How to Choose an On-Demand CMMS That Works

The decision to implement a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) represents one of the strongest advantages today's facility managers have over their historical counterparts. Also, the way a CMMS functions is dramatically different from the systems of the past. For instance, an on-demand CMMS can consider unexpected maintenance needs, planned maintenance needs that are a part of a preventive maintenance program, and evaluate all options to determine the best outcome. At the same time, a productive CMMS leverages technology and resources to provide insight into maintenance activities, resulting in reduced costs. Facility managers, however, must ensure their CMMS is not an unreliable platform, offering real value, not just tactics. To ensure your organization chooses an appropriate, on-demand CMMS, follow these key steps.

Involve Your Entire Team

According to FacilitiesNet, a critical step in selecting the right, on-demand CMMS must include the involvement of your entire team, as well as personnel from other departments. It is likely that non-facilities management professionals, such as retail associates and custodial workers, may be involved in using the CMMS at some point. Furthermore, your entire team will be able to pick a better decision and consider how the use of a given system will influence their individual work responsibilities and capabilities. This effectively reduces the pushback from employees that are happy with maintaining the status quote.

Review Your Current Assets, Systems, and Needs

Next, facility managers should thoroughly review all current assets, systems, and needs. If the facility manager does not understand where his current weaknesses lie, how can he be expected to make improvements? It all depends on the age of your facilities, the degree of technological involvement within the facility and the maintenance backlog. For a preventive maintenance program, an on-demand CMMS can reduce the length of the maintenance backlog, but it is not a miracle worker. In other words, facility managers must have realistic expectations for how to approach the maintenance backlog and apply a CMMS to prioritize assets thoroughly.

Prioritize Wants Versus Needs

Speaking of prioritization, it is essential to prioritize needs versus wants. While today's systems have advanced, facilities managers have fallen victim to a common problem. All systems claim to be the best, but their services and features are not necessarily the same. Instead of trying to get everything you want within your CMMS, take the time to prioritize your needs versus your wants thoroughly. This is the only way to avoid unnecessary expenses from systems that promise the world and deliver subpar results.

Ensure the System Enables Comprehensive Maintenance

Facility managers should also take action to validate CMMS functions for use within a comprehensive facility management and maintenance program. In other words, the CMMS must consider the value of preventive maintenance, costs incurred in performing preventive versus reactive maintenance needs, and more. Since data is power in today's age, CMMS platforms that provide this level of insight will be superior to those that limit facility managers' ability to understand where costs arise.

Narrow the List of Vendors Further, Submitting RFPs to the Top Few

After choosing which systems meet your basic needs and offer comprehensive maintenance, it will be necessary to narrow the list of vendors. At this point, take time to review past recommendations of clients, as well as clients who did not maintain their contracts with the given vendor, to determine whether the system and vendor is the right fit for your company. After narrowing the list of five or fewer vendors, submit the request for proposal (RFP) for each company. This will ensure the most accurate quote for implementing a CMMS through the given vendor.

Look at the Value-Added From the Specific CMMS and Vendor

When the RFPs return, look for the value-added from the specific CMMS and vendor. This may be in the form of an advanced tracking system that leverages an IVR to ensure facilities are only billed for actual hours worked and provides insight in the form of expected completion time versus exact completion time.

Remember the Value of Training

The final step to selecting the on-demand CMMS is simple. Ensure that the chosen vendor and system are easy to use. Furthermore, validate that the vendor will provide assisted training in using the system, and if not, determine how extensive training will be to provide realistic expectations to your employees.

Choose a Preventive, Reactive, and On-Demand CMMS Partner to Maximize ROI

Taking the time to consider the valid features and functionality of a CMMS will reduce delays and implementation and allow your organization to reap higher profitability within its maintenance strategy. Instead of risking everything on systems that offer limited results, follow the tips mentioned above to maximize your return on investment (ROI).

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb