picking a cmms

A Simple Guide For Picking The Right CMMS

Posted on Posted in Facilities Management

How many times has crucial equipment or assets broken down over the past year? Did you lose several hours due to emergency asset failure? Perhaps, you missed various preventive maintenance schedules because of errors. Are you aware of the total amount of requests sent, accomplished, and resolved over the past few months?

If you’re exhausted with using multiple spreadsheets, missing asset management documentation, or god forbid, handwritten checklists, then it might be time for you to start looking for ways to automate your maintenance management operation with smart building management software.

There are many options out there for a Computerized Maintenance Management System. However, not all facilities management systems are made the same way. Some would be a better fit for your requirements and processes while others can be bloated, difficult to use and expensive.

To assist you in picking the right maintenance software for your organization, here’s a simple guide.

Identify your Weak Points

Now that you have decided that you want to use a CMMS the first thing you need to do is to analyze your internal operations and processes.

One good way to start is by going over your Standard Maintenance Procedure or anything that records your maintenance procedures which you will be automating. If you don’t have one, ask your maintenance department to write one down. This should include the things they do on a  daily basis as well as other maintenance procedures. This will serve as a starting point to list the features you want to see in your maintenance software.

On top of that, your maintenance team should make a list of the assets and facilities you want to maintain. Only include important assets. Don’t be overambitious and include nuts and bolts in the asset register.

Also think through your processes, for example

  •  How quickly would you require responses to service requests and fault reports?
  •  How is your preventive maintenance planned?
  •  Who’s responsible for monitoring assets and equipment? 
  • What is the maintenance schedule of each asset?
  • What are the common problems your technicians face frequently and how can you solve them?

Identify Features that are Must haves vs Nice to haves

After knowing the problems you want to solve and the CMMS features you’ll need to solve those problems, your next step is to sort these features  according to priority. You have to get clear which of those features are essential and which of those are nice-to-haves. 

Many CMMS will be priced based on features. Therefore, the prioritization exercise may help you figure out the Return on Investment for each feature.

However, a CMMS system like FacilityBot offers all features for a single subscription price. This makes decision making much easier and the Return on Investment much higher for clients. FacilityBot offers not only basic CMMS features, but also many more helpful features not typically found in other CMMS systems.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Committing To One System

(1)   Does it have all the Must Have features?

If a CMMS software does not tick off all the essential features you have on your list, then go right ahead and look for others.

Even if the feature you want is being offered, it doesn’t mean that you immediately jump ahead with a subscription. You must also see how well the feature works by looking at product tutorials. There are a lot of ways for you to see how well the features work from a certain CMMS provider. You can try reaching out to the provider directly, reading online reviews from trusted websites, or embarking on a free trial.

(2)   Should you go for a Cloud-based or On-premise system?

Deciding between a cloud-based and an on-premise system is a significant choice as it will impact your total cost implementation.

The best CMMS systems today are cloud-based. They are frequently upgraded and adopt a low cost SaaS service model. Insisting on an on-premise system would restrict you to expensive, legacy systems with high upfront costs, typically of orders of magnitude more than cloud-based systems.

Cybersecurity provisions for cloud-based systems are generally comparable or even better than what your IT department can provide on-premise. So the rationale for having an on-premise CMMS system is rapidly diminishing, and may point to internal bureaucratic restrictions.

(3)   How Mobile is the CMMS?

All good CMMS should support mobile workflows. You want to make sure that the CMMS software has a mobile app at no additional cost. Particularly in the COVID-19 environment where remote work is emphasised, mobile app support not only means higher efficiency, it should be a prerequisite. 

(4)   Are there any hidden costs?

Identify any hidden costs for implementing the CMMS Systems. Costs such as additional feature support, set up fees, professional fees, API access fees, termination fees may not be clearly specified upfront.

Look for a CMMS vendor that lists all prices clearly and transparently on the website. If prices are not clearly listed and the basis for pricing easy to understand, then you should probe further to understand whether there are any hidden costs.

(5)   How difficult is the implementation process?

An important factor to consider in choosing the best facility management is whether it can be implemented in a sensible timespan.

Ease of implementation depends on whether 

  • The CMMS System has a good User Interface and User Experience (UI / UX). Test this out using the free trial, if available.
  • The CMMS System is easily configurable. Any system that cannot be configured directly by the client would be hard to set up to fit with your specific operational processes.
  • The CMMS System has a good knowledge base and video instructions to help with the setup.
  • The CMMS Vendor offers good training support, particularly in the set up phase. However, avoid any system that requires a lot of training to use.

(6)   What type of support will be offered by the software?

 It’s important to have easy access to proficient support. Here at FacilityBot, we offer chat support in all subscription plans. Our customer success team typically responds well within 1 hour to all chat requests.

What’s Next?

After going over all your options, you will want to get your team in the loop and provide them with your top picks. This way, your maintenance team can provide their feedback before you arrive at a decision. Acquiring your team’s approval will ensure a smoother transition with great long-term results.

Once you’ve made the decision on which maintenance management software you’ll be using, it won’t hurt to watch a few tutorials and look through guides to help you get a feel of how the system works. This will assist you In the implementation, make sure that you get the most bang out of your buck, and ensure that your new CMMS is fully utilized.

Ultimately, choosing the right maintenance management software for you comes down to understanding your company’s internal processes. You need to understand the factors that prompted you to automate your operation as this will lead you to find the maintenance management software that is perfect for you.

Here at FacilityBot, we care about finding the best way to help you improve and optimize your maintenance operation so you can continue being the best at what you do. If you have other questions, feel free to message us directly.

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