4 trends to consider before upgrading your CMMS

Don't live to regret your CMMS selection – explore these options before signing the dotted line.

Selecting a new CMMS for your plant can be a daunting task. Make the right decision and you'll streamline processes and improve productivity. Make the wrong decision and you can face significant regret.

Like any important purchase, you have to do the research. Is this offering right for a plant of your size? Which features are truly important and which are just shiny add-ons? Will this CMMS have the longevity you need as your business expands and grows?

Before you make a final decision, consider these 4 CMMS trends that are shaping the industry and which should be on your most wanted list.

1. Life in the cloud

Cloud-based CMMS offerings are gaining traction, as ease of use and subscription-based pricing are putting sophisticated systems within reach of smaller and mid-sized organizations. The most obvious advantage is accessibility: the cloud enables users to log into their CMMS from anywhere as long as they have a Web browser, allowing important information to be accessed, shared, and acted upon more easily. The most obvious disadvantage surrounding cloud computing center on data ownership and security: Who really owns your data? How secure is your data? What happens to the data if/when you want to terminate your relationship with the service provider? These questions often require input from IT and legal to resolve.

2. Going mobile

Do you remember the days of desktop PCs and dialup internet? It all seems like a distant memory in this age of accessibility, and more and more plants are seeing the benefits of going mobile. In a recent article, David Berger claims that companies often experience a 15%–30% bump in productivity when maintainers are given mobile devices with relevant software. Having the information you need, like work orders and equipment history, at your fingertips can be priceless in a fast-moving plant were every minute counts. The list of mobile devices compatible with CMMS solutions seems to be expanding every day, and additional accessories like RFID scanners and GPS readers only improve data entry.

3. Get connected

Your CMMS is only as good as the integration opportunities it offers. It's not unusual for CMMS software companies to collaborate with partner vendors, and you should consider which of your current systems should be able to integrate with your CMMS before making the decision to upgrade. Most CMMS packages can integrate with your SCADA systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES), geographical information systems (GIS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. When selecting your CMMS, be sure to identify the levels or current and future integration that may be required over time.

4. KPI or bust

Keeping track of your key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential to your business's success, and your CMMS can, and should, have features to help. Whether you are setting a goal or developing an action plan, your CMMS should be able to benchmark data, monitor progress on a particular project, and much more. When researching a CMMS solution, be sure to look for a system that offers predefined KPIs, business intelligence, and data analysis and decision support tools that allow you to dig deeper into your data.

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