Xcel with a CMMS that meets your needs, not your wants

It is important that your CMMS matches the needs of your organization, and you can’t rely on the opinions of others -- you have to take it upon yourself to identify your requirements and find the best match. Take it from someone who knows: 20-year old CMMS telemarketer and PlantServices.com columnist “Ben Keith.” You'll be surprised at what you learn. Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

By Ben Keith

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Your favorite telemarketer has returned for a fifth article. If this is your first time reading, I apologize for the following statements. As for the 20 people who came back, a life lesson: ‘If there’s one thing you don’t want to be a glutton for – it’s punishment,’ although you should be used to it by now.

To recap, following my equation for CMMS success you have just Xamined vendors (Part III) and analyzed your Xpansion (Part IV) based on their offerings. There has been a lot more build up to this. If you want to know more click here for Part I and Part II.

To start this article I’d like to briefly relate a true experience. At the tender age of 16 (a couple of years ago) I was offered my first car. It was a 1977 white T-top Stingray Corvette with tan leather interior. However, I refused it. And instead got a 1980 Plymouth Volare with maroon interior and a blown stereo. Crazy you say? No, genius. Why? Let me Xplain:

 Xceed<Xcel: In my mathematical equation for CMMS success, Xcel multiplies a vendor’s overall value then, any Xceed is added. Let’s first define Xcel.

Xcel: To surpass another. To be superior in performance, quality, or degree. Simply put, in my equation Xcel implies vendor Xcellence for your particular situation and need. Let’s return to my opening scenario. I needed a drivable car that I could afford. Which one met my need? Both. However which one Xcelled at it? With the lower insurance premiums and fuel economy the choice was easy, the Volare. And I was mature enough to realize that. Sure, we could have afforded to buy the Stingray, but I couldn’t afford the insurance, gas and likely future tickets. The Volare was a step ahead in every conceivable way for my needs. Which makes an important point: Xcel is based on needs and thus of greater value than Xceed.

So go out and by a Volare. It’s the better car.

Not really. Just because the Volare worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for you. I know that was painfully obvious, but this is an important concept many people fail to acknowledge. When comparing vendors, organizations will often base their decisions on Xperiences of friends or competitors. Unfortunately Vendors can and will encourage this line of thinking, when they see it as an advantage. They simply will point to the amount of their satisfied customers as proof that you will be one to. While this reasoning isn’t without basis, the most important aspect of Xcel is when the software Xcels at meeting your specific needs, not someone else’s. Just remember that implementations are like snowflakes; no two are the same. So when reading case studies of clients, who had software that Xcelled for them, evaluate judiciously. You should think to yourself: “it was the best for them,” and we might add “at that time.” Like that Volare was good for me … at the time. If you really were to go looking for a Volare you might find my former ‘Heavenly Chariot,’ as it came to be called, for sale or in a junkyard. I no longer have any use for it. This brings us to an interesting point to ponder.

Over an organization’s life-span they will likely end up using different CMMS systems. There is no end all, permanent solution. So, just because a customer is satisfied now, or when the case study was performed, doesn’t mean it will always be. However the length of time until they reach the unsatisfied mark can be increased. This is where Xceed comes in.

Xceed: The great beyond. Xceed implies performing at a level greater than required to meet your needs. Xceed is almost always wanted. Likely because it’s often the “wow” factor.

The wow factor can be a misunderstood term.  My definition of wow factor as it applies to CMMS is: that jaw-dropping bit of technology that adds a sparkle to the finished product. As vendors, we learn early on what will wow and how.  We go to great lengths to show this to you. That’s because we know often times the vendor with the most wow power wins. I’m not entirely sure why this is. Interestingly the wow power influence isn’t limited to humans. A common trap for smaller primates is a shiny ring attached to the inside of a coconut with a small opening. The primate sees the shiny ring, grabs it, and then is caught because his fist won’t fit outside the hole. Sadly this is a common mistake even among higher forms of life. A company sees a new shiny piece of technology and buys it. Soon after, they find out, to their horror, that the shiny thing was all part of a cleverly designed trap. The saddest part of this story is that the reason why the monkey is caught is because he refuses to let go. So the next time you start to be wowed stop and say to yourself: “I’m not a monkey,” and let it go.

Please don’t think I’m calling you a bunch of monkeys. As I understand, there are no monkeys that have access to the Internet, and even if they did, do you think they’d be reading this article? No. So, no one is a monkey. That is unless you consider yourself a “grease monkey,” then I stand corrected.

Moving on…

Here is some wow popular right now:

  • PDA / Mobile Phone solutions
  • Buisness Intelligence tools
  • Real Time Data Analysis
  • Web Architecture
  • Enterprise Business Systems Integration

The previous points aren’t always Xceed. They only apply to Xceed when defined by your organization as wants and not needs.

The irony is that more often than not, the Xceed that wowed its audience, once purchased, is rarely used. “So,” you may rightly wonder, “is there any value to Xceed?” Yes and no.

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