Justifying CMMS Costs- Buying vs Modernizing

If you’re reading this post then you’re probably already familiar with the costs and benefits associated with CMMS and EAM solutions. These expensive, yet critical, systems in our organizations allow us to track inventories, work orders, schedules, and other essential maintenance information in ways that aren’t possible without some kind of comprehensive software solution so it’s only natural that many be wary about completely ditching an existing system in favor of implementing a new one.

Quite frankly, there are so many different scenarios to think about if you’re considering replacing your CMMS or EAM solution. Will your employees be able to easy use it? Does it have all the functionality you need to operate? How long will it take to set the new system up? How much will this upgrade cost you? If that’s not enough to worry about, there’s always the risks involved in removing an existing system in favor of a new one.

What risks, you might ask? The risk of downtime and data loss. While downtime is an obvious risk, data loss is a bit more unsuspecting. Think about how long you’ve had your current CMMS or EAM solution in place. Now estimate how many work orders, purchase orders, corrective action plans (CAPs), or other processes you’ve run over that time period. If your software has built-in reporting capabilities, then estimate all of the reports you’ve created, saved, and executed over this timeframe as well.

What would happen to your organization’s ability to understand what’s happening in your daily operations if this kind of information is lost because a new CMMS system can’t properly display your existing information in the way you need it to be displayed? And in the case where data is lost, any regulatory compliance you count on goes right out the window. Naturally, ensure that all of this information is preserved should be a top priority if you’re committed to replacing your existing CMMS or EAM software.

These risks are why more and more businesses are opting to modernize their legacy systems rather than buying a new software solution off the shelf. Modernization, unlike buying an off the shelf solution, provides you with the ability to build a solution that is tailored to your organization’s specific needs. Having this amount of input on the design of an application allows you to eliminate any shortcomings that may arise in an off the shelf.

That’s not to say that off the shelf solutions aren’t viable. They provide fully built, functional solutions for many businesses and can be launched quickly with a lower initial investment upfront. But, they may not provide you with all of the functionality you need to operate and trying to modify them might end up costing you more in the long run.

But, modernization efforts can be done in ways that minimize the amount of development time needed to deploy a solution. Any decent company offering modernization services should be able to leverage technologies that allow for rapid development, such as an existing code base filled with generic functionality that can be re-used in almost any scenario.

And although we can’t speak for other vendors, CHAMPS is a firm believer in the adage of “work smarter, not harder”. We approach each modernization effort with the mentality of save what can be saved, leverage libraries and frameworks wherever possible, and only write new code for pieces that absolutely need it. Using this approach, we’ve been able to help countless organizations not only eliminate the limitations they faced but have also deployed systems in record time for lower costs.

In the end, modernization doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process and dedicating some time for both planning and consulting with partners who can guide you through the process will ultimately help your organization achieve your short and long term goals.

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