Technology advances so quickly that it’s hard to keep up. New and improved CMMS programs are regularly being released. However, many companies have been using the same system for 10-20 years. By failing to upgrade their software, they fall behind the times.
While upgrading your organization’s CMMS software offers many opportunities, it also presents challenges. Your staff is probably already comfortable with the software you’re using and may be resistant to change. In order to remain competitive, however, it’s crucial to minimize costs and increase efficiency by upgrading.
Why Upgrades Are Needed
CMMS upgrades are usually needed at organizations because their current CMMS program is obsolete, facilities have changed and the existing CMMS no longer meets their needs, or the original CMMS implementation failed. You could buy a system from a new software vendor or upgrade to a new system with your current vendor. Many organizations gain tremendous advantages by upgrading their maintenance software. The benefits of an upgrade may include the following:
- Less dependency on hardware
- More system functionality
- Regulatory compliance
- Significant cost savings
- Less IT infrastructure and dependency on support
- Real-time reporting
- Greater operational efficiency
- Ease of use
- Reduced breakdowns
- Minimized downtime
Don’t force new maintenance software on your staff. Consider the needs of your user community to ensure a high rate of user adoption. The upgrade must match your work processes. You should also ensure that the maintenance software you choose is easy to learn and use.
Perform a Thorough Needs Analysis
Prior to making an upgrade, analyze the current situation and the needs of your department and organization. You may need the help of outside consultants in order to perform a thorough needs analysis. Carefully consider why an upgrade is important, how it should happen, and when it will occur. Assemble a team to help you make an upgrade decision. IT, operations, finance, and maintenance department personnel should participate in the evaluation process. Factors to consider during the evaluation process include the following:
- Your upgrade objectives
- Deployment options
- Specific functionalities that will enhance work processes
- What you will gain from upgrading
- Desired reporting functions
- Available system support
- The new software’s flexibility and adaptability
- CMMS training
After you perform a needs analysis and your team agrees to upgrade your maintenance software, you will have to cost-justify the investment to upper management. You can build a case for the upgrade by demonstrating how the new CMMS will benefit your department. For example, it may expedite data entry, make parts and work order management more efficient with bar coding technology, provide technicians with mobile technology so that they can make decisions in real-time, provide data that allows you to make better business decisions, etc. Show upper management how these benefits translate into cost savings for the organization. You should also describe the upgrade’s return on investment (ROI). Demonstrate that the benefits of the upgrade will cover the costs of the investment and then some.
Want to upgrade your maintenance software? At DPSI, we aim to provide our customers with up-to-date, robust CMMS solutions that provide a healthy ROI. The time and effort you put in now to upgrade your CMMS will save you a significant amount of time and money in the long run. To take DPSI’s CMMS software for a test drive, please sign up for a free trial. For more information about our products and services, contact us.