We all select service providers on a regular basis, whether it’s a plumber, phone service provider, car repair shop, insurance agent, or another service. In most cases, these choices are low risk because it’s relatively easy for us to switch if we’re unhappy. In a business setting, however, it is often more difficult to change vendors because the selection and implementation process can be lengthy – and costly!
Investing in a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) involves more than just purchasing a piece of software – you’ll also build a long-term relationship with the software provider. Therefore, you must select your CMMS product and vendor carefully. Going through a formal selection process will increase your chances of choosing the best vendor for your needs.
By this point, hopefully you’ve formed your evaluation team and documented your organization’s maintenance management needs. If so, read on the learn how to create a vendor list. If not, read our blog article about who to include in the buying process.
Where to Find CMMS Software Vendors
A range of vendors offer a variety of CMMS products. While some are designed as general purpose tools, others meet specialized maintenance management needs. For instance, some products are best suited for fleet management while facilities managers will find other CMMS products that better fit their needs.
The fact that you’re reading this article probably means that you’ve already started looking for a CMMS solution. Here at FasTrak, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality maintenance management software, FTMaintenance, that’s supported by superior customer service. Go ahead and add us to your list. You can also use the following sources to further build your CMMS vendor list.
Word of Mouth
Your coworkers may have used maintenance management software in the past. Talk to them about what products and vendors they have worked with, what their experience was like, and what they would recommend.
Message boards, forums, and online discussion groups can be a great way to discover CMMS vendors. CMMS users are often ready and willing to talk about their experiences and offer advice.
General Search Engines
Search engines, like GoogleTM or BingTM, are often the starting place for many potential CMMS buyers. These general search engines provide you with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of results in an instant and can be a great way to find vendors. That said, because there are so many results, you won’t be able to realistically view them all. Additionally, search engine results pages also contain irrelevant links, paid advertisements, images and videos, page previews, and other distracting information. It’s not long before all of this excess information becomes overwhelming or slows you down.
B2B Search Engines
Business-to-business (B2B) search engines are more refined than their all-purpose counterparts. These industry-focused search engines provide a more tailored experience that cuts out a lot of the distractions and unnecessary search results. Instead, you’ll find vendor listings, product overviews, reviews, case studies, and other useful vendor information.
Maintenance management software vendors may attend related industry conferences and conventions, hoping to find prospective clients. Event coordinators usually provide attendees with vendor lists and maps of the fair. If you have the chance to attend such events, take the opportunity to learn more about vendors directly from their staff.
Valuable CMMS information can often be found in trade publications, whether in print or online. Amongst their other content are articles focusing on CMMS vendors, CMMS case studies, or lists of vendors. Online versions of trade publications may also dedicate sections of their sites to CMMS software, including vendor comparisons.
Industry trade publications, service providers, and review sites publish buyer’s guides that provide information about CMMS features, market trends, and more. Buyer’s guides typically feature CMMS vendors or provide an entire list of vendor names.
Software Advisory Services
Software advisory services like Software Advice handle a lot of the legwork for you. After a brief interview, they provide you with personalized software recommendations. If you’d like to do further research, you can look at vendor listings, reviews from real users, images and videos, and more.
Organizations may work with consultants to help them identify the best CMMS software for their business. Consultants may be former employees who know the ins and outs of the business, someone with a wealth of industry experience who is brought in to assist with the project, or an external business analyst. Like software advisory services, software consultants do much of the information-gathering tasks and provide management with a list of CMMS vendors to consider.
How Many Vendors to Include on Your Preliminary List
During your search, you will quickly find that there are more CMMS vendors available than you can realistically review. If you already know your biggest maintenance management needs, you’ll be able to quickly weed out those vendors that won’t be a good fit. We recommend that your preliminary list contains a maximum of 5 vendors. Any more than this may be too difficult to manage.
Narrowing the List Further
As you continue researching the vendors from your preliminary list, some frontrunners should emerge. During this phase, be sure to take advantage of software demonstrations and free trials. Your goal is to narrow your list down to a small number of choices, one of which will become your final choice or recommendation to upper management.
Even after you’ve made your decision, it is important to maintain your top vendors list. Your unselected finalists will become alternatives in the event that your recommendation is not accepted or something goes wrong with the selected vendor.
Read Blog Article: What to Expect from a CMMS Software Demonstration
Achieve Your Maintenance Management Goals with FTMaintenance
CMMS vendor selection can be a lengthy process, especially for always-busy maintenance managers, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you follow a logical process, you’ll find a great vendor who can help you achieve your maintenance management goals. FTMaintenance meets the unique needs of maintenance professionals in any industry. Robust CMMS features make it easy to manage, document, track, and report on maintenance activities. Contact us to find out how FTMaintenance can improve your maintenance operations.