10 Key Elements to Consider when Choosing a CMMS Vendor
We all know that software features and services are important when selecting a CMMS. Most people focus primarily on asking questions about the software, and occasionally about services and implementation. What many people don’t realize is that it is equally important to inquire about the software company itself.
Purchasing a CMMS is an investment. Aside from employees, a company’s data is their most important asset. Just as you wouldn’t have an untrained and unskilled worker service equipment worth thousands of dollars, you shouldn’t trust your data or data systems to just anyone. These 10 elements are key when considering a new CMMS.
1. The Company’s Longevity and Experience
Given that most new businesses fail within the first five years, it is important to choose an established CMMS provider. In doing so, you ensure software support, future upgrades, and long-term data storage. Choosing a well-established company is also an indication that they have continually offered quality products and services to their customers and will do so in the future.
2. The Company’s Product Evolution, Depth, and Flexibility
With any software purchase, it is important to find a company that aggressively evolves their software to meet the changing needs of their customers, especially in the healthcare industry. Companies who were first to adapt their software to regulatory compliance changes or those who have debuted products based on technology changes show that they will continue to provide new advances to their customers.
3. The Company’s Ability to Provide Full Integration of Required Software Applications
As with any software or technological device, you cannot expect your CMMS to be an all-inclusive tool. Of course it is vital that it handles your maintenance projects, but many users need it to do much more than that. This is why it is important for your CMMS vendor to provide a way to interface with third party applications already used in your organization. Most importantly, a way for these third party applications to actually communicate with your CMMS software and eliminate the need for manual data entry between the two applications.
4. The Software’s Ability to Facilitate and Maintain High Quality Data Input
Most healthcare organizations have many technicians using their CMMS at the same time, which can cause data errors in their system. By opting for a company that offers ways to combat data errors, you will be able to maintain your data integrity at a much easier rate than if you opted for a software without these capabilities.
5. Extensive and Flexible Reporting Opportunities
Reporting is essential for healthcare maintenance programs. Not only does it provide the “big-picture” for managerial decisions, it is also a primary facet for demonstrating compliance for regulatory bodies. As such, companies who are able to provide you with many dynamic reporting methods will simplify your daily maintenance activities and aid in your department’s success.
6. Data Analytics and Benchmarking
Using CMMS data to find answers is nothing new to the healthcare industry, but harnessing the power of big data is. Not only will big data help guide decision making, it has the ability to guide smarter purchasing and maintenance choices as well. If your CMMS vendor offers benchmarking and analytics resources, your department will be able to stay ahead of others in the field.
7. Thorough and Effective New Customer Implementation
Implementing a new CMMS is a big undertaking. Not only does your data need to be converted to a new system, but your staff also needs to be trained to effectively use the new system. Finding a company with reputable implementation experience will make your transition much easier. Key implementation elements include a well-developed implementation plan, data conversion tactics including data cleanup and optimization, full implementation support, and thorough training. A company that offers these elements will make your CMMS transition seamless.
8. Quality Customer Support
The quality of a company’s customer support is the cornerstone for your team’s success. When choosing a CMMS vendor it is important to find a company that puts customer support first. Be sure to ask questions about their customer support including support hours, customer satisfaction rates, and how the vendor compares to other vendors you may be considering.
9. Flexible Software and Purchase Structures
With department budgets sinking every year, finding a vendor who offers various purchasing opportunities to evolve your software in a manner that is congruent to your budget is essential. Flexible options mean that the CMMS vendor understands the restrictions that may be placed on you whether they are monetary or time constraints. Not only do those companies who offer purchase plans that align with your budget benefit you financially, they also provide scalability in order to meet your future CMMS needs.
10. Best Practices
Implementing best practices may seem like a daunting task, but if you are able to find a third party to help you carry out these practices, specifically your CMMS vendor, your department’s position will improve dramatically. By comparing your facility’s processes, policies, and equipment procedures with industry proven methods, you will gain the ability to improve patient care, control costs and increase regulatory compliance. Not only will this better your department, it will also assure you that your CMMS vendor wants you to succeed at the highest possible level.