Selecting the ideal CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) is an important task, one that will impact your organization for years to come. Choosing a CMMS that is a poor fit could result in downtime, lost profits, and poor employee morale. Consider the following tips to make the right choice for your maintenance and facilities management software package.
1. Create a cross-functional selection committee. The best way to make a strong choice for CMMS software is to involve individuals from multiple levels and departments within the company. This will provide a broader perspective of the current maintenance and facilities management needs within the organization.
2. Review your current system. A thorough understanding of the system currently in place, its strengths, and its weaknesses, will highlight some challenges you intend to resolve with the new computerized maintenance management software.
3. Interview current users. Surveys and interviews should be utilized to understand the needs and frustrations of current CMMS system users. A good selection of individuals should be included from the following departments:
- Inventory management
- Support and infrastructure
- Job planning
- Work order management
Surveys should be given to the broadest possible audience, from entry level up through management. Interviews should primarily be for functional managers, but adding a small number of local system support personnel will provide additional insight.
4. Develop a prioritized requirements document. The first deliverable of the selection committee is a detailed requirements document. This document should consist of a prioritized description of all the requirements of the organization for computerized maintenance management software. Developing this requirements document adds objectivity to the selection process later by allowing those viewing different vendor options to focus on the specifications rather than presentation. This document should highlight gaps in the current CMMS, including interfacing with other systems and ideal report layouts. New key requirements should also be clearly identified.
5. Consider costs. Despite the clear gains in efficiency and reduction in downtime, maintenance and facilities management solutions do have a cost component that must be considered. Ideally, a budget or at least a budget range will be identified in advance. Options to take into consideration include on-premises and hosted solutions. On-premises software is installed and operated from an organization’s in-house server and hardware. A hosted solution allows an organization to have its computerized maintenance management software in the cloud and accessible via the Internet.
6. Formalize a Request for Proposal (RFP). CMMS solutions are not a small consideration, and should be reviewed via a formal RFP process. Request as part of the RFP that each CMMS solution vendor provides a web demonstration of the system’s capabilities.
7. Consider the value of training. Ideal CMMS solutions often have a steep learning curve. It is important to include training and ongoing support in the value of any vendor’s product.
8. Reach out to current clients. As part of the RFP, each vendor should be asked for current client lists to use as references. These references should be called, in order to assess the challenges and strong suits of each system.
DPSI can provide your organization with a feature-rich, user-friendly, and customized CMMS to fit your needs. We offer the ideal CMMS software package iMaint and have been in this industry for nearly 30 years. Contact us for more information, or request a free demo today.