Over the past two months, we’ve surveyed maintenance professionals to identify how the industry uses software to get organized, improve efficiencies and tackle other industry challenges. You’ll find the full report below, but there are three key takeaways I’d like to highlight up front:
- Best-of-breed CMMS users are most satisfied. Professionals who use best-of-breed computerized maintenance management systems  report their systems best fit their needs.
- Mobile software users report high levels of satisfaction. Among our survey participants, those that use mobile maintenance software reported greater satisfaction than users of non-mobile software.
- Preventive maintenance is a top priority for 2013. Increasing uptime and reducing costs are top objectives for this year. To do this, the implementation of preventive maintenance programs is a priority for our participants.
Maintenance Management Software Adoption
We began by asking survey takers what type of software they use to manage maintenance tasks. Survey takers were asked if they use the following:
- CMMS software: Stand-alone Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software designed specifically for the management of assets and facilities.
- EAM/ERP suites: Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. These maintenance software applications are part of a larger suite of business and/or accounting solutions.
- Custom software: Software developed by the company or by a third-party, as opposed to off-the-shelf software from a commercial software vendor.
- Other tools: Business software applications such as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office products.
- Manual methods: No software is used. Maintenance is handled without the use of any software programs.
What Type of Software Do You Use?
In total, 84 percent of those surveyed use some kind of software to manage maintenance. Commercial software products (i.e. CMMS, EAM/ERP or other business software tools) were used by 77 percent of those surveyed.
How Well Does Your Software Fit Your Needs?
We asked users of maintenance-specific software applications to answer how well these systems fit their needs on a 10-point scale, with 10 being “Very well” and 1 being “Not at all.” On average, CMMS software users reported their systems best fit their needs.
Do You Use On-Premise or Cloud-Based Software?
A majority (66 percent) of our survey takers reported they use on-premise software and 31 percent indicated they use software hosted by the software vendor (“Cloud-based software”). The penetration of Cloud-based systems into the maintenance software market lags behind other industries, but we expect Cloud-based systems to be implemented more frequently in the near future.
Does Your Software Support Mobile Devices?
Fifty percent of our survey takers indicated that their maintenance software can run on mobile devices, while 38 percent indicated their system could not.
Does Your Software Fit Your Needs? (Mobile vs. Desktop)
We found that mobile device support correlated highly with how well a system fit survey takers’ needs. On the same 10-point “fitness” scale mentioned earlier, mobile software users rated their software three points higher than users of software that lacked mobile support.
We expect the number of professionals using mobile devices–as well as general levels of satisfaction–to increase as mobile devices come down in cost and vendors continue to improve their mobile offerings.
Maintenance Management Software Satisfaction
We asked CMMS, EAM/ERP and custom software users how satisfied they were with their systems’ features, on a scale from “Very satisfied” to “Dissatisfied.”
How Satisfied Are You with Your Software’s Features?
Overall, our survey takers were most satisfied with their systems’ ability to offer preventive maintenance capabilities, with 48 percent reporting being very satisfied. Work order management was the next feature with the highest satisfaction ratings.
There was a large variance of satisfaction among survey takers that largely centered around the use of commercial vs. custom software, which is discussed in detail below.
How Satisfied Are You with Your Software’s Preventive Maintenance Features?
Fifty-two percent of CMMS users reported being very satisfied with their software’s preventive maintenance capabilities, and 46 percent of EAM/ERP users reported similar levels of satisfaction. Meanwhile, 38 percent of custom software users reported being dissatisfied with their software’s preventive maintenance features.
How Satisfied Are You with Your Software’s Asset Management Features?
Forty-two percent of EAM/ERP users reported being very satisfied; over one-third (37 percent) of CMMS software users reported the same. In contrast, 50 percent of custom software users reported being either somewhat dissatisfied or dissatisfied with their software’s ability to manage assets.
How Satisfied Are You with Your Software’s Condition Monitoring & Alert Features?
CMMS software users were very satisfied with their systems’ condition monitoring and alert features. At the same time, only 13 percent of custom software users and 4 percent of EAM/ERP users reported being very satisfied.
We also asked survey participants if their systems were easy to use, if they were satisfied with the quality of their systems and how satisfied they were with other support and vendor services.
How Satisfied Are You with Your Software & Services?
Overall, our participants were most satisfied with their systems’ product stability and quality. In contrast, nearly 40 percent of participants were dissatisfied with the training bundled with their systems. However, a closer look showed that this varied greatly based on the type of software system used.
How Satisfied Are You with Your Software’s Stability & Quality?
Breaking down product stability and quality satisfaction by user group showed 48 percent of CMMS users reported being very satisfied, while only 27 percent of EAM/ERP reported the same. Twenty-five percent of custom software users reported being very satisfied.
How Satisfied Are You with Your Vendor’s Training Services?
CMMS software users were the most satisfied group with their software training; 65 percent of CMMS software users indicated they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied. Meanwhile, 38 percent of custom users indicated they were dissatisfied with training. And while the same percentage of EAM/ERP software users were dissatisfied with training, another 23 percent indicated they were very satisfied.
Maintenance Management Software Benefits
Survey takers were presented a list of benefits offered by most maintenance management software providers. We then asked participants to rate how well these systems deliver upon these benefits, from “Very well” to “Very poorly.”
How Well Does Your Software Deliver on the Following Benefits?
According to our sample, the top benefits to using maintenance management software included:
- Better recurring maintenance scheduling;
- Better work order assignment and request management;
- Greater access to historical reports; and,
- Reduced maintenance costs.
Overall, professionals reported that their systems didn’t fully deliver on the promise of reduced repair costs, increased asset longevity or reduced asset downtime. However, a closer look showed that CMMS software did, in fact, largely deliver on these benefits.
How Well Does Your Software Reduce Repair Costs?
Our sample indicated that CMMS software was best at reducing repair costs. Thirty-five percent of CMMS software responded “Very well” when asked how well the system aids in the reduction of repair costs.
How Well Does Your Software Increase Asset Longevity?
CMMS software was also the best at helping professionals increase asset longevity, with 28 percent of CMMS software users reporting their system does this very well. In contrast, only 13 percent of custom software users and 12 percent of EAM/ERP users reported the same.
How Well Does Your Software Reduce Asset Downtime?
Both CMMS users and EAM/ERP users indicated their systems were able to deliver upon the benefit of reducing asset downtime (28 percent of both groups responding “Very well”), greater than twice the percentage of custom software users who reported the same.
We also wanted to gain further insight into the top obstacles for maintenance professionals.
Top Maintenance Management Challenges
Survey takers were presented a list of common challenges experienced by maintenance professionals and were asked to indicate how often they encounter these difficulties.
Do You Encounter Difficulty with the Following Challenges?
The most common obstacles encountered by our survey takers included the inability to obtain access to historical reports, as well as a number of maintenance-specific challenges, such as managing recurring maintenance events and properly tracking asset depreciation.
In general, professionals that did not use software to manage maintenance encountered these challenges more frequently than software users, and users of CMMS, EAM and ERP solutions were the least likely to encounter these challenges. This is explained in greater detail below.
Do You Encounter Challenges Managing Recurring Maintenance?
According to our sample, manual methods are an insufficient method to manage recurring maintenance events. Fifty-eight percent of professionals that do not use software reported they often have difficulty managing recurring maintenance events. In contrast, approximately 20 percent of CMMS, EAM/ERP and custom software users reported never encountering this challenge.
Do You Encounter Challenges Controlling Administrative Costs?
CMMS software is an excellent method to control administrative costs, according to our survey: 37 percent of CMMS software users reported they never encounter this challenge. Meanwhile, 37 percent of professionals that do not use software report they often do.
Do You Encounter Challenges Reducing Repair Costs?
CMMS software users experience challenges reducing repair costs less frequently than other groups; 26 percent of these users report never experiencing this challenge. In contrast, 18 percent of professionals that use a collection of tools and 32 percent of professionals that don’t use software report often experience this challenge.
2013 Maintenance Management Priorities
At the conclusion of our survey, we asked participants to share their top priorities for 2013. While the specifics of each professional’s responses varied, many goals for this year revolved around three central themes:
- Improve inventory tracking and organization in order to transition from corrective to preventive maintenance.
- Reduce asset downtime and increase overall reliability to bring down total costs.
- Better utilize mobile technology to improve worker communication and effectiveness.
We also asked participants if they plan to invest in new CMMS software in 2013.
Will You Invest in New CMMS Software in 2013?
In this chart, the y-axis shows the type of software professionals currently use. When asked if they plan to invest in new CMMS software in 2013, a majority of professionals that don’t use maintenance management software plan to make a purchase this year.
We heard from 116 maintenance professionals from a wide range of industries and companies. Below you’ll find industry demographics, company sizes and job titles of our participants.
What is Your Industry?
How Many Employees Does Your Company Have?
What is Your Title?
What are your thoughts on the findings from our report? Do you have additional insights to add? If so, please leave a note in the comments below.
To further discuss this report or obtain access to any of the charts above, feel free to contact me at email@example.com .
Over the past two months, Software Advice has surveyed maintenance professionals to identify how the industry uses software to get organized, improve efficiencies and tackle other industry challenges. 84 percent of those surveyed use some kind of software to manage maintenance. Commercial software products (i.e. CMMS, EAM/ERP or other business software tools) were used by 77 percent of those surveyed.