With so many choices available for a CMMS solution, how can you tell one product is better than the next? Do you distinguish based on price, the smoothness of the Sales pitch, a magazine rating or do you rely on a consultant with ties to 1-2 two specific CMMS vendors?

The value of a CMMS is directly proportional to the problems it solves. Not all CMMSS solutions are created equal so let us take a look at each of these and see if there isn’t a better way to choose a CMMS.

Price Based CMMS Decisions

Purchasing a CMMS system based primarily on price (high or low) is ultimately going to cost you more. This is because either the off-the-shelf CMMS is inflexible and won’t meet your needs or the premier software package comes with costly features that you may never need. In both cases making changes always adds to the cost quickly.

The Smooth CMMS Sales Pitch

I have run across some exceptional salespeople over time that could sell you anything. Great salespeople are smooth and polished in their presentations (as they should be). More importantly, they are experts at establishing a relationship. One result of this is that the more expensive the CMMS the more polished the sales pitch.

However, no matter what the price of the CMMS, salespeople are paid to tell you what you want to hear, stroke your ego and convince you that their product is the best thing since sliced bread. The key is to not be swayed away from your organizations core needs.

The CMMS Magazine (Website) Rating

The Internet is the first stop for most people these days when it comes to comparing products and doing their due diligence on CMMS systems. One way for internet sites to attract visitors is to offer reviews of products and companies which they then rank. Unfortunately, the Internet magazines often only rate software products of companies that are willing to pay them in order to be listed.

Consultant Recommendations

The use of consultant recommendations are one of my favorites subjects. There are some very good consultants in the market today. The key in using a consultant is making sure they have exceptional industry knowledge in your industry as well as a solid base of various CMMS vendors.

On the other hand, you have to make sure that they have your best interest in mind and have recommended more than one vendor in their past. Without good due diligence on your part, your organization could end up in a situation like the Marion County asset management fiasco.

Making the Right CMMS Decision

In choosing a CMMS solution for your organization, asset and maintenance managers need to find a way to look past the obvious sales pitches, glitz and bargain deals. The best way to do this is to make sure the CMMS being sought is one that addresses at least 80% of the pain points of maintenance operations.

10 Qualities of Good CMMS Solutions

Identifying 80% of your maintenance pain points takes a fair amount of maintenance planning. Once you have identified where your pain is you may want to find a solution with CMMS features including:

  1. The automation of manual work processes such as work request or work orders.
  2. Records the work history of all assets for better maintenance planning as well as establishing standard operating procedures for work management.
  3. Being scalable and flexible enough to be customized to meet your organization’s needs.
  4. The capability to help your organization transition from reactive to proactive maintenance.
  5. Computerized scheduling tools for preventive maintenance and inspections.
  6. Integrated mobile handheld technology to increase maintenance efficiency and effectiveness.
  7. Management reports for maintenance work history analysis as well as capital budgeting.
  8. Document management for contracts, vendors, blueprints, photos etc.
  9. A web-based CMMS application to reduce the burden of in-house IT support.
  10. Experienced and friendly technical support.

Last but not least, finding and choosing the right CMMS is relationship based. Your CMMS vendor’s success should be dependent on your success. There is no advantage in being a small fish in a big pond. Will you be able to call the CEO of your vendor if a big issue arises?

The CMMS that is chosen should add value to your organization. If you have chosen correctly, your organization should be able to realize substantial labor, energy and capital expense savings. Without this value your CMMS selection will prove to be worthless.

How do you start? The best way to find this out is to talk to CMMS vendors or consultants with experience in your industry and that have a proven track record.