Are Good Reports the Key to CMMS Happiness?


Why aren’t you happy?

I ran across some graphs and charts today, taken from an article titled CMMS Best Practices Study—A Perspectiveby Julie Rampello. This really compelling article is from, and it does a great job of describing what people really think of their CMMS software. The graphics, though, are what I found really inspiring.

I’m a manager who considers a picture worth a thousand words. Don’t show me a huge spreadsheet with a bunch of raw data. I like charts and graphs. I look for what they say and what they don’t say. I tend to gather information and come to conclusions based on multiple data points. Studying multiple, related charts carefully, you can often arrive at very valuable, converging conclusions.

Here are two charts. What do they say to me?

Features of Importance - Top 50%.jpg

Top 10 Features vs Satiscation Level.jpg

To me, these two charts say that CMMS software users are not happy. Their second most important feature/function, Reporting, is not delivering for them at all. In fact, among the top 5 features, only Work Order Management was rated by greater than 61% of the respondents as being “Excellent-Good.” That’s pretty weak for Spare Parts Management, Planning Functions, and Scheduling Function, which are all huge features of a modern CMMS.

Does this mean that CMMS software is being used as nothing more than work order software? If that’s the case, people could probably use a word processor template for their work orders and save lots of money!

Let’s add another chart to the conversation.

Work Orders tracked in CMMS.jpg

When I look at this chart, I get some understanding of the problem.  Only 23% of the respondents track 100% of their work in their CMMS. 

No wonder so many users are unhappy!

One of the first steps in setting up CMMS software is to define the reports (and the information) you want from your system. Once you define the reports, you need to ask yourself the question, “Do I want incomplete or inaccurate data on my reports?” My guess is your answer is “No.” Knowing what information you want to track will determine your data collection strategy. Too many systems get bogged down with what I call the “gill net” approach to data collection: collect it all and we’ll sort out the details later.

In the chart above only 23% of the respondents even have a chance of getting the reports they want. The other 77% will not have sufficient inputs to make data-driven decisions.

So, thanks to Julie for getting me thinking about these charts on CMMS user opinions. These simple, powerful graphics tell me a great deal about how CMMS users feel. What reports can you create in your CMMS to leave managers in your organization with similarly powerful impressions?

I’d love to hear more about how your reporting is driving management decisions—or not. What are your favorite CMMS reports? Is good reporting making you happy? Or do you still have a ways to go?