Best Practices

The Ultimate Guide to a Successful CMMS Implementation

In this ultimate guide to a successful CMMS implementation, learn how to make the transition go smoothly before the process begins.


Implementing a new CMMS is a huge undertaking. From switching all your data over to ensuring high team adoption rates, there’s an endless list and many different ways for something to go wrong. 

However, this shouldn’t deter you from a new CMMS implementation. After all, the benefits are enormous. Your team will experience an increase in productivity by

  • Utilizing mobile functions on your CMMS
  • Standardizing your CMMS data 
  • Streamlining your work order processes

Not to mention your cost and time savings, efficiency, reducing errors, etc. 

To ensure a successful CMMS implementation, you need to prepare as much as possible ahead of time. While every CMMS provider does it differently, there are many ways for you to do the work beforehand to make the process easier. At FSI, we’ve implemented our CMMS in over 950+ healthcare organizations in the past 20 years. Our experience has allowed us to compile these tips to help as you work towards your new software, including:

  1. Read reviews
  2. Take advantage of a demo
  3. Learn about their data migration
  4. Ask about training
  5. Look into the analytics 

Applying these best practices will significantly reduce the chances of bumps along the road and bring about a smooth CMMS implementation process. Here are our tips to get started. 

1. Read reviews

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an important step to a successful CMMS implementation. After all, everything starts with the provider. They might have the most cutting-edge technology on the market, but if the implementation goes poorly, you will be working from a crumbling foundation. It’s essential to find a provider who has a proven track record, their own set of best practices, and a supportive team to match—not just during the process but afterward.

While every provider will show their best side, one way to dig into the details is to read reviews. You can both ask the company to provide testimonials and look on your own. We recommend using sites like Capterra, Software Advice, and even Reddit to get a feel of what implementation will be like. You want to look for honest reviews—both the good and the bad. 

If you come across a comment or red flag in your research, ask the provider directly how they handled the situation. You can then gauge their response, and it will give you an idea of whether or not they’ve resolved past issues or made the process better.

It also helps to ask to meet the implementation and customer service teams before you get started. This will help give you an idea of each team’s area of expertise and how they will support you in the long run. How confident are they? Are they approachable? Knowledgeable? Do they have their own implementation tips?

The initial impression of these teams will give you snippets of your relationship both during and after implementation. 

We also recommend looking into the CMMS provider’s industries. Are they built specifically for healthcare CMMS operations? Learn their area of expertise to make sure it lines up with your work and goals.  

2. Take advantage of a demo

The best CMMS providers will offer a demo, and this is an opportunity for you to see the software in action. In fact, ask if they’ll do a trial with your data for a real-time example and demonstration. 

A demo is also the space to bring up any questions or concerns. Do not hold back—now is not the time to be shy. For example, you could ask for specifics when it comes to work order management (such as what you can see in the video below). Then, look for opportunities to ask natural questions as they come up. 

HubSpot Video

 

If your team is wary about making a change, mention it. A well-rounded provider will have statistics on their adoption rate. Mention your usual pain points, whether it’s inaccurate data, PM schedules, or inspection preparation. Bring up common scenarios and ask how the software or the support team will help. 

Day-to-day, you are working hard to justify all the work you do. Transitioning to a new CMMS is going to help, but you need tangible examples of how—nothing vague. Ask to see all their CMMS products to learn the best possible combination to support your work. Ask questions like:

It is also helpful to find out how different clients use the CMMS to their advantage. Does the demo include an example from their customers? Are there tangible ROI examples you can look at and have them walk you through? This will give you an idea of what you can expect after implementation. 

The demo is your opportunity to speak up, and it allows you to identify differences with your old system and pinpoint updates you can look forward to. 

3. Learn about their data migration

Now that we’ve gotten the two most obvious tips out of the way, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty: data migration. Your data is key to the entire CMMS. If it’s input wrong or organized incorrectly, your inspections will suffer, and you’ll face losing accreditation. Therefore, data should be front and center as you look into implementing your CMMS.

Ask the provider how they migrate data. A well-versed, seasoned CMMS provider will have best practices and standards in place to not only migrate the data but set a solid foundation for you moving forward. Clean, standardized data will help your future reporting and analytics be more accurate. 

Ask your provider:

  • Do you standardize data in addition to migrating it?
  • What measures does your CMMS have in place to ensure standardization continues after implementation?
  • What does your data cleansing process look like?
  • Do you archive old data?
  • How does historical data live with new data after implementation?

You want a provider that values clean data and will help during the implementation for a smooth future as you use the CMMS. After all, once you feel confident that your data is accurate, you can put it to work by looking for ways to improve your asset management and preventive maintenance.

4. Ask about training

Beyond the initial CMMS implementation, a successful transition includes high team adoption rates. Your new CMMS might boast an increase in team efficiency and productivity, but if everyone isn’t on board, you won’t see that reflection. You want to make sure your investment is worthwhile. Comprehensive team training will help with this.

In fact, training is considered part of the implementation. Your team needs to feel comfortable using the new CMMS, and it's critical they understand its full potential and start using it right away. Otherwise, your data will suffer, and you will not be able to rely on your reporting functions. Plus, if your team isn’t taking advantage of everything your CMMS has to offer, you will not get the most out of your investment.

Before you commit, find out what training materials the provider has for your team. Ask:

  • What do the training materials look like? 
  • Who can I go to with all my questions? 
  • What is the rate of adoption success across other CMMS users?
  •  How user-friendly is the CMMS? Are there testimonials backing this up?
  • What does the training timeline look like?
  • At what point can our team start using the CMMS?

The training and adoption process will also give you a glimpse into how your new hires will handle the CMMS. The easier the training process, the more likely new members (and current members) will be able to get up and running with little lag time. 

For example, a CMMS with mobile capabilities and interactive, user-friendly maps showing all your assets and PMs will help them get the job done. As a bonus, you won’t have to work with reduced resources as team members spend time showing new hires around. 

CMMS CMS Tech Maintenance Management System

The purpose of asking these questions about training is to learn how your CMMS provider will set you up for success. The more you know ahead of time, the more confident you can feel during and after implementation.

5. Look into the analytics

When done right, your CMMS analytics can become your secret weapon. Therefore, it’s important to learn all that you can about your provider’s analytics and how you can benefit from them. And believe it or not, how the data is presented makes a big difference.

If you are just looking at pie charts, you’ll only see the big picture. In the long run, what does this tell you beyond a comparison of time spent on one asset versus another? In order to make meaningful decisions that impact your team and ultimately result in time and money saved, you need to see more. 

Trendline analytics are a great way to get both a birdseye view and help you identify problem areas and make decisions accordingly. For example, if you start to notice that your team is spending less time overall on exit signs, you can look into the analytics to evaluate:

1) Risk assessment of equipment failure data (iridescent light bulbs versus incandescent light bulbs in the exit signs)

2) A course of action to even out your team’s time to make the biggest impact in the least amount of time—for example, moving to an AEM schedule

In fact, an FSI customer saved money in this very scenario simply by digging into their analytics. It's worth knowing how in-depth you can view the data and compare it across various scenarios to give you the most accurate view of the work being done.

HubSpot Video

A pie chart wouldn’t tell you any of that. Trending data that you can drill into will. This is why it’s important to talk to your CMMS provider specifically about their analytics and business intelligence.

You want to make sure you are looking at something that will allow you to make impactful decisions for your team and your work. If possible, see if your CMMS provider has real examples of their client’s analytics they can show you, as well as tangible benefits and results from the data.

Strategically preparing for your CMMS implementation with FSI

Your CMMS implementation will be quite the process, requiring a lot from you and your team. However, you can work to make sure the transition goes smoothly before you even settle on a CMMS provider using the tips from this guide. 

You can find out more about FSI’s implementation process by reaching out to our team. Our CMMS is purpose-built for and by healthcare professionals. For over 20 years, our cloud-based computerized maintenance management software has helped manage over 650 million sq. ft. of facility space. Plus, our team surveys another 50 million sq. ft. every year to give you usable, accurate data for hospital Facility and Biomed management. 

To learn more, contact our team

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