Streamlining Maintenance Operations: A Guide to Upgrading Your CMMS

Many facilities rely on a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to help streamline maintenance processes and improve asset management. More specifically, a CMMS is commonly used by facility and maintenance managers to schedule, track, and assess work orders, inventory, and maintenance tasks more efficiently. 

Many of these CMMS solutions have become outdated after years of technological advances and changes to facility management requirements. For many organizations, it's likely time to replace an outdated CMMS with a more robust facility management software solution. If you find yourself in this position, here are the steps you can take to make the transition smoother:

Assessment and Planning
First, identify your pain points with your CMMS. You understand the shortcomings and limitations of the current system. Determine what isn't working and what needs improvement. Next, define the objectives for a new software solution. What do you want to achieve with a new system, and what are the priorities? This might include preventive maintenance scheduling, improved asset management, better reporting, or enhanced work order management.

Budget and Resource Allocation
Select the budget for this transition project after determining what your organization wants and needs from a new system. Consider the costs of the facility management software subscription, onboarding fees, potential hardware needs, and training costs for managers and technicians.

Vendor Selection
The next step in this process is identifying potential facility management software vendors by researching and comparing features, costs, and references. Ensure that any vendors you consider have products to address your most important wants and needs. Make a shortlist of vendors that align with your requirements, and reach out to schedule demonstrations of the software solutions.

Evaluation
Participate in in-depth demonstrations of all software systems you are considering. Make sure to involve all necessary stakeholders and ask as many questions as you need. Gather feedback from all involved parties, request additional information, and work together to choose the vendor that best fits the wants and needs of your facility.

Preparation
To best prepare for the CMMS transition, plan how to transfer existing data from the old CMMS to the new system. Data migration can be a challenging step, so make sure to have a well-defined strategy in place. Also, work with your new vendor to customize the new CMMS to meet your specific needs. This might involve configuring fields, workflows, and reports to match your maintenance processes.

Training and Deployment
Develop a comprehensive training plan for managers and technicians to ensure they can effectively use the new system. Training is crucial for user adoption. You may also want to implement a change management strategy to help employees transition smoothly from the old system to the new one. The next step is to roll out the new CMMS across the facility. Provide plenty of support from staff and the software vendor to make the early days of deployment more successful. 

Remember that replacing a CMMS system can be a significant project; involving key stakeholders and users throughout the process is essential for success. It's important to have a clear roadmap and a well-defined project plan to guide the implementation from start to finish.