Last updated: Apr 30, 2018
TOP 10 Maintenance Products
A Buyer's Guide to Maintenance SolutionsMaintenance Management Software Buyer’s Guide
The PM guys aren’t those who are wearing the dirty blue jumpsuit jeans anymore. The 21st century maintenance experts are now smarter and better equipped. With Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) or simply Maintenance Management Software, maintenance work orders are being attended faster, spare parts inventory are being replenished on time, and assets’ life span is being maintained to last longer. The PM department is now on the process of transformation from older system to more advanced software solutions.
The digital age has truly brought many transformations on how things work inside every factory, plant, base, hangar, and recreational facility. With the aid of modern computing tools, comprehensive trainings, and management support, maintenance of equipments, machineries, vehicles, tools, and many other company assets has never been this systematic. However, since maintenance is an on-going work, every company must not stop looking for better software solution that can further improve their operation and thus become more competitive in the global scale. So thru this Buyer’s Guide, we from ITQlick.com would like to guide you better in choosing the right CMMS solution for your organization. We have of years of excellent track record in business software applications and we are confident that we can help you find that solution with the help of this buyer’s guide.
When we say “maintenance”, we are not just talking about maintaining the equipment, recording the tasks done, and repeating the same process over and over again until we finally declare that such equipment has already meet its “end of life”. Maintenance is more than keeping an asset alive. It extends from maintaining the equipment itself, to the people maintaining it, to the software product that keeps everything in order, and to the standards and best practices knowledge that passes from people to people. In that respect, CMMS software solution therefore plays a very important role in the modern maintenance management. That is, this important role can be best understood by carefully examining these types of CMMS solutions.
This is the entry level CMMS which provides the essential features needed to better execute basic maintenance activities. These features are PM tracking, repair tracking, and maintenance notifications.
This solution provides additional features that enhance the overall productivity of the PM team. Aside from the basic features, it already includes graphing and enhanced reporting features.
This solution is suitable for companies with global or regional operation facilities. Aside from the multi-location support, this solution offers work order management, downtime analysis, and customer and invoice tracking.
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)
CMMS of this type is a full-featured facility maintenance and full-scale asset management solution. In large companies, EAM is integrated with Building Automation Systems and ERP systems. On top of that, EAM can be customized to suit a wide range of industries.
From the types of CMMS solutions that we highlighted above, a PM technician will definitely gain better insights about maintenance management. A maintenance engineer more likely would be able to discuss in more details to his management team the right software solution they need base on the current size and situation of their company. To further differentiate one CMMS solution from other solutions, let’s go over with these features.
- Unlimited Assets Entries
- Asset Details and Field Customization
- PM and Repair Tracking
- User Defined PM Services
- Automated Maintenance Alerts
- Maintenance History
- Repair Requests and Scheduling
- Annual Renewal Tracking
- Expenses Logging
- Employee Tracking
- Vendor and Supplier Database
- Built-in Data Backup
- Data Export Function
- Network Versions Availability
- Features of basic CMMS plus the following:
- E-mail Notifications
- Photo Storage
- Document Attachment
- Parts Itemization
- Parts Database
- Maintenance Calendar
- Asset Usage Tracking/Estimating
- Fixed Date or Meter-based Tracking
- Seasonal PM Tracking
- Advanced Alerts
- Accident Logging
- Asset assignment tracking
- Enhanced Reporting
- Features of basic and advance CMMS plus the following:
- Work Order Management
- Email Work Orders
- Advanced Part Selection
- Labor Tracking
- Inventory Stock Tracking
- Advanced Inventory Features
- Purchase Requisition System
- Customer Database
- Billing and Invoicing
- Multiple Inventory Warehouses Support
- Multiple Location Support
- Features of basic, advances and multi-site plus the following:
- Multiple languages and Multiple Currencies
- Fixed or Mobile Asset Tracking
- Powerful and Accurate Reporting
- Integration Capability with BMS, ERP, etc.
- Industry Type Customization Features
- Program Security
- Built-in Report Designer
- History Recording
Solutions per Business Size, per Vendor
While the types of CMMS we enumerated earlier can already serve as options in selecting the right solution base on the size of your business, another important aspect to look into is the model of deployment. There are two existing deployment models that you need to consider relevant to the size and current needs of your business.
This solution is traditionally called the “LAN-based” type. Software experts termed this as “client-server” solution. The buying company will purchase the software product and deploy it on its own server network. Many companies still prefer to use this model today because of the rich and advanced features that goes with it.
Web-based solutions are offered by providers as a subscription-based package. Meaning, the company will be entitled to pay a monthly subscription fee and if desired, additional fees for upgrades and add-on services. Software-as-a-Service CMMS is starting to build its name in the maintenance management industry. Aside from having no upfront cost, such solution is easy to deploy and any future software upgrade is being carried out by the solution provider.
As the technology evolves, a new deployment model has found its way to penetrate in the CMMS market. This is the mobile-based solution. Although many solutions are just offering a mobile user interface as part of the web-based package, many providers are already marketing stand-alone mobile CMMS apps.
Most companies are offering CMMS solutions by service plans or packages with considerable price bundles. These packages are usually base on the number and level of features included. But the more popular solution packages often come under any of these two: Integrated Suite and Best-of-Breed.
Integrated Suitesare solutions that are link or integrated with bigger management systems such as ERP, Accounting System, and Building Automation System. This package is usually offered as an on-premise type. The price of a standard or basic package ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the number of network users. Price of Advanced to Multi-site packages ranges from $3,000 to $10,000 also depending on the number of network users.
Best-of-Breedsolutions only cover specific maintenance management needs. Examples of businesses using these solutions are those that are in the trucking services, mining operations, and aircraft maintenance operation. Many best-of-breed solution users are choosing web-based deployment model, although on some larger corporations, on-premise is still the preferred type. Price of web-based solution packages for basic CMMS ranges from $50 to $100 per user per month. For advanced solutions, the price is around $150 to $300 per user per month.
While there are hundreds of solutions providers for both integrated suite and web-based, here is a shortlist of companies with proven track records in the CMMS market where you can find great deal solution packages.
- Maintenance Connection
- MicroMain Corporation
- eMaint Enterprises
- MAPCON CMMS Software
- Infor EAM Infor EAM solutions
- FastMaint CMMS Software
- Bigfoot CMMS Software
- Ashcom Technologies
- Megamation Systems
Globalization in maintenance management systems has been influencing companies in all sizes and industries. Many were able to cope up with the trends, practices, and standards, while others are still being left behind and still prefer to choose their old-fashion way of “PM”.
There have been a lot of trends going on in the maintenance management industry over the last five years and one of these trends is that many maintenance teams are now using sophisticated computers, test equipments, and mobile computing devices on their every day work routines.
Base from the pricing model that we presented earlier, specifically for the web-based solution, more CMMS solutions are also seen to be offered in the market in more affordable and easy to deploy packages. This trend is attracting a lot of companies to invest on cloud-based CMMS.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED standard is forcing many companies to adapt greener ways of executing their maintenance operations. And what’s good with this is that those companies that purchased and implemented CMMS solutions are now LEED-compliant companies.
The CMMS market is changing for the better and today is the right time that your company should also choose a CMMS solution that can invite more positive changes inside your organization.
ITQlick chart - 2018 best Maintenance Software
Finding the right Maintenance software for your business
Proper Maintenance software selections are the precursor to successful deployment and business growth. Finding the right Maintenance solutions doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to take days or weeks of your time.
After researching over 2,000 systems, we can identify the best solution for companies of all shapes and sizes. ITQlick.com is 100% free for software buyers.
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25 MUST Ask Questions Before Buying Maintenance Software
The prime purpose behind investing in the software solution is to boost efficiency and growth. Ask the software vendor (Maintenance Connection, Inc.) how their business app would improve efficiency of your enterprise.
Maintenance Connection has tremendous exposure to different companies. They offer the same type of software to different industries, so they are better aware of who is doing what with their technological product. This also helps them understand and foresee whatâ€™s really working. Allow them to share their observations so that you get an ideas about their experience, expertise, and intelligence. This will also be an opportunity to identify the service providers who come up with the most insightful suggestions.
Perhaps your business is growing, will expand in the future and your Maintenance requirements with it. So you would be interested to know if Maintenance Connection is scalable and can grow with you. Itâ€™s no use investing in a solution that can be scaled.
Each business has different needs. Yours is no different. When it comes to selecting a software solution, you are looking for a tool that can be easily customized and configured to cater to your specific business needs. So you want to understand if Maintenance Connection you want to buy is easy to customize.
Such a community forum is the best way to engage users. Getting access to Maintenance Connection forums can help new or proposed users connect with product experts through peer-to-peer discussions.
Maintenance Connection should answer how their business software will improve your bottom line and ROI.Most service providers make tall claims, so you want to make sure you get your hands on the best solution.
Before choosing a business app, you want to understand that the implementation would be smooth. So you should be interested to find out about the person responsible for handling the implementation process. Do not hesitate to ask Maintenance Connection about their qualifications.
A good software vendor should be able to show you a positive track record with their implementation strategy.Try to find out if Maintenance Connection method is structured. Your purpose should be to look for one that is structured and flexible to adapt to unexpected situations.
The software vendor should give you a structured data conversion methodology that will enable smooth migration of your information to the new system.
A growing business is always in need for expansion and integration with thrid-party apps is a part of the growth model. When it comes to choosing software, make sure the business app provides an application programming interface for easy integration.
Ask the software product vendor if the tool will allow you to export data to an external file or import data from external sources.
Ask the software vendor (Maintenance Connection, Inc.) if the software package includes consulting hours. Do not hesitate to ask if there are any hidden charges involved.
You do not want to be caught unawares when a software vendor sends a technician to resolve an issue that may crop up due to varied reasons. You want to make sure the charges are reasonable. Better still, you should be aware of what needs to be paid to the technician sent by the vendor to fix a problem.
You do not want to fall in love with the front end unless you are 100% sure that the software is compatible with your existing system. Ask the software vendor is you need any specific hardware to install the software. Will the business application run on your existing workstations. How much space will the software take on the disk drive? Is there a need for RAM upgrade to successfully run the software for optimum performance?
You should enquire about the cost of having more than one terminal in your store. While some software vendors charge on the basis of the number of store locations, others charge per terminal.
When you are looking for a software solution, make sure you know if the vendor charges any fee to get you started. You should also be interested to know if there are any software maintenance charges for you to pay.
Your business is accountable to customers, regulators, employees, and partners. So you should look for one software vendor who has adopted a comprehensive, technically sound security and compliance program. Does the vendor map your needs for security controls?
Data loss can prove extremely risky for any business. So you should always ask the vendor about their backup policy. How often is data backed up and what is the cost for the same?
What is the software vendor's policy on disaster recovery? Are any charges involved for disaster recovery support if a catastrophic hardware failure affects your system?
How easy is the software to work on? Is it user friendly for your end users? Does it involve any complexities that are difficult to understand for the team? Even a feature-rich solution is of no use if end users find it difficult to use.
Maintenance Connection, Inc. should clearly mention whether the solution is complex or simple to use. If it is not an easy-to-use software solution, then do they provide training? What is the level of training your team requires to make the most of the solution?
You will be interested to know about the software updates. When is it updated? Does the service provider notify customers when the upgrades are scheduled? Does the software work when the upgrades are under way? How long does the process take?
You should be interested to enquire about how an issue is handled at the side of the software vendor. Do not hesitate to question about who will respond to your emergency calls. What is their experience in software industry?
If the software vendor is widely popular, chances are that they have a good product. So always check their client base to measure their product's competence in the market.
Testing is crucial to ensuring that the software runs as promised. So you should try to find out if the vendor offers any free trial runs or try before you buy the product. By testing the concept first, it gets easier to understand the software product's functionality and allay fears before signing a contract.