A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a software application that assists maintenance teams in keeping track of the assets and equipment they work with. It helps teams track and schedule maintenance activities and work orders and maintain a historical completion record.
If you are thinking about implementing a CMMS, you will need to work out which one is best. The steps below will help you choose the right CMSS for your facility.
What is CMMS?
The acronym stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System. Basically, it’s a program designed to help a team to keep its operational assets — buildings, machines, and other facilities — running smoothly by tracking them through their lifecycle.
So why use a CMMS? In addition to these essential functions, a CMMS also provides:
Automated reports & analysis – The ability to generate customized reports and analyses based on specific parameters can be precious to managers. For example, one of the maintenance manager’s roles and responsibilities is to see how often an asset experiences specific issues over time and then compare this data to previous years. This information can help identify trends and problems while planning future projects.
Asset health monitoring systems – An asset health monitoring system (AHMS) enables users to view real-time information relating to each device on a network. For instance, an AHMS might provide visibility into whether an air handling unit has run out of refrigerant during normal operation but not when it needs service. Such systems can alert users if there is a problem and take corrective action.
Assets scheduling technology – The ability to accurately predict what work should be scheduled next is vital to business continuity and profitability. Scheduling technology can enable operators to better plan ahead to avoid costly downtime.
Inventory control – With electronic inventory tracking systems, it’s easier than ever for maintenance staff to monitor the status of all devices onsite. These technologies help prevent shortages and stockouts while ensuring accurate documentation.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right CMMS for Your Business
In this guide, we will share everything you need to know about selecting the right CMMS for your business. We outline key factors to consider when selecting a CMMS solution for your maintenance management.
Choose A Solution That Fits Your Requirements
When considering a new CMMS, the first question to ask yourself is, “do I think my current CMS meets my requirements?” It could seem like a simple question at face value, but many businesses have been using a system for so long that they don’t realize it no longer fits their current needs. There comes the point where you need to step back and evaluate your current CMMS and ask yourself two questions:
What do I need from my CMMS?
How much money would I save or lose if I decided to switch systems?
To answer these questions, start by documenting your current software environment. You can begin with a list of features and functionality required for your organization. Make sure to include both technical and non-technical aspects. Then, look for areas in which your existing solution falls short. If something doesn’t exist or isn’t working as well as expected, chances are you won’t use it without paying extra.
Identify Key Benefits of Using the Right Software
Once you’ve answered those initial questions, the next thing to determine is how the new software will benefit your company. What are the benefits of switching to a new CMMS? Do you need one single platform or multiple platforms or modules? How can the right CMMS meet your budget needs?
Consider Your Workforce’s Current Needs
It’s also important to identify any skill gaps within your workforce—knowledge gaps, skills gaps, lack of motivation, lack of training, etc. Depending on your type of industry, some people might require more experience or specific tools or systems than others. You want to find employees who feel empowered and supported.
This means creating an atmosphere where everyone can make suggestions for improvement. It’s easy to see why so many companies opt for CMMS solutions. They give employees complete access to accurate data, allowing them to make educated decisions based on facts instead of speculation.
Assess Existing IT Infrastructure
The last thing you want to do is choose a system only to find out that it requires significant upgrades later down the road. Is there already a significant investment made into your current IT infrastructure? Does your system offer the flexibility you need? Are there additional costs involved (and what are they?)
For example, the cost of adding another person dedicated to managing your CMMS may not be worth it. On the other hand, if your current CMMS includes an online portal offering remote access and cloud storage, it might be worthwhile to check out alternatives.
Understand Your Budget
There’s no doubt that CMMS can provide an extremely powerful tool for effective maintenance management. However, there is usually a price tag attached to it. Some of the most popular solutions range from $10K-$100K per year, depending on your size and number of users. So, keep this in mind when planning future budgets.
Is The Software Suitable for Your Business?
CMMS software should be aligned with your organization’s goals and objectives. Some companies use the CMMS as a way to control employee access. Others use it to document maintenance activities and maintain an audit trail.
Still, others use it to facilitate project tracking. Choose a CMMS that supports your existing processes without disrupting them too much. You don’t want to sacrifice efficiency and productivity just because you decided upon a certain software option.
What Kind of Support Does the Vendor Offer?
Find out exactly what kind of assistance you’ll receive after installation. Are they willing to train your staff? Will they be able to troubleshoot technical issues? Can you contact their tech support team whenever you need help?
The Software Flexibility
Will you be required to migrate all of your data? What options do they offer regarding upgrading/migrating to new versions? What about customization?
Don’t underestimate the importance of these considerations. While you might think your budget is tight, having to completely re-write your entire database could end up costing thousands of dollars. Consider this before deciding on one particular solution over another.
Finally, remember that choosing the right CMMS depends on your needs and expectations. After all, it will eventually become part of your company culture. With today’s advanced technology, getting started shouldn’t be difficult at all.