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CMMS stands for a Computerised Maintenance Management System. CMMS's have come about as a result of both evolving TPM and existing machinery and building maintenance programs, as well as ever increasing regulations which require employers to be held responsible for the safety of their personnel whilst at work.

CMMS packages are much much more than simply information recorders, they schedule all maintenance tasks and provide valuable information for maintenance functions.

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Maximo is one of the leading CMMS software packages available. The system is written in Oracle, and often run as a separate software package on a Windows PC.

Different organisations use Maximo in a variety of different ways, such as training the maintenance operators to load and close jobs, whilst others use a help desk to record all jobs.

Maximo in simple terms is a scheduling package, where someone enters details of a task, which is then scheduled onto the appropriate area.

Maximo can handle a wide range of tasks, from machine tool maintenance, infrastructure maintenance, maintenance team booking, transport requests, invoicing, etc.

Within Rolls-Royce Plc, Maximo is used by a central help desk to input and log jobs for both the companies own maintenance teams as well as support teams and sub-contractors.

The central help desk for the company, has a single extension number, which handles call from all the companies regional offices. Job requests range for simple office heating and lighting tasks, through to machine tool maintenance tasks. A Rolls-Royce employee would call the help desk to log a job onto the system, they would receive a unique reference number for the task and details of any assigned priority.

The strengths of Maximo, lie in it's ability to handle a vast array of different tasks, for a variety of engineering companies.

The problems of Maximo as identified in Rolls-Royce Plc include regional differences in processing tasks, some regions require the help desk to approve tasks, whilst others require them to progress jobs with sub-contractors as well as very mixed bag of codes on the system, these problems are not problems with Maximo as a software package, but the bureaucratic nature of Rolls-Royce Plc.

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Main Saver is another leading CMMS package written in Oracle. Where Maximo is used by either a maintenance operator or help desk to load tasks, Main Saver relies on machine operators as well.

The Main Saver system, is relatively simple to operate, when the system is installed, a touch screen computer is placed near each machine in the production process, where the operators key in details of when they started a job and finish it, when the machine fails, they enter in details of the faults.

The maintenance operators are armed with both mobile phones and personnel digital assistants (PDA's), which when logged onto a network will show detailed tasks for each operator, the system will actually bleep maintenance teams in emergencies.

Main Saver also offers a web portal, when all the major elements of the system are presented for management appraisal, to see what the down times for machines are, this is a highly automated task for Main Saver, but it requires a lot of data extraction and analysis for anyone using Maximo.

Main Saver is more than a CMMS package as elements such as warehouse management, allow for the system to be more ERP orientated.

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CMMS packages exist because, MRP systems were originally designed on the premise of looking at what capability a manufacturer has to meet existing and future demand. The problem with capability issues, is that, when a machine fails, it's all lost, MRP packages do not generally allow for machine failure and data recording. Hence CMMS packages exist, to help maintenance teams maintain business capability.

Can handle a wide range of tasks. Very easy to use system.
Prone to opening up of several screens to log a task, then approve and action a task, to finally closing it off the system.  The system is more costly than Maximo, but in the long run it does not need as many support personnel to keep it running.
A badly planned implementation will consist of excessive codes and lead to a drop in the morale of the system users as well as poor information. The system is only as good as the information it contains. Main Saver send in their own implementation teams to ensure both the setting up and training of all personnel are achieved in a quick and timely manner, the training is very precise.

Maximo is an established platform for simply recording maintenance tasks. Main Saver offers more of a total ERP solution for maintenance issues, the software can be run in conjunction with leading MRP packages such as SAP. Maximo have realised they have lost ground to Main Saver, they are currently trying to develop their software to mirror Main Saver capabilities.

In essence in a high volume environment Main Saver works best, but in low volume environments Maximo is adequate.

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(c)  Est 08/00 - Last Updated 28/05//2001