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Maximo - Likes/Dislikes


Does anyone currently use Maximo for maintenance management?

If so, what do you like/dislike about it?

Have you used the "Maximize Enterprise Adapter" that allows SAP (a business management/asset management software) to be linked with Maximo?

I am part of a team to select a new District-wide maintenance management system for a large community college.  We would be grateful for your insight of Maximo/lessons learned.

Thank you,

Penn State/Beezley Management

10 Replies

  • My experience with Maximo goes back 13 years when I implemented its predecessor Maximo Advantage.  My frustrations drove me to develop my own CMMS, which became a formidable competitor to Maximo Enterprise for nearly 10 years.  I fully implemented FAMMS at 3 facilities and all 3 are now using Maximo.  Admittedly, I would probably never like any OTS CMMS because I like having the flexibility a customized database offers.  That said, I can give a fair assessment based on Maximo users comments compared to my FAMMS program.

    Just this week I talked with my predecessor who inherited a smooth running facility that had been running FAMMS for four years.  He continued FAMMS for 1 year until he was forced to migrate to Maximo.  After a year of running Maximo he said what I have heard so many others say; he really could not stand using Maximo.  He described it as being just too complicated and he could see no value to his job i.e. he was just a slave to the database monster.

    In all fairness, other CMMS systems I have looked at have the same problems; too complicated and do little or nothing to help the maintenance worker do their job or provide customer feedback.  But I can say Maximo is on the high end of this scale.  I believe Maiximo is the perfect solution in maintenance environments that are nearly 100% PM driven and must have detailed accountability i.e. Nuclear power plants, City mass transit garage…

    Personally, for a large college campus I would recommend looking for something a little further down the scale.  Make it easy for staff, students, maintenance workers, etc to enter and follow up on work orders.  Don’t track anything you don’t need to track.  If the CMMS is user friendly people will want to use it and when they use it and you will collect the statistical data you need.

    Hope this was helpful


  • Angela,

    All I can really say is good luck.  At my former university, we had Maximo for more than 4 years and when I left, it was not fully implemented -- we never were able to get reports out of the system.  For the large investment we made, it was not the best decision for the university.  Maximo has alot of bells and whistles, but from a user perspective, it's just not feasible in a University setting.  If you need more information, just let me know.

    Good Luck



  • In reply to FacilitiesManager:



    Thank you for your reply.

    Would you be willing to let me know what your name is and what your profession is?  Your posting name is quite general -- "FacilitiesManager"


    I've talked with several of the Penn State FM staff who use Maximo quite a bit.  ... they seem to have had some good success.  However, they seem to have a good maintenace budget and good staff (something that unfortunately not all maintenace departments have). 


    I would like to hear more of your perspective fo what is best for a university/community college setting.


    Angela Lewis

    Beezley Management





  • Angela,

    I have extensive experience in assessing maintenance and reliability engineering organizations across many industries.  Part of the assessments is looking at CMMS software capability, how it is acutally being used and the benefits being gained. 

    With regard to any of the well known CMMS packages (Maximo, SAP, JD Edwards, TMS, etc.), they will all do what an organization needs them to do; work order management, inventory management, generating reports, etc.  They are all essentially relational databases that can be configured to meet the organizations needs.

    The problem is always with implementation and sustainment and can be thought of in 4 areas:

    1.  Software licenses are very expensive and they have annual maintenance expenses as well.  IT departments don't like software packages that will require significant amounts of support.  When organizations look at the initial costs and total life cycle costs they tend to recoil.  Often, only bare essential modules are purchased which restrict how much benefit can be gained from the purchased modules.  With regard to this, if Maximo is the choice, make sure you purchase all the modules you need when you get it.  It's much more difficult to get funding to buy additional modules later because bean counters and IT complain about the return on investment and support requirements.

    2.  Many software firms tend to sell their software by touting their "templated solutions" for your industry.  The problem is nobody discussed the templated solutions with those who will be using it.  Work management processes should be developed in flow charts and with good descritions so that the functions and actions are well understood.  THEN, the software should be modeled to your processes, not the other way around.  People are resistant when you force them to do things they didn't have a hand in building.  The software firm sells you the template and a certain amount of training, but the training usually misses the mark or is not done at the most effective time.  Start with a good process that fits your orgainzation and make the software follow the process that you prescibe.

    3.  Garbage in, garbage out...  To make a system like Maximo capable of functioning like the brochures show, you must have good data integrity.  Your physical assests must be in a hierarchy, you must be consistent on what you enter into the hierarchy as assets, equipment types, equipment numbers, associated bill of materials, etc. must all be entered correctly.  Transitioning to new software packages usually underestimates the level of effort in validating the database and scubbing the database to ensure it is correct.

    4. What you want to use the system for is important.  Are you looking for just a work order management system, or will you be using data for a robust reliability engineering program?  Maximo would be overkill for a simple work order management tool.  But if you want full reliability engineering data support there will be additional effort required to input the data for that level of analysis.

    Hope this helps, and say hi to Joe Pa for the football fans on this blog!


  • Hello Angela!

    I'd be glad to give you my experience with Maximo and also why and what we moved to. We essentially went to Maximo to replace an in-house developed work order system with an off the shelf system. We reviewed the 3 top competitors at that time based on input from a consultant. We started with Maximo 4.11 using the work order, PM, and inventory modules in August 2001 and phased out Maximo at version 5.x system in August 2008. In this entire period I am the only dedicated staff person to support implementation, training, and day to day activities. Our IT group eventually took over responsibility for the servers and Oracle configuration. In that period of time we went from 10 to 30 users and did most of that training in-house. It did most of what we needed 'ok' and most of our non Helpdesk users complained about ease of use issues. Our Helpdesk users were ok with it but hated all the work that was needed to report labor, close out work orders, etc. We did not have any outside campus users. They instead submitted email form work orders, which we would then transfer. We used some helper applications that did things like 'email updates to the user' and generally those helper apps were essential to making the product really work for us. My opinion was the reports that came with Maximo up through those versions were almost useless to us. It was far easier and productive to generate basic reports using Oracle tools to do selections and reports against the work order tables directly rather than go through the customization of Maximo reporting, whether it was Crystal or other report tools. Add the learning curve to create those reports and you can see how much an issue it could become. We occasionally would have an outside consultant create reports but even then, one report might cost a few thousand dollars if I went through the Maximo reporting process. Customization of any major kind was cost prohibitive and probably not that good an idea anyway. Customization was possible at a lower level and allowed us use custom fields when needed. We could use them in the table and forms.

    Upgrades to software were very stressful and often expensive. Again this was something that made more sense to farm out, but there was a cost.

    My primary goal was to get an implemented mobile solution utilizing either Maximo mobile or an outside solution. We did identify a couple of web based mobile tools that we could glue together with Maximo to support a mobile applications of Maximo. We did not get there with this product. At the time management reviewed the CMMS we were also looking at another major upgrade to Maximo 6/7 whatever it was. A high level review of our FM department found that the customer's were disconnected from our department once they submitted a work order. Whatever solution was found would have to focus on the customer.

    Management decided to go a different route and after arranging 3 different proposals, (I had a proposal for a Maximo upgrade and adding a mobile solution) decided to go with Schooldude utilizing the work order component, Inventory, mobile and the PM component. Management made this decision independently. I was certainly pulling for Maximo at that point and was probably too close to the software to make a good call. Our IT department recommended Schooldude and the hosting, hardware issues, updates, and web based software definitely was attractive to us.

    I was given a go live date of mid-August which is the absolute worst time to implement anything if you are a traditional university. We had the inventory loaded by Schooldude but most of the setup we were able to do quickly and it all worked out fine. In the span of less than a month we were able to set up the buildings, crafts, users, etc., do the training, and roll it out. The hardest part for us was setting up the phones, which in retrospect should have been a piece of cake.

    The big piece for us was rolling out the software to the university campus and there are now about 2000 users including, students, faculty and staff. Campus users apparently love the ease and the timely updates they receive through the software. Our Helpdesk phones which used to receive non-stop calls from 8am - 5pm are now almost quiet. In the initial August 2008 startup we also identified 50 of our maintenance staff who work primarily on work orders and set them up with i-265 phones which allowed them to receive work orders, report their labor, and then complete the work order. In this process we also reduced our staff by one in our help desk area, but were able to easily handle it due to the reduced phone load and work orders now being completed in the field. We probably are running about 25,000 work orders a year. We have written rules that route a call to the lead person of the particular work group based on the building and  the craft  selected. The lead person then assigns the work order to a technician and that whole process from customer submitting the work order to assignment may only take minutes.

    A big plus for me is the improvement in reporting between Maximo and Schooldude. I am also able to extract all work order and labor information directly into Excel and from there create custom graphs and reports. The built in reports are very extensive and have an impressive number of options. One ding I do have is the lack of customization possible, a lack of configurable checking on user input and the somewhat tricky process to build PM work orders. If you want to edit work orders you have to do it one at a time and that can be pretty tedious. Other than that I'm sold.

    I'd be glad to talk to you more in detail if you'd like and also tell you how we able to maximize our investment and return in both products. I was a Maximo user in a small installation so that brings its own challenges. However at the end the day a lot of the things that were tough to do in Maximo should not have been such a struggle. Report writing for one! 

    Sorry for the length!

    Joe Zirbel 


    (These are my own opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.)


  • I wanted to make the group aware that there was an independent market study conducted by Evalueserve that surveyed over 200 Higher Education facilities professionals on their choices over the past several years on CMMS, use of mobile wireless solutions, BAS, and other topics.


    The survey outlines:

    -          The top 5 vendors who provide CMMS based on market share

    -          Time to value studies on speed of implementation

    -          Ratio of complexity to ease of use

    -          The rate of adoption of “cloud computing” CMMS approaches over traditional on premise client server

    -          The rate of in house built vs. off the shelf software

    -          The resources needed for various approaches beyond the costs to the vendor



    This survey was published and circulated through APPA, ABACC, NACUBO, and other higher education associations. 


    I do not know where this survey is available online but my company has licensed copies of the full 33 page survey and I would be glad to send you or anyone else on the list a copy.  We have licensed the survey and have the ability to distribute to bonafide Higher Education organizations.  You can email me directly to recieve a copy.




  • I was a team member in Maximo implentation in a big University in UAE ,for few years. I worked very hard on the implentation and I witnessed failures .I was never in position to take decisions, so I just studied things on my own  I also created the space inventory manual and worked on the strategic financial planning of the department .The success of all three projects depend on one common factor: DATA

    Maximo, is  a Oracle  based  management .The word Oracle means PROPHECY …..It can do everything we can imagine .A relational based data  management  program just has simple tables (likes excel file but everything is separate )so everything can be customized as needed. This is   the first place where the consultants make money…”Software is not designed for this thing”……(sorry it can do it).Now I work for SCHOOLDUDE ,which is a customized Maximo for schools so basically efficency wise they are the same ,cost wise SCHOOLDUDE should be better.

    CMMS ( Maximo , School dude etc ) they are just tools .Tools don’t work .It is the people work. The focus has to be on the DATA and process implementation .The way we input information is the same way  we get the OUTPUT.(stop blaming the system, it is very powerful).Before we input we need data scrubbing .Physical check of  EVERTHING.I am a civil engineer and have a Oracle training, so when I studied all the documents for data I found so much non conformances at every stage. That is the cause for all the junk information that goes in the software .All has to be fixed for a smooth information flow.( I worked on ISO 9001 implementation long back)

    Prior to CMMS implementation, we have to consider what output we want. If it is to be used just for creating workflow in work orders any inexpensive tool can be used. Oracle based CMMS are capable to do much more. DATA for space inventory, financial planning  energy management ,Deferred maintenance  is all the same. Before our data collection if we consider want output is needed we will get all OUR APPA benchmarking factors from the CMMS.

    The knowledge gap between the software professionals and facility mangers huge. The experienced facility managers have a beautiful vision, but software guys take them on a ride. They understand the computerized part of CMMS but fail to understand the Maintenance System …(sigh!)

    Well, I have talked about the problems, lets see the solutions (I spent months studying this ,putting grains together and found it).For location DATA use the information from  Postsecondary Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual nces.ed.gov/.../pubsinfo.asp  also include  the areas. Convert to CMMS friendly format Then load the equipment data very carefully with all technical information needed for ; preventive, corrective, and deferred maintenance and costing and energy management and Capital renewal cost calculations.(minute things like wall paint/sq per class and heating and cooling cost per sq feet should be done).Caution: not load any DATA in the CMMS until you are able to get perfect results .I did one building at time .).Load the data. It will work.

    Good Luck!

  • In reply to Arshi:

    Arshi is exactly right.  CMMS or EAM software is a tool.  A tool needs to be used properly or it will not perform as intended.  

    There are four elements to a maintenance management program for establishing control and stability; the software, the IT integration, the work management process and the asset database integrity.  Most organizations that implement a software upgrade get only two or three of these four elements right.  The end result is frustration and unsatisfied ROI for the project.

    In fact, a 2011 survey by ReliabilityWeb showed that 50% of CMMS implementations were reported to have not achieved any ROI, and 28% stated that they did not achieve the ROI anticipated.  Only 22% reported achieving their ROI for the CMMS/EAM system implementation/upgrade.

    Interestingly, if you look at the number of organizations that are reactive, planned, and proactive, the percentages of them are roughly the same as the percentages of ROI achieved.  It makes sense.  The root cause is often not having good business processes and not having good accountability/responsibility to consistently carry out those processes.  Neither of which are inherent capabilities of a set of code in the software.  These are leadership and management functions.


  • In reply to Ron:

    Ron where can i find information on FAMMS


  • In reply to Lanny Roberts:

    I would really like to bring your attention before you make any decision towards CADaultFM who is in this business for more then 25 years. And we feel pride to mention that once our client starts using our software, they never want to try other Software.
    We provide CLOUD/Non Cloud based, a centralized solution where Requester, Managers, and Technicians can process Daily maintenance requests in few simple steps. Improve overall maintenance operations through priority status assignment, response time tracking, and accurate cost analysis.
    Our site is www.CADapultFM.com
    My email is mgupta@cadapult.net

    Schedule some time for demo and lock the 2015 price.

    Happy Holidays
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