CMMS: Needs Analysis, Cost Justification Fuel Upgrades
The first step in upgrading a CMMS is to analyze the current needs of the department and the organization. Performing a thorough needs analysis costs money and is a complex process, and in many cases, it can be helpful to seek help from outside consultants to assist in the process.
Besides considering core components of the CMMS, managers should consider equally important functions, such as the ease of implementing mobile technology, interfacing with third-party systems, and importing data from a previously installed CMMS.
Before most maintenance departments can order a new CMMS, they must convince upper management a software upgrade is necessary. Answering a series of questions can help managers build a case:
- Does the existing system have the capability to expedite data entry or streamline parts and work-order management with the introduction of bar coding?
- Can the system use radio-frequency identification to improve tracking?
- Can technicians use mobile technology in making real-time decisions?
The answers to these questions — or the inability to answer them — will indicate whether the department can benefit from a CMMS upgrade.
The next step in cost-justifying an upgrade is formulating a plan to demonstrate to upper management the return on investment (ROI) of the upgrade cost. This step involves demonstrating clearly that the benefits of a new system will cover the cost of performing an upgrade.