Replace your Old CMMS Solution (How-To Guide)
It’s time we had the talk. Is your CMMS not meeting your needs? Is it costing you too much without bringing you the joy you deserve? Coming to you as a friend, we think it’s time to dump your current CMMS solution.
It’s not you — it’s your CMMS. Your standards are not too high. In this article, we’ll show you how to ditch that dead weight and experience life with a CMMS that treats you right.
How to switch to a new CMMS solution
It’s time to break up with the old and switch to the new. You’ve done all your research, and you’re ready to make the jump to something bigger and better. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Get your team on board
Change can be difficult. And if you don’t have your team’s full support, making a switch will be a frustrating experience for everyone. Build off the challenges with the old system to show your team how much easier their jobs will be by using the new.
Motivate your team by involving them in the decision-making process. They will have valuable feedback on how to choose the best maintenance software for your team.
Step 2: Plan the transition to avoid downtime
Downtime is expensive. Consider these tips for planning a CMMS transition:
- Write out a timeline. Break the project into phases such as migrating data, writing KPI reports, and creating preventive maintenance plans to help track progress.
- Choose a project leader or form a CMMS team or steering committee. It might include a maintenance manager, upper-level manager, maintenance technician representatives, and a dedicated vendor representative to help with the implementation.
- Coordinate with your CMMS vendor. Having someone who can answer your questions and address problems speeds up your maintenance activities. Ask your CMMS vendor for help – they’ve done this before, and it is in their best interest to ensure you make a successful transition.
Step 3: Transfer maintenance data
Depending on your maintenance operations and the number of assets you use, transferring all your data can take a few weeks to months. The good news is, you’ll only have to do this once.
Here is what you can do to ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible.
- Define which data you need to carry forward into your new system. If you have a preventive maintenance plan in your old CMMS software, you will want to transfer data surrounding preventive/predictive maintenance procedures, tasks, and frequencies. You can then use this data to quickly set up a preventive maintenance plan in your new CMMS. (See the image below).
- Collect and backup your data. Once you have defined the data you’ll keep, export it from your old CMMS software or collect other manual data files like spreadsheets. Make sure you backup or save copies of your old data before transferring in case of any technological hiccups.
- Clean up your data. This means removing unnecessary, inaccurate, or duplicate data. If you’ve gathered data from multiple sources, there is a high chance you have some overlapping, unnecessary, or outdated data.
- Enter the data into your new CMMS solution. Either import your cleaned .csv files, or input everything manually. Your vendor likely has advice or resources to help with this step. From there, set standard naming conventions so everything stays organized.
Step 4: Prepare your new CMMS solution for daily use
Now that you’re set up, there are a few more things to take care of before you start to use it.
- Set up reports you will actually use. If you’ve chosen well, your new CMMS will have some great reporting capabilities. Set up your CMMS to report regularly on whatever KPIs are most important to your organization like downtime hours, spare parts costs and purchase orders.
- Set up CMMS integrations (if needed). Your CMMS doesn’t have to stand alone. If you have other systems, like an ERP or other asset management software, setting up data integration between them can improve response times and data accuracy.
- Test the system. Ask yourself if the maintenance history is correct and accessible. Do the field names make sense, and are they easily searchable? Are all items in the asset maintenance register (equipment and parts) well defined and accurate? Have your team test it with you so nothing gets missed.
- Train your team. Depending on the size of your department, you can select maintenance team members to be thoroughly trained directly by the vendor. Then they can teach others until everyone is on board.
Step 5: Watch, react, improve, and follow-through
Monitor how your employees use the CMMS solution to ensure everyone uses it uniformly and without issue. Here are some tips to maintain your CMMS success:
- Make using the CMMS a habit. Technicians may not be logging everything just right throughout the transition. Catch these early to create good habits using the new system.
- Measure improvements. Within three months of adopting a new and improved CMMS, you should begin seeing reductions in equipment downtime, better inventory management, improved document storage and retrieval, less overtime, and more.
Now is not the time to be modest! Share these positive changes with upper management and look like the rockstar you are.
Clear signs you need a new CMMS solution
Like every bad relationship, there are always a few red flags that signal it’s time to part ways. And sometimes, it is hard to recognize them. Here are a few clues that you need to switch up your current CMMS (computerized maintenance management software).
It is not giving you an ROI
The more you can cut costs and increase efficiency, the higher your return on investment. If you don’t see improved efficiency or reduced costs, those are clues that your CMMS isn’t the right one for you.
For example, A CMMS should help prevent unscheduled downtime and increase asset lifecycle.
Here are a few indications your CMMS isn’t giving you the ROI you’d hoped:
- You wonder if the system is worth the cost.
- You wish there were an easy way to report on your team’s productivity.
- Using this system feels like a lot of busy work to you or your team.
- You and your team don’t actually use the system.
To get an idea of the ROI you should be getting out of your software, check out our CMMS ROI Calculator.
It is too complex
A good CMMS solution should make your life easier.
If your team avoids using it because it is hard to use, it has to go. The more time your technicians spend on finding information, the less time they’re spending on their job. Over time, this takes a toll on productivity and your budget.
Here are a few indications your current CMMS is too complex:
- You have to remind your team to use the system repeatedly.
- Training takes longer than expected.
- Catching up with frequent updates slows down your team.
A well-designed CMMS should be easy to master and intuitive to use. Limble CMMS is a powerful tool that provides simplicity and ease of use. And that makes everyone happy.
It is not mobile
Everyone has a mobile device these days. If the CMMS solution you are currently using doesn’t have a mobile app, it’s probably just as outdated as a rotary phone.
Technicians are rarely at their desks, but they still need to log tasks and track work orders. If your team can do everything they need to do on a mobile app while in the field, you’re saving both time and money.
Here are a few game-changing benefits that mobile maintenance software like Limble can give you that you might otherwise miss out on:
- Receive push notifications when new work orders are created or commented on.
- Start new work orders while you are out in the field.
- Track the progress of your maintenance work when you are away from your office.
- Look up critical asset health information on the spot
- Log work wherever you are, instead of going to a computer
- Outfit your team with the same smart device, typically either a phone or tablet running Android or iOS, so they can all work through the same app and have the same user experience.
It is missing critical features
If you are using an older software system, it might be missing some key CMMS features, such as:
- Work order management
- Real-time asset performance reporting
- Automated preventative maintenance
- Tracking maintenance costs
- Auto-assigning maintenance tasks
If your system doesn’t automate or streamline maintenance, you’re missing out on one of a CMMS’s biggest benefits.
Here are a few indications your CMMS is missing critical features:
- You still have spreadsheets tracking some of your work.
- You are reporting productivity or other metrics manually.
- You use multiple systems such as calendars or additional software to manage your maintenance team and functions.
- Your multiple solutions don’t “talk to” each other and data regularly needs to be added or updated from one to the other.
It does not scale well
If you plan to grow your business, you want a CMMS that be scaled, meaning it will grow with you. And if you’re reading this, it’s pretty likely you want to grow your business.
Here are a few indications your CMMS solution doesn’t scale well:
- It takes you a long time to add new assets.
- The interface is cluttered.
- It doesn’t offer automation or track uptime.
- It is difficult to oversee the progress of open work orders.
- It takes a lot of time or multiple steps to schedule preventive work.
- You hate using it.
If you answered yes to any of these, you probably need a new CMMS system. These issues will only get worse as you add more technicians or assets.
It is too expensive
Spending too much money is a pretty apparent reason to switch. Every maintenance management solution comes with its own set of features and pricing. However, not all CMMS providers have flexible SAAS pricing.
Some solutions are more oriented toward enterprises, featuring large suites of modules and features, while others offer more flexible a la carte options for small businesses.
There are solutions for almost any budget in any industry, from facilities management to healthcare and education. Shopping around and finding the right option for you will not only ensure that the system’s function is right for you, but that its price is as well.
Here are a few indications your CMMS is too expensive:
- There are features or functions you don’t use.
- Pricing structure is not scalable or flexible depending on usage.
- You’re nickel and dimed for adding features or support.
Take your time to review and select the best maintenance software to find just the right fit for your facility maintenance and maintenance workflows.
Weak or non-existent technical support
No matter which CMMS solution you choose, you’re going to need some technical support. In an industry where delays can cost millions of dollars (literally), you don’t want a partner that takes a week to get back to you.
Here are a few clues you are not getting the CMMS help you need:
- Your CMMS provider takes ages to reply.
- They don’t provide effective solutions to your problems.
- They don’t offer multiple technical support options (phone, email, and live chat).
- There are frequent system updates with little or no mention of training support.
Get the most out of your CMMS
Your new computerized maintenance management system is a powerful tool that can vastly improve how you run your maintenance department. You have cleaned house, found the right match, and taken steps to make the most of your new software relationship.
If this sounds like a change you want to make, we’ve created an Essential Guide to CMMS that will help you discover more about what you could be getting out of your investment.
Try a self-demo or 30-day free trial and see for yourself how Limble looks and feels.
Limble Ranked #1 by maintenance experts in the field
Very easy to use, functionality is great
"I can track my inventory and it sends me emails when I'm running low on an item. Also that I can track how much time I'm spending on certain jobs over an extended period of time."Dec 19
Very easy to use, access
"I like the price, the fact I can see it on my phone or the computer. I like that it is internet-based."Dec 03
It just works
"Honestly - the customer support has been fabulous. We had a minor feature request that was deployed within 24 hours - which is unheard of. Even better when you consider our business is located in a completely different time zone (somewhere in Australia). Limble is quite intuitive and I love the ability to have assets nested within each other."
Great for smaller or larger facilities
"We haven't fully integrated Limble yet but we are already seeing improvements in our efficiency. As we fully integrate Limble we expect to see more benefits and increase our response and completion times. The customer support has been outstanding. The Limble team is very quick to respond to any questions and they are very open to suggestions."Jan 18
Limble is the best thing to happen to this company
"Limble does such a good job at keeping track of what's been done and letting me know when and what I need to do next."Jan 11
Great product at a great price
"Terrific customer service, easy to use, and at a great value. Our old Maintenance software was very difficult to use and was very expensive."