Measure, manage, and improve your KPIs with CMMS software

When it comes to improving KPIs, remember the old business saying: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This is unfortunate news for job sites using traditional Excel spreadsheets or pen and paper, enter CMMS software.

While such Excel systems obviously do capture a fair amount of information, it’s difficult to compile into reports. Perhaps you can measure everything, but it might not be worth the time. And the figures might not be totally accurate.

And, according to a 2019 survey, only 12% of maintenance managers don’t use any formal systemIf you’re in that situation, improving KPIs is more of an art than a science, which is not a good thing.

With a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), everything is already measured for you. If your CMMS maintenance software is configured correctly, it will generate all the metrics you could need, and thus a more accurate view of your KPIs.

While CMMS is often thought of as automation software, it’s also insight software.  It gives you greater visibility into what’s going on every day at the job site, from nuts and bolts to barcodes and invoices.

If you’re considering adopting CMMS maintenance software, it’s worth considering some examples of how it can help you measure KPIs, and thus improve your team’s performance.

Measuring Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)

MTBF is obviously one of the key indicators of overall maintenance performance. It represents the most fundamental goal of preventative maintenance: make the machine live longer. However, it alone doesn’t necessarily tell you everything you need to know.

So, your MTBF is a little too low. Specifically, your water tanks are failing every few months. It’s better to know this than not know it, but there are deeper questions that have to be asked if this KPI is to be addressed and improved.

Is there one tank that tends to fail over and over again, having a disproportionate effect on the overall number? Are there failure modes that aren’t being addressed? Has the MTBF fluctuated over time, pointing to larger shifts that may not be immediately apparent?

With CMMS, the overall MTBF is always available, but, more importantly, it can serve as the beginning rather than the end of the story.

Any manager can easily look at the MTBF by asset, and then delve into the specifics of each failure. Underperforming assets can be given special maintenance tasks. They can be made candidates for early replacement, based on cost assessments.

Additionally, given the fact that CMMS stores maintenance notes in an accessible digital log, it’s easy to detect common patterns in failure modes. Preventative tasks can be adjusted accordingly. You can make sure that every technician sees an updated checklist in real-time.

With these features, you can address the vulnerabilities of the specific asset, protecting it and prolonging its lifespan.

Measuring Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

MTTR is a necessary complement to MTBF, and both are necessary to form a full picture of an asset’s life cycle. If a conveyor belt fails every week, but its repair is routine and takes ten minutes to perform, that’s not necessarily an issue.

Meanwhile, if an asset is failing at a rate that aligns with industry standards, that’s fine. But if the repair takes far too long, the excess downtime can translate into a fortune in lost productivity.

A good and properly implemented CMMS tracks all repairs from the assignment of the work order to its completion. It calculates MTTR is done automatically, both as a global measurement and per individual asset.

As well as with MTBF, good CMMS can capture all of the reasons that MTTR can become inflated. Let’s say it’s an issue with inventory. You keep running out of parts that are crucial for a repair that’s being done more frequently as the asset ages.

Given that CMMS maintenance software tracks which parts are necessary for which repairs, this can be prevented. Managers can easily check whether a healthy level of inventory is being maintained.

If it’s a labor issue, that’s measurable as well. If a repair is repeatedly taking too long because the only staff trained to do it is overtasked, increased employee training can address the issue.

It’s worth noting that CMMS systems can speed up repairs in a lot of small ways.

For example, with CMMS, you can upload documentation into the database entry for a given asset. So, if a member of your staff isn’t sure what’s going wrong, they can easily access a manual or a diagnosis flowchart that you’ve uploaded.

You’ll never have to hear the sentence, “I couldn’t find the manual, but I thought I remembered how it worked.” Additionally, CMMS systems can speed up the work order authentication process with automated workflows administered by a mobile app.

Measuring Preventative Maintenance (PM) Compliance

Establishing the optimal PM schedule is all about balance. Ideally, you want your staff to be spending enough time on PM so that reactive maintenance is being avoided. However, you also don’t want them to be wasting time with maintenance that isn’t necessary.

CMMS software automates PM and tracks its completion, you’ll always be able to measure PM compliance and see which side of the balance you’re on. If PM is frequently being completed at the very last minute or not being completed at all, you’ll know.

Then, you can investigate. For example, because all repairs are tracked by an assigned worker, you can see whether given members of staff aren’t as efficient as others, or whether certain areas of your staff are being overburdened.

Additionally, CMMS makes it easy to address PM issues caused by checklists that have vague or redundant steps. You know, steps like “see what’s wrong with it” or “look at the problem.” In a comprehensive CMMS solution, all maintenance checklists are stored in the database with the asset they belong to.

Measuring and Reducing Repair Costs

Every maintenance professional can point to an asset in their facility that they’re having to maintain with suspicious frequency. However, it’s not always as clear whether these costs really are as unreasonable as they seem.

Without keeping track of the costs of both PM and reactive maintenance, there’s no way to determine whether the MC/RAV (Maintenance Cost/ Replacement Asset Value) percentage for a given asset is creeping up to unacceptable levels.

However, with CMMS software, the costs and labor associated with maintaining an asset are measured on an ongoing basis. At any given moment, you can see how much work has been done on an asset and check up on the costs involved. This will give you an accurate picture.

If the costs are being accrued by lots of reactive maintenance, you can ensure that the asset starts getting the attention it needs in the form of more PM. Thus, maintenance costs will go down.

On the other hand, if the asset remains flaky despite constant attention, you can decide that you’re better off with a shiny new piece of equipment. If it has to go, you’ll always know.

Monitoring and Mastering Inventory Flow

One of the biggest advantages of CMMS software is the way it can handle inventory management. That definitely applies to keeping a handle on inventory KPIs. One of the most helpful measurements is inventory flow.

Inventory flow can, at a glance, give you a clue as to whether you’re consistently overstocked or understocked.

A conspicuously high inventory flow can tell you that you’re edging too close to the “just in time” precipice. On the contrary, a stagnant inventory flow can let you know that you’re ordering too much and thus wasting storage space and overspending.

Better yet, some CMMS solutions let you act on this information in addition to accessing it. You can use a good CMMS solution to set automatic orders when your stock hits a certain threshold.

Some allow for stock figures to be depleted in real time as a work order is being completed. This means that the automated order will take place at the very moment the count dips below an acceptable threshold.

CMMS can also track the location of your stock, ensuring that you won’t lose parts somewhere in a sprawling job site with multiple storage locations.

Noticing Inactive Stock

Inactive stock can stay around for a frightening amount of time because, well, it’s inactive. Unless it’s being tracked, it’s not being looked at.

A properly configured CMMS will track the entirety of your inventory. You’ll always be able to see what’s flowing in and out of your stockroom, and, by extension, what isn’t.

Of course, there are two kinds of inactive stock—parts you’ll need for occasional crucial repairs, and stuff that you just don’t need anymore and should write off immediately. Tread this line carefully.

CMMS software bundles data about repairs, parts, and assets together such that it’s always clear which asset needs which part. Accordingly, you’ll never mistake a “just in case” part for an obsolete part taking up space.

Generate Reports Automatically

Ensuring that you’re improving KPIs over time requires a dual focus.

You have to keep an eye on the micro—why certain work orders are consistently overdue, why certain assets are failing too often, and so on. You also have to monitor the big picture to see whether the little tweaks you’re making are causing an impact over time.

This dual focus can be demanding—unless you just do it all automatically. The right CMMS maintenance software will help you by generating reports on a predetermined schedule. And, if you want, your CMMS can send out these reports automatically on a regular basis.

Once you set this up, key stakeholders can consistently obtain the data they need without you lifting a finger.

The right CMMS will generate both simple and complex reports. So, if you’re looking to send a simple report out to your maintenance team for motivation, now you can. If you’re talking to a member of upper management who wants rich data, that’s easy to produce as well.

Rather than manually collecting and compiling performance data yourself, you can keep doing the work of improvement and simply watch as your efforts are recorded and compiled accurately, every time.


Many maintenance managers avoid implementing CMMS because a new way of doing business can seem confusing and overwhelming. However, what’s less examined is how the traditional maintenance environment is already confusing and overwhelming.

Traditional maintenance management systems leave many areas of daily operation opaque. You can’t see the things you’re trying to improve. That makes it difficult to improve them.

Inventory has to be tracked manually, which means that it can go astray. Asset costs can be unclear, leading to confusion about whether to repair or replace. You might not know why your PM program isn’t protecting your assets as well as you’d like it to.

Fundamentally, a well-implemented CMMS brings clarification for your team rather than confusing them.

That level of insight and support allows our customers to get excellent results.

On average, CMMS users enjoy a 20.1% reduction in equipment downtime, a 19.4% savings on material costs, a 17.8% reduction in MRO inventory expense, and a 28.3% increase in maintenance productivity.

At MRI NETfacilities, when we onboard our customers we make sure that they have visibility into the metrics they need. Our CMMS software is easily adaptable to mirror processes within your facility, so that from day one you receive accurate reporting.  Our support team is also available to help you understand the platform – with an average ticket response of under eleven minutes.

Are you ready to eliminate confusion and stress from your life?

Then schedule a demo with one of our facilities management experts today!


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