For years, companies have been using paper or spreadsheet systems to manage their maintenance. For many workers, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to manually enter the data needed to accurately maintain maintenance operation. This inevitably leads to the unexpected breakdown of equipment, productivity lost due to emergency repairs, scheduling oversights, and unfinished work orders.
Now with computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), companies can centralize all the information they have on equipment, materials, machinery, properties, employees, inventory and more on a single database. CMMS enables employees to track assets and manage budgets, inventory, and work orders digitally all while lowering maintenance costs and preventing injuries and accidents from occurring.
Today, there are ample maintenance management softwares to choose from. To help in the selection process, consider these five tips.
Observe your current internal processes
Have your maintenance team write down their everyday tasks in order to document the processes you’ll be automating. Then create a list of all the assets you own and want to maintain. Find the answers to questions such as: how long does it take to solve a maintenance request or breakdown, and how much overtime are employees working– and why. Brainstorm and identify the pain points you’re facing as a company, so you can discover what you’ll need out of a CMMS.
Make a list of current and future needs
Now that you’ve taken stock of your internal processes and identified your paint points, it’s time to make a list of the features you’ll need out of your CMMS. When doing this don’t just consider what you need right now, but what you might need 5-10 years from now, especially if your business plan involves scaling up. This will help you find the sweet spot between outgrowing your software and breaking the budget. Decide as a team what are must-have features vs. good-to-have features.
Do your research
A decision like this requires time and money. A simple browser search of top CMMS solutions will bring up products, company websites, buyer’s guides and customer reviews so you can determine alternatives that are best suited to meet the needs of your company.
Demo the software
Once you’ve done your research, narrow the products down to your top 3-5 choices and request a live web conference demo so you can see the software in action. Be sure to bring your maintenance team with you as they’re the ones who will be working with the software most often and will want to weigh-in on the decision.
Pros and cons
When demoing your top 3-5 options, make a detailed list of the pros and cons of each product. You’ll want to consider the following:
- Cost—Are there any hidden fees? Sometimes solutions charge for support, cancellation, onboarding, etc.
- Support—Does this vendor offer live support or just an FAQs webpage? A good CMMS should offer live chat, 1 on 1, email, and phone support.
- Ease of use—Is this product user-friendly? Employees should feel the CMMS makes their lives easier, not harder.
- Scalability—Will this product be able to follow the growth of your company? Choosing a system that will let you upgrade as you grow will save you the headache of converting to a new CMMS every couple of years.
The more work you do on the front-end, the more successful you’ll be in choosing the best computerized maintenance management software for your business. Clearly defining the features you’ll need to streamline your company’s maintenance processes will guide you in your search so you can attain the highest ROI for your assets and equipment while streamlining processes and avoiding errors.
About ASI: Andromeda Systems, Incorporated (ASI) is an ISO-9001:2008 company committed to superior technical performance and excellence in customer satisfaction. Our mission is to assist asset and fleet managers in achieving optimal levels of economy, availability, and safety by developing and applying leading systems engineering tools, processes, and expertise. We are headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, with offices in Lexington Park, MD; Arlington, VA; Jacksonville, FL; Havelock, NC; Oklahoma City, OK and San Diego, CA.