies.
We should also mention bad project and development management from CMMS editors, providing a new version of their maintenance software every 3 years rather than on a regular and frequent basis. The arrival of the SaaS model should help some software editors upgrade their app – for free hopefully, knowing that editors usually tend to charge for these.
A dead-end sector
Maintenance management software are suffering from a negative image in the industrial sector: they are expensive, hard to implement, and have a low added value for maintenance technicians. That is why in 2017 a lot of companies are still using an Excel maintenance management rather than an actual maintenance app.
Asset management software editors are providing more or less the same services, as well as a rather identical pricing. This is why we created Mobility Work. We are the first ones to offer a totally innovative collaborative maintenance management platform at an affordable price. Why? Maybe because we experienced ourselves the failure of a asset management software deployment with these editors and the destress when facing the setting up of solutions that were available on the market.
Is the term CMMS still relevant?
In the context of industry 4.0 and business digitalization, thanks to smartphones, tablets and connected sensors, we are now able to question the use of the term “CMMS”. Shouldn’t this be renamed to a term closer to the technological change that our industries are experiencing today? However, this term has been historically known by every maintenance employee to designate maintenance software.
Mobile solutions such as Mobility Work make life easier for maintenance technicians and encourage their mobility.
Maintenance is a key department in the industrial sector and is stuck like many other industries by an “uberization” process, and maintenance is currently evolving thanks to new tools and maintenance management modes.
We are convinced that CMMS is going to go through a huge transformation in the coming years, and we hope that Mobility Work, next-gen maintenance management platform, will be the leader of this change.