We’ve learned a few things over the years. We learned that we can learn a lot from each of our clients. They use our software every day and understand the day to day life of a maintenance software user in a way that we never can. We also think that we have some expertise we can share with our clients and others using maintenance management software. TeamWORKS has been through the buying process many times and we work every day with our users. That gives us a breadth of knowledge on how the system is used that any single client could never have.
With that in mind, we present some of the issues we see when purchasing and using your Computerized Maintenance Manage Software (CMMS) and the truths around these issues.
Your CMMS is not a magic bullet. If you purchased your CMMS without the support of your facilities department, you might be in for a surprise. We’ve seen many instances, through the years, where the maintenance department was led to believe their opinion counted and then, due in part no doubt to a great sales rep, the one choice no one really wanted was chosen. This generally leads to a lack of adoption of the processes the facilities department really needs and the reason you likely purchased the CMMS for in the first place.
The truth: Your CMMS should mold around your processes and the people who use it every day. It’s the best way to maximize the value of your purchase.
Data integration is crucial. One of the beautiful things about integrating your data with other systems, like your ERP or Parsons or ProfData, is that you get a holistic view of your entire process. You can see where your money is going, how and when it is being spent, and you can identify where there may be gaps in your data.
The truth: Your facilities department likely takes up a sizable chunk of the budget and it’s important to keep that information data flow moving along smoothly.
Training makes your CMMS work for everyone. We’re not talking a once a year training for supervisors and administrators. We’re talking about the kind of training that drills down into how your CMMS makes your day-to-day maintenance predictable and manageable. Having a support system in place to enhance your ability to use your CMMS most effectively requires on-going training of the people who use the system every day. And why wouldn’t you put that kind of effort into getting the most out of your CMMS expenditure? If you buy it and no one knows how to use it, or worse, refuse to use it because it’s too difficult or unwieldy, then it isn’t providing any ROI.
The truth: Whether you schedule that training as a video conference, watch YouTube videos showing and explaining how the product works from the company channel or bring someone in to conduct a train-the-trainer session, what matters most is that you continue to update your facilities team on how to use the CMMS so you get the most information from it.
Your system shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. We get it. Everyone would rather use a free system. In our 25+ years of experience in facilities management, we’ve come across a lot of home grown systems. We’re also aware that with cloud-based computing it seems like the cost of software products should reduce. While it is true that hosting, maintenance and support costs are a part of providing a CMMS, there are also the inevitable updates due to the advent of new technology, patches and value-added functionality that customer’s request. It still should be reasonably priced and provide the value you need. The only way to know is to select several systems, do a demo and ask about pricing.
The truth: If you’re encouraged to only look at one kind of software and get one price, then you’re shortchanging yourself. Look at whatever is reasonable for you, and evaluate the different pricing models to ensure your CMMS fits both your process and your budget.
Hosting vs. hosted. Security is a touchy subject these days. TeamWORKS has worked with some pretty security conscious clients and we utilize triple-des encryption to ensure their data security in our hosted environment. Then we host their data in an individual silo that only they have access to. Some of our clients feel more comfortable when the data is accessible only via their own system. Some of that is internal IT policy and some of that is because we are so used to having our data commingled with everyone else’s. It’s just a little nerve-wracking when it’s your job to keep that data secure. Asking a few questions about whether your data is commingled with other customer’s data when hosting with your CMMS is prudent.
The truth: Whether you choose to host your CMMS and keep your own data secure or ask a few questions about how your data is commingled when hosting with your CMMS, it is a security discussion that needs to happen internally. It’s your data, after all.
Our five truths are pretty universal to a lot of software, but especially so with facilities planning. Our experience tells us that adoption of the software by the people who use it, integrating your CMMS data with your other systems, security, training and cost are the keys to purchasing a system that provides both ROI and the information to inform your KPI’s.