A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) provides management with real-time information on servicing and other issues related to the maintenance area. Diverse industries have different requirements regarding a CMMS. A car rental business using this system would have needs that are different from a manufacturing firm. Hotels are also using CMMS to help them in managing maintenance on rooms, elevators, air conditioners and other areas important to their business. The good news is that most CMMS are industry-specific, which can help in narrowing down the number of systems and vendors.
As you look for a CMMS vendor, you may ask other businesses what vendors they use and whether they would recommend them. Other items that should be in your checklist as you review vendors are:
Form a selection team
This team must have representatives of all areas that the CMMS will be used – not just managers, but also personnel that will actually use the system as part of their daily tasks. Don’t select this system alone, unless you’re ready for failure. Choose people who are familiar with computerized systems and can add valuable information to the process.
Identify functionalities required
Make a list with all the functions required, followed by functions that are wished upon, and finally the ones that would be nice to have. This list should include functional and technical items, such as the availability of customer service 24/7, training options for new employees, and interface options. Don’t forget to include the fact that the CMMS must integrate with other existing systems.
Ask for proposals
Once you select at least three vendors, ask them for detailed proposals with processes, tasks, timelines, references and budgets. Check out the firms for any problems that show up online or with the Better Business Bureau, which you can access at www.bbb.org. Also, you could ask for CDs or online links to demos of the programs, so you can check out navigation and get a feeling how the systems operate.
Request a live demonstration
This presentation should be made to the team, so that pertinent questions and issues can be brought up. You could request that sample reports be brought to the presentation along with any other specific items. This can be a long process, so make sure that the people who will implement the system will be a good fit with your internal culture.
The process of selecting a vendor for a CMMS can be daunting, but with the right focus and methodology, you are likely the find a great system that will help your firm in controlling maintenance issues and costs. Take your time to choose the right system, and you will not regret it.