9 Questions You Need to Ask When Choosing Your CMMS
“It’s time for a new CMMS,” you tell your lead engineer, Fred.
He smiles and says,” Well, it’s about time.” He’s been tired of your cumbersome, legacy software for a while now.
“There are plenty of modern systems out there,” Fred informs you as he walks over to his computer. “But, where do we even start,” you ask.
His daughter taught him how to ‘Google’ everything, so he is a pro. Fred searched the internet and stumbled across this article.
“Here we go,” he shouts. “ISS 24/7 wrote an article on where to start, how to determine your objectives and selection process, and the questions you need to ask.”
Interested, you walk over and begin reading.
We get it; saying computerized maintenance management system is as hard to pronounce as buying one. That’s why we say CMMS – we like to simplify things.
Are you ready to find the best maintenance solution in the marketplace for your needs? Let’s begin.
Form Your CMMS Selection Team & Identify the Process
Facility managers know the process for selecting CMMS software can be taxing on their peace of mind.
Should you stay or should you move on? First, decide why you’re better off moving forward. Do you remain complacent or start with a fresh, clean slate?
Using disciplined steps will help you to choose your maintenance solution. Stay disciplined and make selection decisions that are objective, and based on logic and analytics.
To start liking your maintenance software – today – follow this selection process:
- Form the selection team
- Define your functionality needs
- Compare possible vendors
- Schedule a demo of the software
- Review and decide on a vendor
Form the selection team
We recommend you enlist the help of people already familiar with maintenance operations: Your current maintenance team. They’re the ones that know what they need as an operation to be successful with the chosen solution.
Define your functionality needs
Deciding on the needs, should haves, wants, and model functionality will give you the much-needed information for rejecting solutions that don’t fit the needs of your facility.
You’ll know the non-negotiable functions, the ones you can pass on and the functions you might upgrade if the return on investment is conceivable.
Compare possible vendors
It’s important to have an intention when examining potential vendors and solution providers. What’s their history and qualifications?
How well do they know what facility managers need to improve their operation and keep all life safety equipment compliant? Take a hard look at what they have to offer and scrutinize the pros and cons.
Schedule a demo of the software
A demonstration will be a tell-tale sign of whether they’re an excellent fit for your facility.
They’ll thoroughly understand your needs before the demonstration even begins, and they’ll show you how their software will be the solution to accomplish your goals. More importantly, they’ll help you understand how to reduce activity error rates and downtime of equipment throughout your facility.
This part is where you’ll want to skip the software reviews and ask the vendor for high-quality referrals in your industry. What’s the difference between a review and a reference?
Review and decide on a vendor
Everyone has a budget but be careful not to base your choice solely on dollars.
Whose solution answered “Yes!” to all the below questions.
Pay close attention to the results, and this goes without saying make an objective decision.
The 9 Nonnegotiable Questions You Need to be Answered Yes
We’ve given you the process on how to choose your next maintenance solution. Now, focus on getting a “Yes!” from vendors for the very specific questions we’ve outlined below.
Use them as your litmus test. They’ll help you decide on the right software to purchase, implement and enjoy using. It’s important to apply and use it, or you’ll be back to square one without peace of mind.
- Does the system give you the ability to create, track, edit and automatically communicate work orders?
- Can you create web forms for vendors, technicians or engineers to submit work orders for approval?
- Can the system provide your team the ability to create a seamless chain of command for approvals based on specific criteria?
- Can you easily manage preventive maintenance in a calendar format? So easy, you can drag and drop to change dates?
- Can you create digital checklists for consistency, efficiency, and control of your assets and maintenance?
- Will the system alert you and your staff when you run out of what you need? Does it make reordering material accessible?
- Will the system let you generate one-click reports and charts? Does it let you see the info the way you need to?
- Will the system alert you when vendor insurance and warranty expiration are closing in?
- Does the provider offer implementation training and continued support?
The solution that answers “Yes!” to all of these questions is the solution to choose! If you answered “no…” to even one of these questions, keep looking.
Over to You
Choosing the right CMMS for your operation is a daunting task if you don’t have a process. Select the people you trust to help you in the decision-making process. Then, use the questions above to ensure you get a resounding yes the value you deserve.