Back to CMMS Basics, Part 1: Why Do I Need CMMS Software?


Maintenance managers know their field is changing. Yet the maintenance management profession has transformed so fast, it’s tough to stay on top of everything.

Our new series, Back to CMMS Basics, helps busy maintenance managers who want to understand the new realities of modern maintenance management, quickly and easily. We’ll give you everything you need to know about computerized maintenance management systems and how maintenance departments are using them to improve productivity and efficiency.

Let’s start with a question we hear a lot—why do I need CMMS software?

Things Just Aren’t Working Anymore

Organizations decide they need CMMS software when whatever they’re doing stops working.

We call this the “pain point.” While a pain point differs for every organization, it typically falls into one or more of four categories…

  • Functional
  • Technological
  • Organizational
  • Scalability


A functional pain point occurs when your existing system stops functioning.

It could be anything, but common functional pain points include…

Whatever it is, your existing system isn’t doing it well. It impacts your team’s job every day and makes it hard to perform or track basic maintenance functions.


A technological pain point occurs when the technology you’re currently using is no longer a match.

In today’s competitive environment, managers want detailed, accurate information from the maintenance department on what’s impacting productivity, profitability, and organizational progress. You may find you’re being asked to…

  • Provide key reports in near real time
  • Know immediately when key equipment is down or underperforming
  • Monitor conditions on major assets and predict failures
  • Manage increasing numbers of assets with fewer resources
  • Provide access to maintenance management information for a broader set of stakeholders
  • Field more service and repair requests
  • Provide status updates in real time

Paper, spreadsheets, or homegrown databases just don’t cut it. Even older CMMS/EAM software likely needs an upgrade to meet these requests.


Sometimes a pain point originates elsewhere in the organization, but it comes to you from elsewhere in the organization.

While it could be anything—including the functional and/or technological pain points above—you’ll hear, “Find me new maintenance software that meets these requirements.”


When your organization grows, maintenance feels the impact. Suddenly you’ve got more equipment to maintain, additional production to support, new staff members to manage, extra inventory to store, and different safety procedures to perform.

Scalability simply means CMMS software can accommodate changes in size or volume as needs change. From a business standpoint, software scalability is cost effective because you can buy what you need when you need it.

Next time, we’ll explain the differences (and similarities) between CMMS and EAM software. Until then, contact us with questions.


Read our entire Back to CMMS Basics series:

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 1: Why Do I Need CMMS Software?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 2: How Is CMMS Different from EAM?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 3: Why Shouldn’t I Use ERP Software?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 4: What Are the “Bare Bones” Features I’ll Need?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 5: Who Should Be Involved in the Decision?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 6: How Much Should I Expect to Spend and What Are My Buying Options?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 7: Why Do I Need a Software Demo or Trial?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 8: How Many Software Licenses Do I Need?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 9: What if I Need to Integrate with My Organization’s Other Software?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 10: What Do I Need to Know about the Implementation Process?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 11: What’s the Best Way to Train My Crew to Use It?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 12: What if I Need Support after the Software is Up and Running?

Back to CMMS Basics, Part 13: What if My Needs Change?