Tricks Of The Trade: Shopping For CMMS

By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the June 2014 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q I am looking for recommendations for facility service request systems. The best product for us should offer the following features: interactive service request system; interactive preventive maintenance system; instant alert system; occupant e-mail; project management; calendar with detailed scheduling feature (i.e. individual task assignment, automatic preventive maintenance scheduling, and department schedule); reporting; dedicated occupant website; and mobile system.

My goal is to provide our occupants with a simple solution for service requests, building information searches, and contact systems. It must also allow for easy to use administrative and engineering use. The calendar feature needs to be simple and/or automatic. The requests need to be easy to view, update, and print. I also need a detailed reporting system. Can you recommend a product?

Ami Stevens
Facility Manager
Washington, DC

All questions to Folsom have been submitted via the “Ask The Expert” link.

AThere are many variables with the institution you serve when considering this type of system that is referred to as CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) in the facilities management industry. Variables include security, size of plant, number of facilities staff, number of occupants, type of institution, etc. However, I can give you a few leads of the big names to begin your search.

SchoolDude and FacilityDude provide a comprehensive service that is fully online and capable of exporting data into PDF and Excel documents. You won’t need to own/manage any servers or software. This is one that I started using about a year ago, and it comes with a lot of customer support and training opportunities.

TMA Systems is a well-known product used by higher education facilities and many commercial companies.

Meanwhile, Archibus is a system fully capable of interfacing with architectural drawings and many layers of detail. It actually shifts to another category called CAFM (Computer Aided Facilities Management).

Finally, Ensoft Consulting is a firm that helps institutions with selecting the best software solution as well as installation and customization to work with existing systems.

You can also find software advice websites to help in your research. This website is one such source.


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