Implementing a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can be a challenging process, especially for first-time users. While some organizations possess the experience, skills, and resources necessary to implement a CMMS on their own, many do not. Deciding whether or not to utilize a vendor’s CMMS implementation services should become clear by asking yourself the following questions.
Where is Your Existing Maintenance Data?
Whether you currently use maintenance management software or manually track maintenance activities, your data will need to make it into your new CMMS. If you are transitioning from an obsolete computerized system, populating data is a bit easier. Some CMMS solutions allows you to export your maintenance data on your own, or at the very least, your current vendor can send you a backup of your database. In the case of on-premise maintenance software, your IT department should have backups of your maintenance data. Then, using vendor-provided import tools or services, your asset lists, inventory lists, and other information can be transferred into the new system.
If you cannot retrieve your data or are transitioning from manual maintenance methods to a CMMS, data entry will require a little more time and effort. This is where a vendor’s data entry or data importation services come in handy. Vendors can extract data from your old database or maintenance spreadsheet and import or enter it into the new system. In the worst case scenario, you can use your existing records as a guide when entering data manually.
Read Blog Post: Transitioning from Manual Maintenance Methods to a CMMS
Do Any Employees Have Implementation Experience?
Because it’s not a regularly occurring event, most organizations don’t hire employees with software implementation in mind. Therefore, most employees will not have the experience necessary to understand and effectively manage the CMMS implementation process. It’s also fairly unreasonable to expect current employees to get up to speed quickly enough to ensure a timely, smooth rollout. Using a tried-and-true process, vendors can help you create a solid implementation plan and avoid common pitfalls that put the project at risk.
Does Your Team Possess the Skills to Carry Out a Successful Implementation?
More often than not, in-house teams simply lack the skills needed to fully implement a solution. Ideally, your implementation team will consist of an IT resource, a qualified project manager, and someone with experience with integrating technology into business processes. Employees might be relatively tech savvy, but may not know how to migrate and clean databases, for example. If there are no in-house technical experts, as is usually the case with many small businesses, it is recommended that you take advantage of a vendor’s implementation services.
Are Internal Resources Available to Help with Implementation?
CMMS implementation can be a big project, but rarely justifies hiring full-time employees or contractors to assist. Instead, organizations normally choose to rely on the staff they already have. While IT departments likely have the expertise and skills to perform many implementation activities, they may be dealing with project backlog or other high-priority projects. Other skilled and experienced employees may also be too busy on other tasks to help. In these situations, it’s best to receive assistance from your CMMS vendor, who is dedicated to helping you achieve a successful implementation.
Did You Budget for Implementation Assistance?
Not including implementation costs in your project cost estimate is a crucial mistake. Organizations that try to cut costs by attempting to implement a new CMMS on their own often spend more time, money, and effort trying to correct mistakes. Getting expert help right from the start will ensure that implementation is done right the first time and stays within budget. When speaking with vendors, be sure to ask whether implementation services are included with purchase or if they are quoted separately in order to budget correctly.
When is Your “Go Live” Date?
An important question to ask yourself is how quickly does the system need to be functional and how soon do you want to see a return on investment? If you are in a hurry to implement a CMMS, vendor assistance will maximize the implementation resources available to meet the “go live” date. A vendor’s knowledge of the product and industry can save you a lot of time and money. Facilities with a longer timeframe (6-12 months) have the benefit of a slower paced implementation, and can take their time preparing data lists, auditing assets and inventory, and getting feedback from maintenance stakeholders.
Is There a Dedicated Project Manager?
If there is no go-to person who is focused on implementation, employees are likely to become complacent and expect that someone else will get things done. When this happens, implementation is delayed, deadlines are missed, and ultimately, the project fails. Appointing a project manager will ensure things get done on time. At the very least, you should designate someone as the go-between between you and your CMMS vendor.
Take Advantage of FTMaintenance Implementation Services
By now, you’ve probably realized that there is a lot to consider when implementing maintenance management software. Organizations that cut corners during implementation or go it alone often end up overwhelmed, over budget, and unsuccessful. At FasTrak, we are committed to your success. That’s why we offer complimentary FTMaintenance implementation services to our customers. These services are designed to guide you through key stages of your implementation to get your software up and running quickly. We also offer a range of professional services designed to help you get the most out of your FTMaintenance experience. Contact us today to learn more about the implementation assistance we provide.