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As a building owner or manager, you already know that it’s not an easy process to choose a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) brand.

Remember that ideally, your CMMS vendor is not just selling you a product; they should be a dependable partner right from the implementation stage. Yet, the sad reality is that because many potential buyers fail to ask their vendor some particular questions, the CMMS project flops either because it’s a mismatch or due to some other problem(s).

Fortunately, our years of experience in maintenance management has positioned us to observe some of the mistakes that buyers make during this critical process. In view of that, here are 7 key questions that you’ll need to ask before signing up a CMMS provider.

1. Who are you?

What do you really know about this service provider?

Choosing a CMMS brand means that you’ll be giving the vendor access to your company’s employee and asset data. You are basically entrusting them with information that you’ve been gathering for years. That said, you’ll want to know how long they have been in business and get some references for clients that they have worked with in industries that are similar to yours.

The longer the CMMS provider has been in business the better because their longevity implies that they’re established and will not be using your organization as a testing ground. It also implies that they are financially sound.

2. What industry is your CMMS intended for?

You’ll want to confirm if their software is designed for a particular industry.

Although many of the best CMMS solutions today are adaptable for most industries, don’t assume it would work for yours. Ask them. Also, there are particular features in CMMS that are invaluable for certain industries.

Let’s take the healthcare industry for example or even aviation. These are industries that have zero tolerance for machine failure. Such businesses require a CMMS with predictive and condition-monitoring capabilities. Compare that to a CMMS for a small not-for-profit organization. Definitely, the requirements will be different.

If they confirm that it works across several industries, confirm how customizable it is.

It’s important for us to mention here that before you even begin interviewing CMMS providers, you’ve defined clearly what your requirements are beforehand.

3. Can your CMMS grow along with my business?

Is the CMMS scalable to adapt to a growing business?

The fact that you’re investing in a CMMS already indicates that your business is growing; you are expecting that it will keep growing and go through more and more positive changes with time.

Ask the CMMS vendor if their software can adapt to the dynamics of a growing business. Can you add more staff, machinery, tasks, and buildings to the database without disruptions?

It’s crucial that you iron out this detail with your provider before going ahead. You’ll save yourself the pain of having to look for another brand all over again because the CMMS can’t adapt every time you experience major growth. Another angle to this is to also confirm how often they update their product and the effects on you if any.

4. Is the CMMS user-friendly?

Can your team handle the software and how long does it take them to understand the necessary modules? Or they require a college degree just to operate it?

If the modules and general navigation are so complex and confusing, it may be advisable to try another brand. Because not only will you waste time and money struggling to understand the new CMMS, your staff may simply refuse to use it!

To avoid these problems before going too far, ask for a demo, and don’t let them rush you through. Use this time to ask as many questions as possible.

5. What is your pricing structure?

On the issue of pricing, ask about things like:

  • What are the setup costs?
  • Will there be costs for additional users?
  • What’s their refund policy?
  • Are they offering you a cloud-based or on-premise hosting solution?
  • Will training cost extra or is it part of the implementation package?
  • Any discounts available?
  • Any hidden support and services costs?
  • What kind of additional hardware do you need to provide?

6. How does your implementation process work?

Reputable CMMS vendors will already have a clear implementation plan that can be adapted to different companies. Your CMMS vendor should discuss it with you and allow you to review it.

The implementation stage can make or mar the entire project so ask about how long it will take, how easily the software integrates with other enterprise software, what training they’ll provide, and if you would require any hardware upgrades (new computers, laptops, etc).

7. What after-sales support services do you provide?

What happens after payments have been made and implementation is done?

Find out if your team can expect support for emergencies and non-emergencies afterward. And, what about tech support on weekends and holidays?

Customer Satisfaction Is Key

Although CMMS software promises a lot, you risk not getting the benefits if you rush the selection process. Only invest in a vendor that demonstrates the willingness to understand your business needs above all else. Asking the right questions will reveal a lot.

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At Axxerion, we know the kind of challenges that businesses can face during the process of selecting a CMMS provider. So contact us and schedule a free demo. Let’s guide you through this process that can transform your maintenance unit as well as your entire company.

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