Thinking about CMMS Software? Try These Tips Before Buying
As a maintenance manager, you’re always busy. Even more so if you’re using traditional paper-based methods so if you’re taking the time to look into a computerized maintenance management system, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Trust me, nothing is more frustrating than starting a lengthy evaluation process only to find a product isn’t what you need. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tips to ease the process of searching for a maintenance software solution.
Identify Improvement Areas
If you’re thinking about CMMS, you know these areas exist. Don’t kid yourself, you have them somewhere in your maintenance plan. Is your work order process up to speed? How well are you managing parts inventories? Do you experience a lot of unexpected downtimes? Looking at your program objectively, try to identify any and all areas that you aren’t satisfied with and make a list of them.
Define Your “Wishlist” AKA What Do You Need Your Software To Do?
In other words, what kind of functionality do you need? Keeping in mind your areas that need to be improved, think about what your software should do to help you solve these problems. Does it need to be accessible from the Web? These are the kinds of features you should be thinking about prior to beginning your search for a CMMS solution. Doing so will save you a tremendous amount of time because you’ll be able to narrow your search terms and find more relevant options.
Understand Your Business Needs
These days, there’s lots of licensing options. You can buy software and host it yourself, use software as a service (SaaS) models, and about a million other different options. No one can really tell you which is the right option except yourself. Will your IT staff be able to efficiently support an in-house solution? How many people will be using this software on a regular basis? Smaller businesses can benefit from SaaS models while large enterprises find the SaaS models lacking in functionality. Ultimately, it’s up to you to understand where your organization stands on this front.
Get Hands On
Finally, and this is the most important tip, test both vendor and product. Too often, you see a great product and terrible customer service backing it. The best CMMS in the world becomes severely hamstrung if you cannot get support from the vendor. Vendors should be knowledgeable (CHAMPS is backed by 40 years of industry experience!) and willing to develop a mutual relationship with you to support your success.