Industry Forum

There are over 200 Computerised Maintenance Management Systems on the market and these asset management applications are changing all the time.

The danger of just buying a system off the shelf without considering what your business really requires is shown by the results of a survey (A.T. Kearney 1993). Out of 3300 CMMS users, 80% of CMMS did not meet the expectations of the user. This was despite 74% reporting improved equipment history, 58% improved maintenance productivity, 58% improved stores and inventory control and 45% controlled and reduced maintenance costs!

Use these 10 tips to help you select the best option for your business.

1. Establish why you need a maintenance system and what you want from it

A useful start point is to map what you have now and assess how effective it is. Mark up any problem areas as well as areas you would like to be strengthened now and in the future.




Be as prepared as possible before you start your search for a supplier. List what you want in terms of:

  • Maintenance planning functions
  • Asset and inventory management
  • Analysis and reporting

2. Define who will use the system and their requirements

Decide who is going to use the system as well as who will implement it. It is vital to get user buy in so involve as many of the stakeholders as possible and agree the primary goals of the system. You may want to:

  • Speed up the analysis of Emergency Work Orders to prevent reoccurrence of identical or similar failures.
  • Reduce the amount of time required to collect and analyse maintenance data.
  • Improve the management of the maintenance budget.
  • Improve the issuing of work orders.

3. Define budget and timescales

Understand the budget available to you and the savings you expect to make as a result of introducing the CMMS. What is your target Return On Investment?

4. Search for suitable suppliers

Armed with your requirements you can now assess the different suppliers and applications available to find the best fit for your functionality requirements and value for money.

Comparison websites and reports are widely available and most vendors offer demonstrations or free trials of their product.

Then ask these 6 questions.

5. Is the application user friendly?

It must be simple to use for every level of user. From data entry and raising requests to planning work and running reports.

Look for; a range of data entry devices, drop down options, diagrams and pictures.

6.Will it interface with your existing business management systems?

This is vital. To make the system as effective as possible it must improve information flows across the whole business and eliminate wasteful activities. If it doesn’t then you will probably make these worse.

 7. Is full training is available for all user levels.

Key to achieving your ROI is that everyone uses and adopts the system.

8. Is the supplier stable?

This system is going to be in use for some years, you need a partner. Check their history, case studies, experience and references.

9. Is there ongoing customer support?

Can the supplier offer prompt issue resolution for the whole time your plant is operating?

10. What about future developments?

Over time you will need to expand your CMMS and make improvements to it as you review its ongoing use. Ensure the supplier can show their competence here.

Let us know your top tips for selecting the best CMMS system.