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As a maintenance service provider in HVAC, electrical, custodial and other disciplines, there are several considerations in selecting a CMMS.  As you sign up a client for any work, you would need to encourage them to setup a contract for long term maintenance which indicates the services, costs and payments and a set of preventive maintenance activities that needs to be done, how often and by who. This is a win-win situation where the client benefits from the preventive maintenance and you would be the best choice for performing this work for the client. CMMS needs to provide the tools for capturing asset information and setting up service contracts and preventive maintenance for them.

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Client Assets – Clients, their buildings and assets need to be captured in the system. The buildings are to be specific with their address, any notes as how and when to visit them as well as the floors, spaces and assets. The assets have their information as the type, model and specs.  The lifecycle of the assets needs to be captured including the date manufactured, date purchased, and date installed as well as the expected life of the asset. Warranty information (expiration date and responsibility) is also important to indicate.

Service contracts – Service contracts need to be setup to indicate the terms (start and end date) as well as the services and their associated costs. The contracts need to have a reminder feature so that service provider and the client get notifications on the expiration and renewals.  Setting up the costs need to allow the charges based on monthly, quarterly or yearly fees or per visit charges or type of service basis.

Preventive maintenance schedules – Each contract should automatically generate the preventive maintenance schedules which are indicated. For each schedule, you should be able to assign the targeted assets and the service steps and procedures to preformed.

Preventive maintenance work orders – Preventive maintenance schedules generate the work orders with the necessary steps and schedule dates for when they need to be performed. They are either assigned automatically to the responsible technician(s) or to service managers who would then assign it to the available and qualified technicians.

Predictive maintenance analysis – The system should allow analysis of the results of services such as mean time between failures, meter readings and diagnosis information (such as infrared images of panels) for predictive maintenance planning.

Performing the services – Once the work orders are dispatched, the responsible technicians receive the tasks. They then report to the client site and perform the work based on the assigned schedule. In the survey of the assets, the checklists are completed and any item that does not pass, is indicated as a ‘fail’ item. The results need to be available in a ‘deficiency report’ upon completion of a preventive maintenance work order. The fail items are prioritized and based on their priority they may be needed to be scheduled to be fixed by a corrective work order. The corrective work orders indicate any necessary parts and labor and can be sent to the client for approval. Once they are approved, they are scheduled and dispatched accordingly.

Client communications and connectivity – Client communications in this process is very important. Every step along the way, service provider needs to have the option to notify the clients on upcoming or completed activities. It is very helpful to clients if they can have access to the system through a portal to log in and see their properties and assets as well as the scheduled work, completed work and open invoices.

Financials – CMMS needs to generate the quotations and invoices based on the agreed upon amounts and schedules.  The invoices should be routed to the client from the system or alternatively to be sent to a back-end financial system that generates the formal invoices.

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About the Author

Mehdi Khalvati, Ph.D. is the president of Axxerion Inc. Axxerion’s CMMS module addresses management, finances and approvals of preventive and corrective work orders for service providers. For more information, please review the CMMS page. Please send your feedback, thoughts and comments to

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