Evaluating a CMMS
Selecting the right Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is an important business decision. Comparing different CMMS software, and then making a purchasing decision, can be difficult and time consuming. However, the reward can be a system that pays for itself within 6 months. Adopting a systematic approach will make the CMMS evaluation process a smooth one. Below are some factors you should consider during your CMMS evaluation. Be sure to take advantage of our free resources to help you make that judgement.
Understand your business needs
How can a CMMS help your business? Understanding what is important to your business early in the process will help you push through some marketing material and make objective judgements later on.
Questions you will want to consider include:
- How big is your company and how many people will regularly use the software?
- How many of them will want to make requests for maintenance?
- How do your maintenance staff work, are they normally near a computer or do they carry a mobile device everywhere?
- Is your aim to introduce a preventative maintenance strategy?
- Do you have thousands of parts and supplies that you want to keep track of?
Once you have worked through this process, you will begin to understand if a CMMS is the right option for you. Perhaps, a simple paper based method of recording your maintenance will be suffice or, if you are a much larger company, perhaps you will need to look at much more expensive Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems.
List your requirements: your essentials and your nice-to-haves
Once you have an understanding of your business you should consider your list of requirements. Make sure you include those things that are essential and those things that are nice-to-have. Doing this early will help you in the final selection process. You can always re-evaluate the list as you continue the selection process.
Compare the CMMS packages
Now comes the time for the leg-work. You will need to find the various CMMS providers and determine what their product offers and match this against your essentials and nice-to-have list. Remember that easy-to-use software is much more likely to be used, and therefore much more likely to be valuable for your company.
If the CMMS you find matches up well against your list, then you should ask to try an example of the product. This should be risk free. Remember that you are about to invest money in their product. It should meet your demands before you make this investment.
If you are currently evaluating the CMMS offering from Maintenance Assistant you can try out our test-drive by clicking here. You will be asked for your name and email so that you can be provided with a direct link to the trial site in the future without a need to sign in. This will make the process of demonstrating the software to others much easier.
As you get closer to making your purchase decision, consider making telephone contact with the sales people, you can find our contact details on our contacts page. These people should be prepared to listen to your needs and then inform you if and how their product can meet those needs.
Understand the costs
Before you commit to a CMMS you should understand the different ways of pricing a CMMS product. There are two broad options:
On-premise upfront cost:
Most locally installable CMMS are priced with a fixed up-front cost. Often this price is quite high. Costs vary based on the number of features that are included and the number of users. For this type of product, remember that you will also have to factor in the costs of hosting the software, including server infrastructure and IT personnel.
Cloud subscription cost:
Most web-based CMMS software is priced per user and year. Maintenance Assistant prices our CMMS this way. Our costs are fully disclosed on our pricing page. Be careful with comparing this pricing strategy, however. Sometimes guest requestors, who only make work requests, are free, other times they are included as a full user. With Maintenance Assistant, guest requestors are free.
In addition, be careful with “optional extras” such as setup or training fees. These can contribute greatly to the total cost of adopting a CMMS.