CMMS Software Package - MaintSmart 5.0 Released


CMMS software package designed for maintenance managers by a maintenance manager.

MaintSmart 5.0 CMMS software package has been released for SQL Server users and in beta release for Access users. This upgrade is free to supported MaintSmart CMMS software users. This new CMMS package has many new maintenance management features requested by our users. Here is a summary of some of the new CMMS software package additions in version 5.0.


Posts describing other additions to MaintSmart 5.0 are forthcoming over the next few weeks.

Download MaintSmart 5.0 trial version now!

CMMS Software Package Dashboard for Inventory and Purchasing
CMMS Software Package (5.0) Dashboard Charts
User-Defined CMMS KPI's Included in CMMS Software Package

MaintSmart 5.0 CMMS Software Package Partial Release Notes


  1. The event notifier is a configurable email notification system that is used for notifying users when certain events occur in the work order software module, purchasing or downtime software modules.
  2. Hot sheet completely redesigned. Complete KPI screen with gauges, drag and drop shopping cart style requisitions, requisition approvals and purchase order software system.
  3. New concurrent licensing system replaces old 'per-seat' licensing.
  4. PM plan capability provides completely flexible way to group preventive maintenance (PM) tasks based upon any arbitrary criteria. These may be scheduled the auto-printed.
  5. ABC inventory analysis guides maintenance manager to prioritize spares and inventory acquisition.
  6. Cycle counting audit capability provide an inventory software auditing method that spreads inventory audits over an entire fiscal period.
  7. Last Cost field added to inventory screen.
  8. Added 8 comment fields for printed PM task list reports. PM (preventive maintenance) list. This is similar to the safety and follow-up comments currently displayed on work orders.
  9. Barcode scan an equipment or technician label to pull up all pending work (work orders and PMs) or parts list.
  10. Create a downtime record from a work order or a work order from a downtime record.
  11. Create duplicate Lines (departments) across multiple Plants (locations).
  12. Multiple new text fields for work order response, follow-up and comments.
  13. Single Dymo labels for personnel, spares and equipment.
  14. Inventory change logging. Anytime spares are acquired, used or changed in any way a record logging the change is added to the CMMS software database.
  15. Many other enhancements will be listed in a subsequent posts.

Inventory Management Software

Several new inventory management enhancements have been included in this CMMS software upgrade.

  • Print one label at a time using a Dymo Labelwriter 450 Turbo printer. This inexpensive printer may be obtained for less than $80.00. Printing single labels saves on time and money.
  • Inventory Cycle-Counting provides a way to spread out your annual inventory audit over the entire year or other extended time period. The obvious benefit is that there is no need to stop operations to perform an extensive full audit all at once.
  • ABC analysis guide the maintenance manager to audit highest priority items first.

CMMS KPI Dashboard

The new hot sheet contains a user-defined KPI (key performance indicators) dashboard. List KPI's that are important to you. The CMMS software package saves your personal configuration so that it is always available.


Below is a more detailed explanation of the new Hot Sheet including this KPI dashboard.

CMMS Software Package KPI

New! MaintSmart CMMS Software Package - Inventory Management Hot Sheet

The powerful and simple to use CMMS Hot Sheet screen provides a simple drag and drop interface for creating most purchasing functions. Additionally clearly labeled requirement for each item make it simple to understand and use these new capabilities. Below is a summary of the purchasing component that includes a shopping cart design:

  1. User permissions are detected and only allow actions within the logged in user's scope of permissions.
  2. Create requisitions.
  3. Approve requisition line items. In some case multiple signatures are needed. The Hot Sheet detects this appropriately.
  4. Release items to purchasing that have been approved.
  5. Create a purchase order.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Work Order Program Tips and Shortcuts - Part 2


Work order program tips and shortcuts help the maintenance manager to create work orders quickly and consistently.


What Makes a Good Work Order Program?

Work order programs are the basis of any good CMMS software program. Since this management of a work order program is where most maintenance mangers spend most of their time, it helps to have utilities that add consistency and, at the same time, speed up work order creation. Below several useful features are listed.

Work Order Duplication
  • Duplicate a exact copy of a work order.
  • Duplicate then edit a work order.
  • Work order duplication and file attachments.
Work Order Templates
  • What is a work order template?
  • Work order template creation.
  • Work order template uses.
  • Linking parts to work order templates.
Work Order Program Automation
  • Scheduled work orders.
  • Metered work orders.
  • Scheduled bulk printing of work orders.
Work Order Program - Work Order Duplication
Linking Parts to Work Orders

Work Order Duplication

Work orders are easily duplicated by left-clicking a work order row in the work order screen then right-clicking to display the pop-up context menu containing the Duplicate Work Order menu. Work order program duplication capability copies all fields including detailed instructions. All file attachments are also duplicated. The new resulting work order is identical to the original in every way except that the new work order has a unique number and the current date/time as expected.


When a near duplicate is needed it is much faster to simply duplicate a work order that uses similar fields as the new work order. After duplication simply select the new work order for editing, make needed change(s) then save.


Linking Parts to Work Orders

Parts may be linked to work orders. Parts linking may be done as needed on any work order if the user has permissions to use parts. Alternatively parts may be linked for automatic use by linking one or more parts to a work order template. Linking parts to work orders has multiple benefits as follows:

  • All needed components (job description and parts list) contained in one document.
  • Cost of work is easily reported as is overall cost of equipment maintenance.
  • Parts may be automatically used but are still easily returned to stock if needed.

Work Order Templates


Work order templates are boiler-plate copies of existing work orders that may be used to create identical new work orders from. There are three ways to create a work order from a template.

  1. Manually create work orders from templates.
  2. Automatically create work orders from schedules.
  3. Automatically create work orders from meters.
Manually Create Work Orders from Work Order Templates
Work Order Program Meterss

Automating Work Orders

Work order may be automatically generated by schedule or by equipment demand. MaintSmart work order program can even read data from a PLC or HMI through an OPC compliant data server and generate work orders based upon equipment condition without any user input.


Scheduled Work Orders

Work order templates may be automatically create by schedules. These schedules are created one time then use a floating date range to always create the work orders at the right time. Examples of schedule options are listed below:

  1. Every Monday at 8:00 AM.
  2. On the 15 of every month at 4:30 PM.
  3. One the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 AM.
  4. Every 21 days at 3:30 PM.

The above are simply examples. Any variation of the above examples are also easy created and used in minutes. These schedules are reusable too. Once these schedules are linked to a print job they will continue to always create the right work at the right time!


Metered Work Orders

Metered work orders are created by the work order program automatically based upon equipment demand. Metered work orders provide the exact needed maintenance regardless of seasonal variations in equipment run-time. Meters are defined by the user and may have up to six (6) unit definitions per meter. Whichever meter reaches it's threshold first triggers the new work order. Examples of meters could be:

  1. 1000 cycles.
  2. 6 months or 6000 miles.
  3. 28 days.
  4. 500 hours.
  5. Anything you need - you define it.

Meter reading are either manually entered or may be read automatically through an OPC compliant data source. An example could be read cycle count from a PLC memory address.

Automated Work Order Formats

Choose from any of the available work order formats for creating automated (scheduled or metered) work orders.

  • Work Order with Parts.
  • Work Order with parts and Details (most popular).
  • Work Order with Recent Downtime.
  • Extra sheet with parts.
  • Extra sheet with extra technicians.

Contact us for personalized CMMS training on any of the subjects listed above.

CMMS Work Order Software Tips and Shortcuts - Part 1


CMMS work order software tips and shortcuts add consistency to work order creation and speed up or automate work order management.


Since work orders are the base module of any CMMS work order software system it makes sense to use a CMMS system that offers utilities that can speed up work order creation as well as add consistency to the management of the work order system. This post describes several of these key utilities included in MaintSmart that accomplish the above. Work orders are used in the following situations:

  • Project work orders.
  • Repair work orders.
  • Preventive maintenance work orders.
  • Inspection work orders.
  • Corrective work orders.

Of the above work order types work orders could be emergency, safety or routine (sometimes called "general work orders"). This CMMS software system works well with all types of work orders because of the flexibility in field configuration and naming. For example there are Status, Priority and Type fields that the maintenance manager can use to enter the appropriate data for their specific maintenance operations. Below are a few possible examples:


Work Order Status (examples)
  • Active
  • Request
  • Cancel
  • Done
  • Parts Ordered
  • In Progress
  • (no limit on adding custom Statuses)
Work Order Priority (examples)
  • Routine
  • Emergency
  • High Priority
  • Low Priority
  • Priority 1
  • Priority 2
  • Priority 3
  • (no limit on adding custom Priorities)
Work Order Type (examples)
  • Repair
  • Project
  • Inspection
  • Safety
  • (no limit on adding custom Types)
CMMS Work Order Software Data Fields
CMMS Work Order Software Status Configuration
Work Order Status Change Log

Additionally there are no limits on how many Status, Priority and Type definitions may be created. Regarding the Status field there are four (4) predefined statuses that are used internally by the CMMS system to help manage the work orders. These are listed below:

  • Request
  • Active
  • Cancel
  • Done

NOTE: It is very important to understand that internally these status definitions are tracked as a numeric value by the database. For the purposes of the CMMS user these statuses' text may be changed. This makes sense because MaintSmart is translatable into any language.  These fields do not have to be translated though the translator module though and may simply be changed to display a different text value very easily from the work orders options menu. For example 'Done' may be changed to 'Completed' if the users prefers. Internally though the software still interprets this as a closed work order.


Tracking Work Order Status Changes

There is a built-in work order status change logging capability in MaintSmart. This is useful if reporting on movement of a work order through the system to completion. Each time the status of the work order is changes this change is logged. A formatted report is available for groups of work orders, specific equipment or specific work orders.


The work order status change log report (like all detailed reports) export to several useful format including Adobe Acrobat, MS Word, MS Excel. Additionally these reports may be emailed, saved of printed directly from the report print preview screen.

Using Work Order Date Fields


There are three (3) date fields in the work order module.

  1. Date/Time Assigned.
  2. Due Date/Time.
  3. Date/Time Completed.

Due Date/Time may be auto-populated based upon the Flag Days Late setting found under the Flags menu item. The purpose of this setting is two-fold.

  1. Colors the rows in the work order module that exceed [Date Assigned] + [Flag Days Late] (count of days to elapse when considering a work order to be late).
  2. Populates the Due Date/Time field.

Additionally the Estimated Hours field may auto-calculate and auto-populate based upon [Date Assigned] + [historical time to complete based upon equipment and task]. This is useful and gives an average of all the times that this particular task has been performed on this specific equipment item.

Work Order Software Module - Date and Text Fields

Work Order Comments and Detailed Instructions


Work Order Comments Field

The CMMS work order software module comments  field is a text field that accommodates up to 255 characters. This is field is useful for fairly short comments pertaining to work assigned or may be used as work completion comments from the technician that performed the work. This field displays in many of the analysis data grids and therefore may be printed in analysis reports if needed.


Work Order Detailed Instructions

In many cases large text content is needed to fully describe the task, SOPs, safety instructions, etc. The Details field may contain up to 2 GB of text data per work order. Two (2) gigabytes of printed details is virtually unlimited text and this limit could never be reached. The There are several useful ways to populate the Details field.

  • Type in the text.
  • Copy/Paste the text details.
  • Drag and drop the text from a manual, web page or other document.
  • Open saved Rich Text Format (.rtf) documents directly into the Details screen.

The last option above works in reverse too, the maintenance manager may save whatever text is in the Details screen directly to a MS Word-friendly Rich Text Format (.rtf) document. This is very useful because by saving these documents on a server that is available to all CMMS users these documents now provide a simple way for anyone to populate detailed instructions in a consistent way with almost no effort.


Tip: Many MaintSmart users will drag/drop or copy/paste actual preventive maintenance task lists from the OEM user manual directly into the work order software module details. It doesn't get much easier that this!

Printed Work Order Formats

There are several different work order formats to choose from. This setting is accessed from the work order software module menu: Options>>Work Order Format>>??.

  • Work Order with Parts.
  • Work Order with parts and Details (most popular).
  • Work Order with Recent Downtime.
  • Extra sheet with parts.
  • Extra sheet with extra technicians.
Work Order

Next installment covers more work order software module time-saving tips. Contact us for personalized training on this topic.

CMMS Downtime Software

CMMS downtime software tracks, analyzes, reports and charts equipment downtime (equipment failures) using a powerful query builder, OEE and reliability analysis.


CMMS downtime software gives the maintenance manager a way to identify trouble equipment quickly. By identifying these issues quickly and accurately equipment uptime is maximized. This post instructs on how to use the downtime software module in MaintSmart. Other benefits to using CMMS downtime software are listed below:

  • Reduce equipment downtime.
  • Reduce product losses associated with process interruptions.
  • Optimize maintenance scheduling.
  • Prioritize and optimize preventive maintenance based upon MTBF.
  • Reduce spares usage.
  • Extend the overall life of the equipment.
  • Reduce emergency repairs (corrective maintenance) so technicians can focus on preventive maintenance.

Entering CMMS Downtime Software Data

For the purposes of this post downtime will refer to unexpected breakdown of equipment. This may also include a stoppage or other interruption of the process. Entering downtime records requires that some equipment and some failure cause definitions have been entered into the system. Downtime data should not be confused with repair or corrective maintenance work orders. Downtime is an instance of equipment failure whereas corrective work orders are an instance of work performed to correct the breakdown. Downtime is tacked separately so that it may be analyzed by itself. This gives the maintenance manager an accurate picture of equipment performance unpolluted by unrelated data.

Linking Downtime to a Corrective Work Order

Since downtime is tracked and entered separately from work orders there needs to be a simple way to assign a corrective work order to manage this downtime instance. Fortunately there is. The CMMS has a downtime cause to remedial task mapping component. When a downtime record is entered simply check the check box labeled: Auto-Create Work Order Record. When the work order is saved a new work order is either automatically created or the user is prompted to select the corrective task from the dialog screen that appears. The selected task is then automatically mapped to this equipment and the failure cause. If this same breakdown cause reoccurs the task is automatically used next time. This saves time and provides consistency.

Configuring Downtime Causes

All data is configurable in MaintSmart. Downtime causes are used to describe the basic cause for an equipment failure. Downtime causes are grouped into Cause Groups for fast filtering during the selection of the exact cause during downtime CMMS record submission. Typical downtime cause groups are:

  • Mechanical.
  • Electrical.
  • Sanitation Causes.
  • <equipment name> Causes.

When naming cause groups and causes always begin with the most generic cause groups/causes and gradually move towards more specific groups/causes. This is explained in detail below.

Downtime and Work Orders

Typically a work order is one primary task with detailed instructions, SOPs, file attachments and parts linked to it. Downtime is an instance of equipment breakdown. A work order may be generated automatically from the CMMS downtime software module.

Work Order
CMMS Downtime Software

Downtime and Preventative Maintenance

Downtime data is used by the CMMS to suggest preventive maintenance task intervals. This accomplished through the use of MTBF derived from live downtime data after analysis by the reliability analysis module.

Downtime Causes and Cause Groups

Downtime causes are defined by the CMMS software user to fit the specific maintenance management operation. Causes are user-friendly brief explanations of the cause of the equipment failure. Below are a few examples of downtime causes that could be defined:

  1. Broken Wire.
  2. Operator Error.
  3. Water in Electrical.

There are no limits to how many failure cause definitions may be defined. Each cause definition may be up to 255 characters in length. Downtime may be analyzed by the cause. This is a very powerful feature for identifying trends and solving specific problems.


Other Downtime Analysis Capability

The downtime analysis module is flexible and powerful using several analysis techniques.

  1. Use the query builder to analyze any possible downtime scenario with drag and drop.
  2. Overall equipment effectiveness provides multiple CMMS KPIs using downtime data.
  3. Reliability analysis uses downtime data and compares MTBF with preventive maintenance task intervals and suggests optimized schedules.
  4. Extensive charting provides a visual depiction of downtime history.
  5. All downtime analysis data may be imported into Excel for further analysis with almost no effort.
OLAP for Equipment Failure Tracking

Contact us for more information on how MaintSmart's CMMS downtime software module can save your company money through increased reliability and equipment uptime.

Phone: +1-541-751-0450
Toll-Free: +1-888-398-0450 USA/Canada

CMMS Inventory Management


How to use CMMS inventory management software for spares usage on work orders, preventive maintenance and downtime.


The CMMS inventory management software module in MaintSmart provides several useful capabilities that save the maintenance manager time while adding consistency to the spares usage for all maintenance management purposes. There are several ways to use spares on work orders, preventive maintenance, downtime and for unspecified equipment use. As follows:

  • Work orders - manual linking of needed parts from the work order screen.
  • Work order templates - automatic parts usage from previously linked parts lists when new work order created from template.
  • Downtime - manual usage of parts against downtime instance. Note: usually makes more sense to link the parts for downtime to the repair work order instead of the downtime record.
  • Preventive maintenance - use manually on-the-fly.
  • Preventive maintenance - use automatically when PM is closed if linked parts list.

Link Spares to a Preventative Maintenance Task List

Spare parts may be linked to PMs. Parts may be simply listed or automatically used from stock when the PM is closed. Shortages and location of needed parts is listed on the preventative maintenance software task list. Parts automatically used may be easily returned from the parts usage screen.

Link a Required Parts List to a Work Order

Parts lists may be linked to a work order template and/or a work order. When linking to a work order the parts are simply used against this particular work order one time. Alternatively is parts are linked to a work order template these parts may be used on every new work order generated from the template.

Manual Part Usage

Parts may be manually used on-the-fly against either work orders, PMs, downtime or against any equipment item for no particular reason. The parts usage screen is quite flexible in providing a simple interface for using parts. User default may be set to so that common fields are populated automatically.

Work Order with Spares

Typically a work order is one primary task with detailed instructions, procedures or SOPs. This text may be up to 2GB of text per work order. Notice the parts list on this work order. Unlimited file attachments may also be added and best of all these attachments mat be any file type and may be set to automatically print with the work order.

Automatic Work Orders
Preventative Maintenance List

PM List with Spares

The PM list may contain many preventive maintenance tasks each with its own associated spare parts list. Each task may have detailed instructions, procedures or SOPs of virtually unlimited length.

Other Useful CMMS Software Inventory Management Features

In some cases parts that have been already checked out from the parts storeroom will need to be returned. This is as simple as selecting the original parts usage record and decrementing the quantity used. The inventory store records are appropriately incremented by the same quantity (returned quantity) automatically so there is never a need to manually adjust the inventory data, other than when performing audit adjustments.


Inventory Management Audits and Reporting

The MaintSmart inventory management capability extends to auditing and extensive reporting.

Auditing capability included in version 4.1 uses physical inventory variance audit techniques to report on shortages and excesses. Version 5.0 continues with this method but also adds cycle-count audits and ABC analysis to the inventory management software module. As with all additions to the software if this new capability is needed by the maintenance manager then use it, otherwise ignore it.

For additional training and resources on the topic of CMMS inventory management software use the contact buttons on the right side of the screen to request a personal training session.


PM Maintenance Software 5.0 Upgrade Coming Soon

Work Order Software and Repair Tickets


Work order software for work requests (repair ticket) web-based or access from CMMS software.


What is a Repair Ticket?

A repair ticket is a work request usually submitted by a non-maintenance person for the purpose of requesting service or repair of equipment. Typically the equipment is equipment operated by the requester. The repair ticket (work request) is added to the work order database but since it has a 'Request' status it is separated from the actual work orders. Once the request has been examined and assigned to maintenance it attains 'Active' status and is thereafter considered a work order.


Why Use Repair Tickets?

Repair tickets (work requests) provide a paper-trail back to the original requester. Additionally submitting a repair ticket through the work order software ensures that this work will be in front of the maintenance department. Once a repair ticket is added to the system the original requester can edit the request only while in Request status. Once the work request has been elevated to Active status the request (now actually a work order) may not be edited by the original requester. The requester only sees their requests and can follow the status changes associated with their requests as the work order progresses to completion.


Repair Ticket Has Been Completed, Now What Happens?

After the work order associated with the original repair ticket has been closed the original requester can enter a user satisfaction survey on the work order. the maintenance manager has complete control over whether or not to allow this and if allowed has complete control over the questions and rating that are available to the requester on the survey.

Web-Based Repair Ticket

Users that belong to the Requesters user group have access (and usually only access) to the work request (or repair ticket) screen through the web-based work request module (Web Work Requester). Creating a web work request is very simple.

  1. Log in.
  2. Open work request page.
  3. Select an Equipment.
  4. Select a Task.
  5. Enter optional comments to describe issue.

When a request is submitted it automatically logs the user ID against the repair ticket so that the maintenance manager can always go back to the original requester with additional questions or explanation. The status is also forced to Request and the date fields are all locked.

Submitted a Repair Ticket Through the Main Work Order Software

Essentially the process is similar to the web-based repair ticket. The main difference is the requester is using the main CMMS software to access the work request screen. The same fields are available and the record is stored in the same database. All work requests are available in the main work order software (MaintSmart Enterprise) for elevation to Active work order status. The status may also be changed to Active from the Web Work Requester by a user with adequate permissions.


One useful feature in the main CMMS software is the ability to create filters that display only repair tickets. These disappear from the screen (as long as filter is active that is) as each is elevated to Active work order status. This makes it ridiculously simple to account for all requests.

Ask about how you can use the Print/Email Scheduler module to further automate this processes!

Closing the Loop

As with the rest of the CMMS program much is offered to the user in this package but the users is never required to use the software beyond their particular needs. This is also the case with the repair ticket -> work order system.


An optional work request customer satisfaction survey is available so that the original requester can comment on the completed work. The survey's existence as well as the survey questions and ratings are managed solely by the maintenance manager. Implement this if you want to or ignore it.

Work Request (Repair Ticket) Page

This web page is accessible to users that are members of the Requester Only permissions group. Only two required fields with optional comments (255 characters) and Details (2GB text) make this extremely simple to use.

Repair Ticket
CMMS program web work orders

Web Page Work Order

Display of web page for full work orders. Requires adequate permissions to access this page.

Work Order Software Page

Contact MaintSmart for a free demonstration of how this economical web-based module will save you time and money while providing excellent accountability. Call +1=541-751-0450

Video - Work With the Web Work Requester (Web-Based Repair Tickets)

Automatic Work Orders

Use CMMS software automatic work orders capabilities to issue tasks. This can be easily accomplished by two (2) different methods:

  1. Print/email work order scheduler.
  2. Metered work orders from a work order template.

Print/Email Work Order Scheduler

This module uses work order templates (boiler-plate copies of work orders) to generate identical work orders. The triggering mechanism is a schedule that is defined by the user. There are several scheduling options. Below is an example list of some of the options:

  1. Every Monday at 7:00 AM.
  2. Every second Friday of the month at 3:45 PM.
  3. Every 14 days.
  4. On the 15th of every month.

Multiple schedule instances may be used for the same work order template causing any of these events to trigger the new work order from the work order template. With the print/email scheduler scanner running work orders are created and added to the work order screen automatically. These work orders may also be automatically printed and/or emailed to one or more recipients. The email format is configurable too. Formats include MS Word, MS Excel, Acrobat, Rich Text, Crystal Reports, XML, Flat text and more. All of this is handled by the CMMS automatically without any user input or effort.


Automatic Work Orders from Meters

Meters are a measurement of a user defined unit of anything. Below are some examples of what a meter unit could be:

  • Miles.
  • Minutes.
  • Cycles.
  • Revolutions.
  • Cuts.

An example of a meter linked to a work order template might be:

Every 6 months or 6000 miles change the oil in the #2 Toyota Truck. The user inputs the miles. The months are calculated automatically by the CMMS. Whichever unit (months or miles) reaches threshold first this unit triggers the new work order.


Another example of automatic work orders :

Every 2000 cycles of a cut-off saw create a new work order to replace the blade. Send this work order as .pdf document to a maintenance technician by email. This could be accomplished by establishing an OPC compliant data link to a MaintSmart instance. The CMMS reads the data from either a PLC, HMI or any other OPC compliant data source on the plant floor and automatically issues a work order at the correct time. No other CMMS does this.


Contact us for a free personalized demonstration of how this works and how it will save your company money and time while adding consistency to your maintenance operation with automatic work orders

Automated Work Order

Work orders created by either the scheduler or by meters have all of the same characteristics of any other work order such as:

  • Parts lists.
  • Unlimited text details, SOPS and instructions.
  • Unlimited file attachments of any type file.
Work Order
Preventative Maintenance List

Preventive Maintenance Task List

The scheduler may also be used for generating preventive maintenance task lists automatically.

Plant Maintenance Software and the Equipment Hierarchy

Plant maintenance software (CMMS software) is usually configurable so that various levels of the equipment hierarchy may be defined to fit the maintenance manager's maintenance operation. This plant maintenance software (MaintSmart) provides a unique three-dimensional equipment hierarchy. What is the equipment hierarchy? It is simply a way to group the equipment in the plant maintenance software database. This grouping is essential for flexible filtering and reporting.


For the purposes of this discussion the maintenance operation is a multi-location (12 geographically distinct locations) commercial baking operation. Starting at the top of the equipment hierarchy there are a couple of considerations that should be answered first:

  1. What should the top-level of the equipment hierarchy be named (labeled)?
  2. Should there be one or multiple top-levels data items?

These two questions should be considered together. Our recommendation is that the top-level be named "Plant" since these are food-processing plants that are being configured. Since there are 12 different plants our recommendation  would be to create 12 different top-levels (Plants). The significance of this is as follows:

  1. Each plant contains its own data other than a few global data items (task descriptions, failure cause descriptions and a few others).
  2. Users log into the plant that there log in is linked to. NOTE: Permissions may be assigned to allow some users to log into any plant.
  3. Most reporting is at the plant level, although there are some global level analysis reports if permissions allow.
  4. Spares are at the Plant level too. However other Plants spares stock may be searched and inter-plant Inventory Transfer Requests are available as well.
  5. All equipment hierarchy levels below Plant are children of that Plant.

A common question that comes up is "We have multiple building at own location. Should each building be its own top-level data item?". The answer is: the software doesn't care how you configure it but our recommendation is: If all building are managed by the same maintenance department, or the same administration is in place for all building then this should be all under one Plant. Use the other equipment hierarchy levels to define the buildings.

Here are some equipment hierarchy examples displaying the levels below the top-level:

Here is the final outcome of the equipment hierarchy label definitions for this example:

  • Plant contains
    • Process contains
      • Line contains
        • Equipment
    • Work Area/Location contains
      • Equipment

Plant Maintenance Software Equipment Hierarchy
Plant Maintenance Software Equipment Hierarchy

It is important to understand that defining the labels of the equipment hierarchy should be done with some initial consideration of how the plant maintenance software will be used, your equipment layout and user buy-in. Do NOT let let disagreement of the equipment hierarchy labels prevent putting the plant maintenance software into use though. If its discovered later that the initial set-up of the equipment hierarchy isn't really what is needed then it is a very simple matter to change the label names. Here is a document that explains this further.

Contact us for a free consultation or online demonstration of the software with your maintenance operation's equipment and equipment hierarchy.

CMMS System and CMMS Software

CMMS system has been around for over 25 years now. Most companies or organizations that maintain equipment definitely benefit from the use of a CMMS. So how does our CMMS system benefit your maintenance operation? Here is a listing of benefits:

  1. Less unexpected down time (equipment failures)
  2. Increased productivity.
  3. Increased equipment life.
  4. Better management of human resources.
  5. Better management of inventory spares.
  6. Increased accountability to management.
  7. Increased accountability to governing agencies or compliance agencies.
  8. Easy access to historical data.
  9. Reporting is simplified.
  10. Many previously manual tasks now automatic through the CMMS system.

Below is a discussion of how one (down time tracking) of these benefits are realized with MaintSmart CMMS system.


Down Time and Equipment Failure Tracking Software

Down time and equipment failures cause lost time, lost product and expensive maintenance labor diversion from normal activities. Without a comprehensive down time management system in place (CMMS system) down time can spiral out of control. The reason for this is that while maintenance technicians are making emergency repairs to failed equipment they aren't performing a much more important task: preventive maintenance. This CMMS has several tools to help the maintenance manager manage equipment failures. Here is a list of the down time management tools:

  1. Exclusive dedicated down time tracking module. This comes with the complete base CMMS software system. No other CMMS offer this.
  2. Powerful and simple to use drag and drop query-builder that also creates a corresponding chart from equipment failure data.
  3. Direct export to Excel for further analysis.
  4. Military standard reliability analysis. No other CMMS has this capability.
  5. OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) built into base module of the CMMS software system. No other CMMS vendor has this.
  6. In the case where an equipment failure does occur the program will create a repair work semi-automatically.

Overall equipment effectiveness or OEE is a particularly useful analysis and reporting tool when it comes to equipment failure tracking. While the roll-up value of OEE is useful what is really nice is the fact that the three components of OEE are also available for analysis. These are listed below:

  • Availability
  • Performance
  • Quality



Availability is the actual run time of an equipment item versus the scheduled run time. Obviously down time affect this KPI.



Quality is the KPI that quantifies good pieces versus all pieces of product produced



Performance is the KPI that tracks the actual output of the equipment versus the specification output provided by the equipment manufacturer. In other words is the equipment running efficiently and at it's design speed?


Multiplying the three KPIs by each other yields the OEE. OEE for most manufacturers runs in the 40% - 50% range. Optimally it should run in the 80% range. Does your current CMMS software system provide this KPI? If not you should consider MaintSmart the only CMMS with OEE built into the base CMMS.

There is no reason why CMMS software benefits cannot be realized by the entire maintenance team, if not the entire organization. In particular using a role-based permission system with CMMS software saves the maintenance manager time. MaintSmart's role-based permissions provided a way for limited users to only see their work. Additionally setting to the permissions can force the close date for work orders and preventative maintenance tasks to "today". This encourages timely submission of closed PMs and work orders. The benefits of ole-based permissions in CMMS software is especially obvious with the purchasing module. Purchasing, by nature, often requires a secure environment. Our CMMS has six (6) levels for purchasing approval that may customized by cost of line item and required signatures count For example a low cost item under (example) $100 may be approved for purchase by one electronic signature of a Level 0 user. Alternatively a $10000 item may require three (3) signatures of Level 4 or above users. Of course any of the Level 4 users could approve for purchase the $100 item too.

cmms software benefits
CMMS Software Role-Based Permissions

Other CMMS software benefits to role-based permissions involve the integrity of the data in various parts of the program. For example an inexperienced user should not have access to low-level data such as equipment, task descriptions and inventory definitions. Mistakes here could be costly, data-wise that is.

When choosing a CMMS be certain to carefully evaluate the access control to screens, buttons and ability to interface with attached devices. All this and more are basic CMMS software benefits that the maintenance manager realizes with MaintSmart CMMS software.