Long before software as a service became popular and widely available, Excel helped a variety of business functions get their jobs done. From accounting to inventory management, Excel was the go-to solution since no custom solutions existed. 

But now a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) offers a custom solution specifically tailored for maintenance management. Of course, these systems mean paying out a subscription fee, whereas most work computers are already equipped with Excel. 

So the big question becomes, what’s the benefit of CMMS in comparison to the cost of the service. We’ll help give you a cost-benefit analysis as you evaluate whether or not CMMS is right for your business.

Pros and Cons of Using Excel for Maintenance Management

Many organizations took the first step toward digitizing maintenance management efforts by using Excel sheets. It was certainly easier than using paper forms and did a better job of helping maintenance managers spot preventative maintenance in a way paper just couldn’t. 

Yet, even though using excel was a step in the right direction, it still left room for improvement. 

Here’s a look at the advantages of using Excel for maintenance management.

  • A comprehensive Excel file can show technicians when and where they are supposed to complete work. The technicians can update the file with the work completed, inventory products used, and other details once complete.
  • Maintenance managers can manipulate the file to prepare reports and analysis, though this process is very manual. 
  • Setting up an Excel file for maintenance management is fairly easy for anyone who knows how to use the program. 
  • Excel is affordable and often already purchased for other purposes and uses throughout the organization.

Some of the drawbacks of using Excel for maintenance management include the following.

  • Low productivity due to Excel being a highly manual data entry process. It takes tons of time to fine-tune workflows when using Excel for maintenance management. 
  • Data is centralized in one place. And while multiple people might have access to the Excel file, they can’t collaborate on it all at once. Real-time updates are not possible in Excel and with multiple people updating data without an audit trail, data integrity is challenging.
  • There are no predictive updates based on previous asset maintenance history. So the schedule that your maintenance manager creates for preventative maintenance will stay the way that it is until that person creates complicated reports to try and show that the schedule needs to be adjusted. 
  • It doesn’t integrate with inventory management through barcodes or RFID. When inventory management is manual, it’s much harder to ensure that you’re still keeping the right materials on hand at all times to do the work that you need to do.

The CMMS benefits that make up for its cost

At this point, you’ve seen that Excel is an appropriate tool for maintenance management. It can get the job done, though that job is fairly manual. But the benefits of CMMS can make up for the cost that organizations have to pay to subscribe to the service. 

  • Predictive maintenance schedules: when an asset goes down, it affects your company’s ability to make money. The cost of lost productivity due to a lack of preventative maintenance can be enormous. CMMS helps you continuously update your preventative maintenance schedules to avoid breakdowns using historical data.
  • Better inventory management: time is money. So when your technicians don’t have the parts or tools they need to fix an asset, it costs your organization money. By digitizing your inventory management, you can avoid having technicians visit another location or head to the store to get the parts they need. Instead, they can stay focused on the task, accomplish it, and move onto the next on their list.
  • Good maintenance can extend the life of the equipment: when an asset experiences many breakdowns, it can shorten that asset’s life. Make your equipment last as long as possible with effective preventative maintenance schedules.
  • Improved labor productivity: instead of spending their time updating a spreadsheet, your maintenance managers can focus their efforts on other areas. And your technicians won’t need to return to a computer to mark a work order as complete. They can do it from their phone or tablet and move onto their next task immediately.

The benefits of CMMS far outweigh the cost. To learn more about how CMMS could impact your organization, call us at 262-241-3845 or send us an email or schedule a demo to learn more about Eagle CMMS, and reach out to us with any questions.