5 Essential Steps to Choose the Right CMMS Solution

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Integrating a robust Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is pivotal for organizations seeking to optimize operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The selection of an appropriate CMMS solution holds the promise of streamlining processes and driving savings across various operational aspects. However, despite this potential, reports suggesting that up to 80% of CMMS implementations fail to deliver the anticipated benefits

What criteria should organizations consider to ensure the successful implementation and utilization of the right CMMS?

Maintenance expenses, accounting for a significant portion ranging from 15% to 40% of overall production costs, underscore the critical need for a well-executed CMMS implementation. Organizations initiating their CMMS journey aspire to lay a sturdy groundwork fostering informed decision-making and operational excellence through an intricately tailored maintenance management system.


Despite the array of benefits promised by CMMS platforms—such as decreased equipment downtimes, streamlined inventory costs, and heightened maintenance efficiency—a substantial gap between the system's potential and its realized effectiveness remains evident. The pervasive discrepancy in leveraging CMMS functionalities raises pertinent questions about the underlying challenges obstructing successful adoption and utilization. Notably, statistics from Plant Services suggest that most companies tap into only a fraction, roughly 15% to 30%, of the available functionality, prompting an imperative need to assess the effective utilization of the advanced features provided. Establishing a robust groundwork is essential for organizations before they embark on their CMMS journey, enabling informed decisions and driving operational excellence through optimized maintenance management systems.



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Why do CMMS implementations often fail to achieve optimal results?

The effort to maximize the capabilities of Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) continues to be a challenge for most maintenance departments. In a detailed survey carried out for Reliable Plant magazine by Kris Bagadia—an esteemed educator, consultant, and author—an alarming statistic emerged: a massive 94.7% of plant maintenance managers believe they are not fully utilizing the potential of their CMMS. Bagadia's study, involving 299 industrial maintenance professionals, highlighted a disheartening fact: "I've long estimated an 80% failure rate in CMMS installations."


The study divulged an array of reasons that illuminate the impediments leading to suboptimal CMMS utilization:

Complex implementations:

  • Lengthy implementation periods: Nearly three out of 10 survey respondents disclosed that CMMS implementation took between one to three years, indicating a significant timeframe invested in setting up the system.
  • Complicated software: Respondents noted that the program's complexity hindered its effective use, signaling a critical issue in user-friendliness.

Underutilization and inadequate training:

  • Failure to extract analytical insights: CMMS platforms often fall short as they are predominantly seen as record-keeping tools rather than analytical instruments for informed decision-making.
  • Underused modules: Respondents identified modules within CMMS systems that they lacked the capacity to utilize fully, attributing this to time constraints, data collection challenges, and a lack of training resources.

Resource constraints and incompatibility:

  • Lack of Expertise and Resources: A shortage of expertise and clerical support for data input significantly hampers the system's functionality.
  • Interface Issues: CMMS platforms not seamlessly integrating with accounting and other software systems result in duplicated efforts and data entry errors.

Management and commitment:

  • Inadequate support: Nearly one-third of respondents highlighted the lack of support from the Information Technology (IT) department, which adversely impacts the success of CMMS implementation.
  • Limited budget allocations: Insufficient funding for training and system improvements perpetuates the cycle of underutilization and ineffective maintenance strategies.



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Key considerations in selecting a CMMS for effective implementation and utilization

Selecting the right CMMS is critical for ensuring effective implementation and utilization, and understanding the key considerations in this process is essential for making informed decisions.

Key point 1 : Understanding internal processes

Initiate the selection process by conducting a comprehensive analysis of existing maintenance management processes. It's crucial to align the chosen CMMS solution with these processes to minimize disruptions and ensure a smoother transition within the organization.

Key point 2 : Identifying daps and matching solutions

Identify any loopholes or inefficiencies in the current maintenance processes, focusing on areas requiring enhancement, such as unattended work assignments or excessive inventory expenses. Choose a CMMS platform that seamlessly integrates with your existing processes without causing major disruptions.

Key point 3 : User-friendliness and mobile functionality

Prioritize CMMS systems that boast a user-friendly interface to facilitate ease of use and maximize adoption rates across teams. Mobile functionality is paramount, especially for technicians and field workers, as it allows seamless access to the system on-the-go. The ability to effortlessly submit requests and manage work orders via mobile devices is essential for streamlined operations.

Key point 4 : Budget allocation and ROI assessment

Link your budget allocation directly to the anticipated impacts, such as potential cost reductions resulting from CMMS implementation. Avoid perceiving CMMS solely as an expense and recognize its pivotal role in enhancing overall business operations. Although the return on investment might initially appear speculative, a thorough assessment coupled with real-time data will unveil the actual impact over time.

Key point 5 : Vendor selection process

Navigating through the multitude of CMMS solutions demands careful consideration when selecting the right supplier. Evaluate your current maintenance processes and maturity level to determine the most suitable option. Seeking advice from industry peers and experts can provide valuable insights into successful CMMS implementations, aiding in narrowing down potential solutions.


Strategy for a successful implementation 

Training and user certification

Achieving successful CMMS implementation heavily relies on comprehensive training. Establishing an internal team of CMMS experts plays a crucial role in minimizing dependence on external support while ensuring ongoing user education. Developing certification processes empowers users and sustains proficiency in navigating the system effectively.

Maximizing benefits through CMMS Integration

CMMS integration offers benefits that extend beyond cost reductions and operational efficiency. It significantly enhances overall team performance by minimizing rework, mitigating equipment failures, and fostering a healthier work-life balance. These integrative advantages contribute to a better work environment, boosting team productivity and overall satisfaction.

Seeking expert guidance

At any stage of the CMMS implementation process, consider seeking expert assistance to navigate potential obstacles. Engaging vendors or consultants for their insights and assessments can significantly enhance the chances of successful CMMS utilization.


Selecting the ideal CMMS solution is a strategic endeavor that hinges on a deep understanding of internal processes and a meticulous alignment with organizational requirements. This journey involves prioritizing user-friendly systems, bridging operational gaps, and evaluating concrete impacts to streamline maintenance management through CMMS integration. Moreover, ongoing training, user certification, and leveraging expert guidance play pivotal roles in perpetuating improvements and ensuring sustained success in the long-term utilization of the chosen CMMS solution. Ultimately, the quest for an optimal CMMS solution is not merely about adoption but about continual adaptation and enhancement to achieve operational excellence.

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Nan Ratsimandresy
Nan Ratsimandresy
Ingénieur QHSE & Content Manager chez BlueKanGo/QHSE Engineer & Content Manager at BlueKanGo/Ingeniero QHSE y gerente de contenido en BlueKanGo
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