For those of you already using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), you know that there is always room for improvement. We’ve laid out some targets to shoot for that will take your maintenance management software to higher levels. For those of you who do not yet have a system in place, but it’s on your radar for 2016, we’ve provided some steps that will get you there and help you avoid some costly pitfalls. The first 5 CMMS software resolutions are geared toward those that aren’t using CMMS software  yet, but plan to, while the last 5 CMMS software resolutions apply to those that already have systems in place, but are looking to optimize how they use it.

1. Make a list of Requirements for your CMMS Software Resolutions

Numbers range, but sources show there are anywhere from 50 to 200 different maintenance management software solutions to choose from. Complicating things more, CMMS software covers a broad array of different CMMS features and functions. Some applications are geared towards facilities management, while others are specifically designed for field maintenance, while other systems are industry specific. To narrow your search, we recommend making a list of key features that you require for your CMMS software resolutions and then start researching a few options that meet those requirements. For example;

  • Maintenance Request Portal
  • Work Order Management
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Multi-site
  • Maintenance History Reporting
  • Vendor Management
  • Mobile CMMS App
  • Web-based

2. Start Your Research

This is probably the easiest and fastest step toward getting a maintenance software system in place. Once you have your list, get on your favorite search engine and start searching. Enter CMMS on Google and a list of different software vendors will come up. Most vendor websites will have videos, case studies, pricing info, customer reviews, screenshots and more. Some have live chat where you can chat with a sales rep in real time and ask questions.

Making the research process even easier is using some of the business software buyer’s guides available online. Websites like Software Advice and Capterra allow you to indicate the required features (straight from your list) and then present you with different options that meet your requirements. They also have advisors that you can speak with and help you get quotes and arrange software demos.

Our free CMMS guide is your go to e-book outlining the entire buying process of a CMMS system.

3.Set Up Demos

If you are serious about getting a CMMS in place, you are going to need to sit in on some live demos. If you have done your research well, the software vendors you selected should meet your requirements from your list. If you are new to this process, setting up live software demos is very simple these days. It’s as easy as calling, or emailing the vendor and telling them that you want to arrange a live demo. This can be arranged with very little lead time. Screen sharing technologies like GotoMeeting make demoing software fast and inexpensive. Most maintenance software vendors will have scheduled webinars that you can register for, or you can arrange a personal demo. We recommend sitting in on 3-5 demos from different software vendors before making a decision.

4.Get Quotes

Before getting into software demos, some of you want to know what costs lie ahead. Getting quotes from CMMS vendors are just as easy as arranging demos. It might take a few minutes on a phone call, but it will be well worth it. Speak to a sales representative and explain your requirements and they will provide you with some options. 3-5 quotes from different vendors should provide you with enough variety to properly budget for CMMS software.

5.Get Free Trials

Many of the CMMS software vendors that you evaluate will offer free trials so that you can test out the software functionality and see if it is a good fit. Be sure to take advantage of free trial offers and play around with the software. You can get free trials before going through live demos, but we recommend that you go through a demo first with a sales representative, get more familiar with the software and how to navigate through it, and then get a trial started. Trials usually run for 30 days and do not require a credit card or any type of commitment.

6.Set Up KPIs for Reporting

If you are currently using a CMMS, but are new to it, you probably have only started to scratch the surface of its reporting capabilities. One of the biggest benefits of maintenance software is its ability to provide accurate reporting on various metrics. We suggest digging into the reporting capabilities, and determining what key performance indicators (KPIs) would benefit your organization.  Some metrics you might want to extract are monthly maintenance costs, mean time to repair (MTTR), mean time between failure (MTBF), equipment downtime, labor utilization rates, parts to order and more. Having better analytics is a great way to start the New Year. If you’re unsure what those above acronyms mean, read our post on the top 12 CMMS terms.

7.Bring on More Users

If you are getting great value out of your maintenance management system, it’s probably a good idea to get more people in your company involved. If your CMMS license comes with unlimited users, this is a no brainer. If more seats need to be purchased, definitely consider the costs and what’s reasonable. The point is, your maintenance management system doesn’t have to be limited to maintenance technicians, facility managers, and supervisors. Others in your organization can benefit from having some degree of access. Upper management should be receiving reports, other employees should be able to submit maintenance requests, and outside vendors can be involved as well.

8.Make Use of Other Modules

Make it your objective to make the most out of your CMMS by exploring what other modules are available to you and which you can benefit from. Maintenance and facility management software come with a number of modules that function to optimize different areas of your maintenance operation. It is unlikely that you are using all of them. Set up a meeting with your CMMS account representative to discuss your goals for the New Year, and they will be able to recommend ways for you to get more out of your investment.

9.Take an Inventory of Your Equipment

One of the hardest parts of getting a maintenance management system running well is getting all the equipment and assets into the system so you can track them. When you started, you probably imported a list of equipment, but there is a good chance that you did not get all of it. A goal for 2016 should be to do a thorough audit of your facility and make sure you get all your equipment in. But don’t stop there, you should also make an effort to get images of the equipment, ID tags, serial numbers, and upload manuals and other relevant documents. Remember your CMMS can be an excellent tool that houses all of your equipment data, but it’s only as good as the data that has been entered. If you don’t have the time to audit your facilities, hire a temp worker, or ask your CMMS vendor about their services.

10.Get Additional Training

If you’ve been using your maintenance management system for a while there is a good chance that a lot of new features have been added to it that you are not aware of. Or your skills and familiarity with the system are more advanced than when you received your initial training. In 2016, make it goal to get more training and see what more you can learn and get out of your CMMS software.

We at Hippo want to wish you all a safe and happy new year. Contact us for more information about our all-in-one CMMS platform.

About The Author

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan has been covering asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions since joining Hippo CMMS. Prior to that, he wrote for textbooks and video games.
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