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9 Questions You Need to Ask When Choosing Your CMMS

| June 11, 2020 | By

“It’s time for a new CMMS,” you tell your lead engineer, Fred.

He smiles and says,” Well, it’s about time.” He’s been tired of your cumbersome, legacy software for a while now.

“There are plenty of modern systems out there,” Fred informs you as he walks over to his computer.

“But, where do we even start,” you ask.

His daughter taught him how to “Google” everything, so he’s a pro.

Fred searched the internet and stumbled across this article.

“Here we go,” he shouts.

“24/7 Software wrote an article on where to start, how to determine your objectives and selection process, and the questions you need to ask.”

Interested, you walk over and begin reading.

We get it; saying computerized maintenance management system is as hard to pronounce as buying one.

That’s why we always say CMMS and wrote this article to simplify things for you.

So, are you ready to find the best maintenance software solution in the marketplace for your needs?

Let’s begin.

Form Your CMMS Selection Team & Identify the Process

Facility managers know the process for selecting CMMS software can be taxing.

Should you stay, or should you move on to a new solution? First, decide why you’re better off moving forward.

Do you remain complacent or start with a fresh, clean slate?

Using disciplined steps will help you to choose your maintenance solution.

Stay disciplined and make selection decisions that are objective, based on logic, and rely on your data.

Follow this selection process to start liking your maintenance software solution today:

  1. Form the selection team
  2. Define your functionality needs
  3. Compare possible solutions providers
  4. Schedule a demo of the software
  5. Review and decide on a solutions provider

Form the selection team

We recommend you enlist the help of people already familiar with maintenance operations: Your current maintenance team.

They’re the ones that know what they need as an operation to be successful with the chosen solution.

Define your functionality needs

Deciding on the requirements, should haves, wants, and model functionality will give you the much-needed information for rejecting software solutions that don’t fit the needs of your property.

You’ll know the non-negotiable functions, the ones you can pass on and the features you might upgrade if you feel there will be a notable return on investment (ROI).

Compare possible solutions providers

It’s essential to have an intention when examining potential solutions providers.

What’s their history and qualifications?

How well do they know what facility managers need to improve their operation and keep all life safety equipment compliant?

Take a hard look at what they have to offer and scrutinize the pros and cons.

Schedule a demo of the software

A demonstration will be a tell-tale sign of whether they’re an excellent fit for your property.


They’ll thoroughly understand your needs before the demonstration even begins, and they’ll show you how their software will be the solution to accomplish your goals.

More importantly, they’ll help you understand how to reduce activity error rates and downtime of equipment throughout your property.

This part is where you might want to skip the software reviews and ask the solutions provider for high-quality referrals in your industry.

There’s a difference between a review and a reference.

Review and decide on a solutions provider

Everyone has a budget but be careful not to base your choice solely on dollars.

Whose solution answered “Yes!” to all the questions below.

Pay close attention to the results, and this goes without saying: make an objective decision.

man standing against a wall thinking of idea
( Make an Objective Decision )

The 9 Nonnegotiable Questions You Need to Be Answered Yes

We’ve given you the process on how to choose your next maintenance software solution.

Now, focus on getting a “Yes!” from solutions providers for the concrete questions we’ve outlined below.

Use them as your litmus test.

They’ll help you decide on the right software to purchase, implement, and finally enjoy using.

It’s essential to apply and use it, or you’ll be back to square one without Proactive Operations.

  1. Does the system give you the ability to create, track, edit, and automatically communicate work orders?
  2. Can you create web forms for vendors, technicians or engineers to submit work orders for approval?
  3. Can the system provide your team the ability to create a seamless chain of command for approvals based on specific criteria?
  4. Can you efficiently manage preventive maintenance in a calendar format? So easy, you can drag and drop to change dates?
  5. Can you create digital checklists for consistency, efficiency, and control of your assets and maintenance?
  6. Will the system alert you and your staff when you run out of what you need? Does it make reordering material accessible?
  7. Will the system let you generate one-click reports and charts? Does it allow you to see the info the way you need?
  8. Will the system alert you when vendor insurance and warranty expiration are closing in?
  9. Does the provider offer implementation, training, and continued support?

The solutions provider that answers “Yes!” to all these questions is the one to choose!

If you answered “no…” to even one of these questions, keep looking.

Over to You

Choosing the right CMMS software for your operation is a daunting task if you don’t have a process.

Select the people you trust to help you in the decision-making process.

Then, use the questions above to ensure you get a resounding yes to capture the value you deserve from a software solution.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.

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