CMMS vs ERP: Key Differences Every Business Should Know About

CMMS vs ERP: Key Differences Every Business Should Know About

There’s never been a greater need for efficiency in the fast-paced, modern and technologically advanced business operations that manufacturing facilities operate within. When faced with the need to streamline their core production and maintenance operations, they often need to make a tough decision.

Should they rely on a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) or an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution? This is where many organisations get stuck in their need to choose between CMMS vs ERP. Making the right decision to streamline manufacturing processes has never been more important.

That’s why this article covers each of these two software solutions and explores their similarities and differences. Ready to take a closer look?

CMMS vs ERP: Key Differences Every Business Should Know About

Understanding CMMS

A CMMS maintenance management solution is software that is highly intelligent and is used in manufacturing plants for the purpose of streamlining maintenance operations. With preventive maintenance being a main function of these organisations, a CMMS plays a key role in helping streamline operations and introducing greater efficiencies for smooth production.

Some of the essential features of a CMMS to meet business needs include:

  • Preventive maintenance
  • Task management
  • Work cards, records of work and workflows
  • Work order management
  • Emergency repairs
  • Smart notifications
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Inventory management
  • Access to critical asset information


In short, a CMMS system is a highly efficient way of making production processes more streamlined by digitising work orders and simplifying data entry in real-time. This results in less scope for human errors, less downtime and greater maintenance team productivity, while also ensuring that maintenance is always carried out on time.

Understanding ERP

ERP software is a broader software solution that's often confused with enterprise asset management (EAM). This is an organisation-wide business management solution that seeks to bring better communication, information and collaboration across multiple departments. These may include:

  • Management features
  • Maintenance work and purchase orders
  • Data exchanges
  • Human resources management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Automated accounting and financials
  • Inventory and supply chain management
  • Asset management
  • Shipping and receiving
  • Production
  • Procurement
  • Logistics


Therefore, because ERP modules look at all or a majority of the operations of an organisation that can be digitised, it is important to determine whether this solution is right for your business.

Differences Between CMMS and ERP

Although they may appear quite similar in many respects, CMMS and ERP are specific software types that are quite different from each other.

Below, we describe some of the key differences so that you can make a more informed decision for your organisation.


Points of difference



Areas of focus

Maintenance only

All or most aspects of an organisation


Does not focus on improving all organisational processes

Focuses on improving all or most organisational processes


Relates to maintenance and asset management

Relates to all organisational aspects


Does not issue reports on the organisation’s entire performance

Does issue reports on the organisation’s entire performance

Asset and technician performance

Provides some information about asset and technician performance

Provides all information about asset and technician performance

Issues focused on

Focuses only on maintenance issues

Focuses on all types of organisational problems

Managing multiple systems

Does not manage multiple systems but can track critical assets in addition to non-critical ones

Manages multiple systems

Organisational growth

Contributes partially

Contributes more holistically

Reporting and analytics

Often highly comprehensive

Often not a superior method for data gathering and analysis

If interested in another comparison, here's our blog post on EAM vs CMMS.

Similarities Between CMMS and ERP

Despite their differences, there are some overlapping functions between a CMMS and an ERP. These include:

  • Data analysis: When it comes to data analysis, both an ERP and a CMMS offer functionalities that help analyse data. This comes in the form of insightful information that can be analysed for trends to help inform decision-making processes.
  • Reporting: It is a common practice for different organisational departments to have reporting functionalities. Both CMMS maintenance management software and an ERP can help issue reports. The latter are based on digital data that is collected and analysed to produce information that helps key decision makers make better choices for the business going forward.
  • Maintenance management capabilities: Both a CMMS and an ERP include asset monitoring, meaning that both software solutions can help modernise and simplify maintenance management capabilities. In addition, project management becomes much simpler and more agile with these software systems.

Why Use CMMS Software

The decision to choose modern CMMS maintenance software comes with many advantages for manufacturers. Here are just a few of the reasons to consider it:

  • Proactive maintenance management: Maintenance management is usually broadly grouped into two categories: preventive maintenance and reactive maintenance. While the former is a proactive approach and offers greater flexibility and improved production, the latter is reactive and deals with managing emergency repair situations. Managing proactive maintenance with a CMMS is a wiser choice for many organisations because it frees up maintenance managers to issue and manage work orders before they become problematic.
  • Advanced inventory management: Another important element of a CMMS is that it helps with advanced inventory management. Inventory is the backbone of most production facilities and includes aspects such as assets and spare parts. These often highly expensive pieces of equipment require regular upkeep, monitoring and oversight. A CMMS is perfectly positioned to handle such tasks.
  • Lower costs: And last but not least, apart from a CMMS’s incredible work order functionalities, it also comes at a much more affordable cost than the broader ERP solution.

Own a small manufacturing plant? Here are our top picks of preventive maintenance software for small companies.

Using Fabrico as your CMMS Solution

If you are looking for a CMMS with a user-friendly interface and customisable options as a stand-alone solution, the industry-leading answer is Fabrico. This CMMS facilitates fully digitised maintenance processes that enable you to control and optimise the resources in your manufacturing plant while also reducing costs.

In practice, manufacturing plants can benefit significantly from Fabrico’s CMMS integration because it helps maintenance managers issue work orders on time, every time, and from multiple locations. In addition, mobile software applications enable teams to view work order notifications on their mobile phones or smartwatches for greater efficiency.

Fabrico’s CMMS is top-performing software, but you can see how it has helped numerous organisations for yourself. Take a look at just one example of a Fabrico success story, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information or to schedule your free demo.


Why Use ERP Software


For maintenance managers and manufacturing decision makers looking for an overarching digitised solution to manage enterprise resources, enterprise resource planning software could be the answer. Here are several reasons to try it:

  • Multifaceted business operations: Because an ERP is applied organisation-wide, its functionalities can be applied to multiple business operations. These are broad and varied and may include anything from accounts and human resources to maintenance and inventory management, among others.
  • Applicability to various business processes: An ERP can also be applied to various business processes. Because it digitises so many cross-functional departments, there is better coordination and collaboration between them. As such, organisations can make data-driven decisions.
  • Comprehensive overall process improvement: Another reason why an organisation might choose ERP software is that it can lead to comprehensive process improvements. The digitised data and streamlining of operations can contribute to greater organisational efficiency, and data and insights can be used to make decisions about processes, meaning that planning can be done in a more cost-effective manner without compromising quality.

CMMS/ERP Integration

If you are still trying to choose between the two systems of CMMS and an ERP, the good news is that it’s possible to carry out CMMS/ERP integration to give you the best of both worlds. Integration with ERP creates a unified platform that manages all business areas and maintenance operations in one place. Ultimately, this can increase organisational performance and efficiency and result in cost savings. Organisations that use a combination of CMMS and ERP often experience benefits that include:

  • Enhanced scalability
  • Improved visibility
  • Increased efficiency
  • Improved asset performance
  • Cost savings
  • Improved customer satisfaction and experience
  • Better decision-making


ERP vs CMMS: the choice might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You simply need to consider the similarities and differences to make the right decision for your enterprise. Often, an ERP is used for large operations, and it comes with a higher price tag.

In addition, it often requires much more intensity in implementation as opposed to a CMMS solution that helps a company's maintenance department reduce costs and downtime. That’s why we encourage you to explore and consider Fabrico’s CMMS solution today. 

Get in touch with our team to ensure that your organisation scales and thrives in a competitive environment. Our team is ready to answer any questions you may have or guide you through our demo so that you can see Fabrico’s CMMS in action for yourself.

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