Why CMMS Implementations Fail

Implementing a CMMS isn’t just a monetary investment. If you want to see real results, you will need to put in the effort to make sure the system is properly implemented and adopted. And it isn’t as simple as flipping a switch.  

It takes planning, time, and buy-in from your team and management to be successful. According to a recent study by Reliable Plant, almost 80% of CMMS implementations fail. By contrast, at Limble, our customers have a 98% implementation success rate and can start to see the ROI in as little as 1 to 2 weeks. What did we do differently? 

Modern CMMS software is built for usability and high adoption. They come with an intuitive interface that drastically lowers the learning curve, requiring little to no training for technicians. They leverage tools to speed up data entry, and — in the case of Limble — offer world class customer support. 

That said, there are still some common stumbling blocks. Here is how to avoid them.

The CMMS software is too difficult to use

You should love the CMMS you use. This software must be used daily by not only you, but your entire team. You spend too much time at work to have to put up with something you hate using.

This is the number 1 reason most CMMS implementations fail. If something is a headache to use, you will use it as little as possible. Pay attention to a few key usability indicators in the CMMS selection process. 

  • How many clicks (or taps in case of mobile) does it take to complete any task. When comparing CMMS vendors ask for their sales rep to demo the CMMS for you. During the demo or trial process, measure how long it takes to perform your most common tasks. For example, a work request can be completed in around 20 seconds in Limble.  
  • Quiz the sales rep giving you the demo on the spot. The time it takes to enter asset information is the second reason CMMS implementations fail. Ask your sales rep to import your assets on the spot or perform another bulk task during a demo. If the sales rep can’t quickly import your spreadsheet then you are probably going to have problems with that CMMS.
  • Look for modern, updated design. Outdated or poorly designed software stresses a user’s eyesight making them tired and irritated. A CMMS isn’t going to look exactly the same as Facebook, Airbnb or your iPhone, but comparing what you see in your CMMS to a large modern software that thrives on user experience can tell you a lot.
  • Test the CMMS’s support. No matter what CMMS software you pick you will want an expert’s help at some point. Ask about dedicated support, evaluate response times to your questions, and get references. At Limble we have a chat system built directly into our CMMS which we pride ourselves on answering in under 60 seconds.
  • Do a 30 day trial. Most modern CMMS software offers a free trial which allows you to play around with the software for a while. This is a great way to test first hand if it is going to be easy to use.

Try Limble for Free >

Not willing to put in the time to get it going.

Often, taking the time to improve your maintenance process can feel impossible. But in the case of a CMMS implementation, it is worth finding the time to do it right. After helping thousands of customers we’ve learned what works best when it comes to managing your limited time. 

Here is a breakdown of a couple time management strategies that will make sure your CMMS gets the time needed to get off the ground:

  • Fully dedicate resources to implementation. This “rip-off-the-bandaid” approach is the best, and can have a CMMS setup in as little as a few days. However, it requires your team and management to buy-in to diverting 100% of your time to this project. 
  • An hour a day. This is the most common approach because it still allows you to tend to your regular duties. Instead spend 1 hour a day on set up and then enlist a lead technician to do the leg work.  
  • Hire your CMMS provider to set it up. This is the quickest, but there are some drawbacks. First, it costs more money. Second, even the best CMMS team won’t know your business as well as you do, and cannot set up the system with as much nuance and customization to your business. 

Regardless which strategy you pick, setting up a CMMS will require a time investment from you, but unlike most normal investments you will see the impact in as little as a few weeks. At Limble we have a dedicated Customer Success team that helps our customers get a plan in place to ensure the implementation goes well.

Lack of Planning

A CMMS is just a tool and not a magic wand. If you don’t have a basic understanding of what problems your facility is facing, what equipment you own, what maintenance tasks you should be doing or how to do maintenance in the first place, then a CMMS can’t help you.

If you have no idea what you want to do or accomplish here are a couple questions you can ask yourself to figure it out.

  • What is costing us the most money and why? Is it random breakdowns, unhappy users, replacing equipment, etc.
  • Does my team feel these same problems? If the problem is only affecting you and not your team or company overall maybe it isn’t worth solving.
  • Are there ways to solve those problems? For example implementing a preventive maintenance plan drastically lowers breakdowns and reactive maintenance.
  • Why haven’t we solved those problems already? Maybe management will never buy into using software for maintenance.
  • Do we know what we currently have and what our main needs are? Knowing where you are at allows you to plan the resources it will take to get to the finish line.

Luckily you don’t have to figure this out alone. At Limble we help thousands of companies around the world improve their maintenance operations. Give us a call and we can help you come up with a plan to solve the problems you are experiencing.

Management isn’t on board

Sadly there have been too many times where we are about to help a maintenance manager drastically improve his/her life, but then we hear the dreaded “my manager killed the project”.

Unfortunately, the maintenance manager didn’t spend any time or effort trying to show his/her boss the potential ROI. If you can prove the potential ROI of a CMMS, then management won’t get in your way.  

Your team isn’t bought in

Lastly if your maintenance techs are not bought into getting a new CMMS system you will run into problems. Make sure to dedicate time to train to your technicians to have a strong maintenance culture and especially extra training on how to use the system so they aren’t frustrated from the get go.

Additionally it is important to get emotional buy-in from your team which can be done in a couple ways.

  • Explain why a CMMS will help them improve their day-to-day life. No more paper, no more manual data entry, instant access to manuals and other useful information, real-time communication, less overtime fixing unexpected breakdowns, and more.
  • Include them during the CMMS selection process. Getting your team’s feedback and insight helps them take ownership of the project, and it helps you get a well rounded view of the software. If they take ownership, they will want it to succeed.

Request a Demo

Share your contact details below and someone from our team will reach out as soon as possible.