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selecting the right cmms software

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How to Choose the Right CMMS Software that Works with Your Budget?

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If a Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) is on your radar, you already know the marketplace offers plenty to choose from. At first glance, it may appear overwhelming, with so many vendors. G2 Crowd, a popular website for evaluating B2B software, has over 300 software options under its CMMS category. Capterra, another website that helps businesses evaluate different software before purchasing, has over 400 product listings under its CMMS category. Adding to the complexity, vendors offer various price plans (starter, mid-tier, and enterprise) with different onboarding options and, in a few cases, different deployment options (on-prem vs. web-based). 

The challenge for buyers is to make sense of what is out there, understand the various offerings and hidden costs, and select the best solution for their business without paying unnecessary fees. 

Choosing the Right CMMS

Choosing the right CMMS software for your organization is crucial for effective maintenance and asset management. The following are important criteria and steps to consider that will help you make the most appropriate CMMS selection and ensure your selection works within your budget:

1. Define Your Requirements

Start by identifying your organization’s specific needs. Consider the features your operations need. Standard CMMS features include work order management, preventive maintenance scheduling, asset tracking, inventory management, and reporting. Also, consider the size of your organization, the number of assets, your technician workforce, and the complexity of your maintenance processes. 

defining your maintenance requirements is the first step towards selecting the right cmms software

2. User Counts and Roles

Most CMMS products today are subscription-based and charge per user. This model makes the most sense as your maintenance team's size often reflects the maintenance operation's size (but not always). Most CMMS providers consider users to be anyone who needs access to the application to submit and modify work orders, which translates to administrators and technicians assigned to work orders. Requesters (people who submit maintenance requests and are not part of the maintenance team) are excluded from paid users. Most CMMS providers agree that requesters are not paid for based on volume. However, unlimited requesters are sometimes only available at higher-priced subscription tiers. Some CMMS providers also offer different pricing based on the level of access technicians require. For organizations that don’t want to provide technicians the ability to update work orders and only want to track who work orders are assigned to, some CMMS vendors offer technician licenses at lower cost. Technician licenses limited to assigning work orders can be a cost saver for large teams. But it can also be a bottleneck for improving efficiency by requiring a manager to update and log all activities to work orders.

Typical user roles are administrators with full access and the ability to assign work orders and update and edit objects within the application. Technicians are users who are assigned to work orders and whose labor is tracked. And finally, requesters are limited to submitting maintenance requests that go through an approval process before becoming a work order. This is usually done through a simplified request form.

3. Budget Considerations

Develop a realistic budget for the CMMS software. Consider the upfront costs and ongoing expenses such as maintenance, support, and potential upgrades. Look for software that offers a scalable pricing model that allows you to start with essential features and add more as your needs grow over time. It’s recommended that the final budget for a CMMS should be set after reviewing and evaluating a few products. After reviewing different products, you will have a clear understanding of all costs involved and the value they deliver. If you must determine a budget before thoroughly reviewing different products, getting quick numbers from 5 products is pretty straightforward. Most have pricing posted on their websites. Training and implementation costs may not be so easy to get from websites. It’s always best to contact the vendor to get these costs.

cmms software pricing structure

4. Software Demos and Trials

An essential part of the evaluation process is a software demo. With applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meets, remote software demos are very easy. Gone are the days where businesses require vendors to come on-site for demonstrations. If this is a requirement for your business, you would limit your options to vendors willing to do this. It’s extremely easy to book a software demo with most CMMS providers. Just go to their website and fill out a form requesting a demo, and you are likely to have one booked within 24 hours of submission. It is recommended that you demo at least 2 CMMS products. 

Most CMMS providers will offer free trials. Signing up for a trial is a great way to test the software and get a feel for its capabilities and ease of use. Getting a trial after the first demo and then returning to the provider with some questions regarding its functionality is recommended. 

Before committing, demos and trials allow you to test the software's functionality and assess its compatibility with your organization's needs. 

steps to choose the right cmms software for your needs

5. User-Friendly Interface

Choose a CMMS with an intuitive and user-friendly interface to encourage user adoption. This is crucial for successful implementation and consistent use. When doing a software demo or using a trial, pay attention to how easy it is to submit a maintenance request, assign a work order, update work orders, and add assets and parts. You are on the right track if these activities can be done easily. If it is overly complex to perform these activities, then it is best to consider other options. If users do not adopt the software, getting the return on investment you seek will be almost impossible.

Creating Work Orders using Click Maint is EASY AS 1 - 2 - 3!

6. Scalability

Further to an earlier point, ensure the CMMS can scale with your organization's growth. This means that it will be able to function reliably as the size and function of your operations increase. Specifically, the software should accommodate increasing assets, users, and maintenance processes without significant disruptions.

7. Mobile Accessibility

Inquire about CMMS with mobile accessibility. Today, almost everyone has access to and knows how to use mobile devices.  Most CMMS mobile apps are easy to use and are included in subscriptions. Going mobile is essential for eliminating any paper trail and reducing the time to complete work. Mobile apps enable technicians to receive work orders, update maintenance activities, and access asset information in the field. It’s important to note that most CMMS providers do not provide mobile devices. However, most mobile apps work on iOS and Android. Windows is not widely supported by most CMMS, so make sure you qualify which mobile operating system they support before purchasing devices.

8. Cloud-Based vs. On-Premise

An important consideration is determining whether a cloud-based or on-premise solution suits your organization. Cloud-based solutions often have lower upfront costs, are easier to implement, and offer automatic updates. On-premise solutions may be preferred for organizations with specific security or compliance requirements.

9. Vendor Reputation

Research and assess the reputation of the CMMS software vendors. Look for customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies to gauge the satisfaction of existing users. There are plenty of websites with CMMS user reviews buyers can refer to. These include Capterra, Software Advice, G2 Crowd, Software Connect, and Finances Online .

10. Customer Support

Inquire about the support offered by the vendor. Check the availability and format of customer support, response times, and the cost of ongoing support. It should be expected that customer support is included with any cloud-based subscription. In many cases, however, you will find that the lowest-cost subscription plan comes with a lower level of support. With some CMMS, the mid and enterprise tiers come with a dedicated customer success manager who will be your support line through your subscription and be responsive to support requests. At the same time, the lowest-costing plans leave you with online digital resources (knowledge base, videos, and bot chat). You get what you pay for. For businesses that require responsive, personalized support, opt for a plan that supports this.

11. Security

Ensure that the CMMS you consider complies with relevant industry regulations and standards. Assess the security features to protect sensitive maintenance and asset data. In the past, companies that required high standards for security and compliance would not consider cloud-based software and only consider on-premise options. Times have changed, and cloud-based software accessed through a website is much more secure. If your business has high standards for security and compliance, ask vendors for their Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ) document. This will provide your IT folks with a detailed rundown of the vendors' security policies to see if the vendor meets your standards. In addition, some vendors have been audited by independent 3rd parties to get SOC2 and ISO27001 certified. These certifications suggest the CMMS provider meets the highest standards when it comes to security.

prioritize cmms data security while selecting a software for your organization

12. Future Upgrades and Customization

Inquire about the vendor's commitment to ongoing software updates and improvements. Inquire about the timing of the upgrades and whether they will interfere with your organization’s operations. Consider whether the CMMS allows customization (and any associated costs) to adapt to changing business processes.

13. Integration Capabilities

Check if the CMMS can integrate with your organization's other systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or accounting software. Single Sign-On (SSO), SAML, and Active Directory (AD) are other common integration considerations. Integration can streamline data flow and improve overall efficiency. Ensure that any CMMS provider you are considering has accessible API documentation you can connect to. Usually, SSO and API access is available at higher-priced enterprise subscription tiers. Even if integrating with other business applications is not an immediate priority, knowing this is an option for the future is important. If you are uncertain about integration requirements, ask your IT department for help.

Click Maint’s CMMS Solution

Click Maint offers a powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable solution. Our founders have over 40 years of combined experience in the tech industry, specifically with CMMS. Over this time, the barriers associated with successful CMMS implementation were clear: high upfront costs, low user adoption, data migration, implementation challenges, and those associated with integration with other business applications. 

To overcome these problems, Click Maint delivers a CMMS that’s extremely easy to use and implement. We also offer affordable pricing for user subscription fees and onboarding and implementation. We offer flexible pricing, where buyers can opt into monthly or annual.  Finally, our customer support is second to none.

Conclusion

There are plenty of CMMS options available. This is a significant advantage for buyers as they can review the available solutions and select a CMMS that best fits their business needs. On the downside, so many options can make deciding more complicated. At the end of the day, having more options is a good problem, and in today’s CMMS space, providers are forced to get more competitive in pricing and services they offer. To ensure you get the best value for your investment, it’s essential to understand your business requirements and contact a few CMMS providers for demos. A decade ago, a demo usually required an on-site visit by the provider, but today, demos can be scheduled within 24 hours of contacting a vendor through their website. The CMMS market is very competitive, so providers are naturally inclined to deliver the best products and services to buyers. Leverage your account executive to provide all the information you need on subscription plans, implementation and training services, post-purchase customer support, renewal terms, and security. Also, get a trial after a demo to test it out.

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