When choosing CMMS or CAFM software there are several aspects you should consider to ensure you choose a system that is right for your business both for now and also in the longer term. This is an outline of the key points to keep in mind when choosing a vendor.
- Is the solution flexible and scalable to adapt to changing needs and can it be customised to your specific requirements?
- Does it have a choice of deployment options?
- What training and technical support is available to help get you started and provide ongoing help as needed?
- What is the credibility of the vendor?
- Are there customer testimonials giving endorsement of the reliability of the solution and the vendor?
Flexibility, scalability and customisation
Whilst there are many common elements about how organisations manage maintenance activities your organisation is likely to have some unique needs. Plus, whatever you do today, things will keep changing over time and what you need in future could be very different from what you need now.
Therefore, when choosing a solution for your maintenance management needs it is essential to think about both your short-term and long-term maintenance needs. You should look for a solution that has the ability to be customised to fit the way your team works right now and can be flexible to meet future changes.
It is important to protect future needs by ensuring it is possible and cost-effective to adapt the system as your needs expand or reduce. You should consider points such as:
- How easy is it to add new users?
- Can you add additional modules to meet new requirements?
- Is support available to help you with future changes?
How flexible are the deployment options? Most vendors will offer a choice of on-premise or cloud-hosted. Consider which would work best for you and which is most cost-effective.
On-premise maintenance software is installed and run on your organisation’s local computers and servers. This gives you total control of the software and lets you fully control your processes, but means you are, and create custom, company-specific solutions.
With cloud-hosted deployments, software is hosted on a vendor’s server “in the cloud,” which you access over an internet connection. This option requires a smaller hardware investment for your organisation, but can require additional hosting fees so you should check what the overall cost will be. Do the costs you are quoted for your licences include everything, or are there hidden extras?
Your operatives may often be working in areas with poor internet connections so should consider what mobile capability is provided. Often it can be useful to be able to manage work on the go so being able to download an app for use on mobile phones can be very useful to save time and money and improve the efficiency of your workforce.
Training and technical support
To get the best out of any CMMS/CAFM system implementation it is crucial that good training is provided to help you get everything up and running. The type of training from vendors will vary, so you should take care to consider what is offered to ensure you choose a vendor who can deliver in line with the needs of your team. Consider points such as:
- Do they offer a choice of online and on-premise training?
- Will they provide an option for training at your own premises?
- Do they offer access to live webinars, plus options for recordings to give flexibility to watch in your own time?
- Can training be personalised to your specific team needs?
How reliable is the technical support provided by a vendor? You need to be sure that you can get access to the support you need for the initial implementation, then have the peace of mind that the vendor will be there to help you in the day-today running.
A successful implementation does not just depend on the software, but it is vital that you select a reliable provider behind the system. You should take great care to ensure you select a vendor that is reputable and has the experience and capability to address any problem that may arise. You should consider points such as:
- How many years have they been in business?
- Is the company financially secure?
- What do users say about them?
Customer testimonials and reviews
Any vendor tell you how good their services are of course, but before deciding you should look what people who have actually used the software and services are saying about them. Look for evidence of customer case studies that talk about not just how the software works, but how the vendor provides support and services.
You should also check independent review sites such as Capterra where individuals can share their experience with vendors by posting reviews and ratings.