A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can help companies better leverage their time, money, and other resources to reduce total maintenance costs. From tracking assets like inventory and equipment to monitoring labor costs, a CMMS can help you maximize your maintenance to increase profitability, reliability, and performance.
The choices can be overwhelming when shopping for the right CMMS software. Use our mini guide to help you navigate the selection and implementation process.
What to Do Before You Pursue a CMMS
Before you dive into your CMMS options, you need to do a little planning and research to guide the process.
First, consider what your goals and expectations are if you implement a CMMS. Do you want mobile access? How much money do you expect a CMMS to save you? The obvious benefits, such as cost- and time-saving, won’t be fully recognized if you don’t first set specific goals and needs.
Think about the people who will be using the system. Maintenance technicians, floor or shift managers, safety personnel, and business leaders may all need to access data within the system.
Also, consider how a CMMS will need to fit in with existing systems and applications. Will it need to be compatible with other solutions already in place? How will incompatibility affect the total value a CMMS brings to your organization?
Finally, consider how a CMMS will be able to scale and grow with your company. Will it be flexible enough to evolve with future business needs?
Doing your homework before you begin investigating and shortlisting solutions can help you get the most from your investment.
What to Look For in a CMMS Solution
Not all CMMS solutions are created equal. While each is designed to tackle the basic needs of any maintenance department, their execution, features, costs, and general functionality can vary greatly.
Start by prioritizing these five basic considerations to shortlist your options:
Ease of Use
Complicated interfaces and processes can bog down any benefits a CMMS provides. Consider the ease of use and adoption process to ensure you can start seeing an ROI as soon as possible.
The features in a CMMS should help you to achieve your initial goals and grow your organization. It’s easy to be distracted by shiny bells and whistles, so try to focus on only the features you really need.
What the CMMS Can’t Do
Are there any shortcomings of a particular CMMS that could affect your ability to reap its benefits? It’s just as important to look at what a CMMS can’t do alongside the features it offers.
Will your CMMS provider offer ongoing support? Will they help with the initial setup and launch? How easy is it to obtain support? These should be high priority when selecting a software solution.
A CMMS is an investment in your company, and even though you expect some form of ROI on your investment, initial costs must first be considered. You don’t want to pursue options that are outside of your budget, nor do you want to spend more than you have to in order to accomplish the same goals.
Deciding how much value a CMMS will bring to your organization can help to justify the cost. If you find a CMMS that’s out of your financial reach, you’ll need to work harder to get buy-in from senior execs.
Best Practices on Implementing CMMS
Finding a solution is only part of the challenge. Once you enlist the help of a vendor, you’ll also need help in getting your CMMS up and running. These best practices can help:
Create Clear Roles and Responsibilities
Make sure you communicate how your team members are supposed to use the software. Assign responsibilities, such as data tracking or running reports, so that no role falls through the cracks.
Define Project Goals
Let your team know what you’re trying to accomplish and how they will contribute. Show them why you’re using a CMMS and how it can help them work better.
Provide Training and Onboarding
Set up a training and onboarding program to get everyone familiar with interfaces, workflows, and processes. The CMMS is only as good as the people using it.
Further reading: How to Harness the Benefits of CMMS