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Are CMMS and Work Order Software the Same Thing?


We get asked the question "Are CMMS and work order software the same thing?" every once in a while and it's an interesting question because it has a few answers. It's kind of like asking "Is a steak a meal?" Sure a nice medium-rare steak is great and delicious all, but what about the potatoes, the asparagus, the mushrooms? Okay now I'm just making myself hungry so I'll get back to the point. Yes, work order software is part of a maintenance program, but it's not all there is to it.

Some excellent products out there offer work orders are part of their software package, and that's a good thing. It helps people keep track of work and ensures it can be assigned, tracked and completed in a timely manner, but that's where work order software ends and everything else CMMS begins. A complete maintenance management system not only lets you create work orders, it allows you to schedule your team effectively, run preventive maintenance protocols in multiple ways, control parts and inventory, track asset usage and history, purchase and procure items, balance budgets, monitor team performance, and in some cases harness the power of the Internet of Things to gather, analyze, and utilize mountains of data to make your maintenance efforts more effective. In essence, a CMMS does everything you need to effectively run your maintenance department.

If you're an executive or someone not directly involved in maintenance management, you may be asking yourself, "But why do I need my maintenance team to do all of that, don't they just need to fix the assets and equipment?" In a word, no. Your maintenance team is part of the lifeblood of your facility. You wouldn't ask your accountants to work with a tool that only does balance sheets right? With the cost of CMMS systems dropping dramatically and with SaaS and mobile systems becoming the predominant tools in the maintenance management market, just adding work order software to another system for the sake of it and to keep costs down isn't necessary anymore. You can have the best of all worlds; using the software that you have now in the way it was meant to be used, and including a CMMS system in your set of tools to give your team the best chance for success.

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