3 reasons for CMMS failure and how to prevent them

June 19, 2018  •  Alayna Giesting

One of the most important (and often overlooked) steps in getting a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) is the implementation process. But too often, Facility Managers think their job is done once they’ve picked out their new system.

The last thing you want to do is purchase a CMMS for your team and then miss out on all of the great benefits it has to offer because of an unsuccessful implementation. So, how do you make sure your implementation is a success? Let’s first check out three common reasons for FM software failure and then we’ll dive into how you can prevent them from happening!

1. Spreading yourself too thin:

In all the excitement of purchasing a CMMS, you may find yourself tackling more modules or features than you can handle. The best thing you can do is start with one module until you and your team have mastered it, and then continue to add more over time.

To figure out which modules your team should implement first, work with all departments in your organization and determine what processes aren’t working. For instance, if your team is drowning in work orders, then you should consider implementing a maintenance module first. On the other hand, if you feel like your stock room is out of control and you are always out of a certain spare part, you could start with an inventory module.

There is always time to add other modules later in the implementation process. So, don’t feel like you need to tackle all of your problem areas at once. If at any time your team feels like they don’t understand how to use the CMMS, they may resist the change.

2. Failing to get all staff on board:

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in the implementation process is user adoption. Your team might be hesitant to use the new system, but you should work hard to prevent this behavior because purchasing a CMMS is useless unless your entire team is using it. For instance, if you are assigning work orders and PM tasks to your team in the CMMS and only a few people are actually using the system, these tasks will fall through the cracks.

Before you make the purchase, you should ask your team what they are looking for in a CMMS. Inquire about which facility management processes are working and which ones could use some improvement and, most importantly, take these suggestions into consideration when making your purchase. Once you’ve made a decision, be sure to explain how this new software will impact day-to-day processes and why this new change is taking place. Your team will be much more willing to use the system if they know the benefits it will bring them.

In addition, it’s a good idea to allow people to experiment with the software. Not only will this help you pick out early adopters, but also give your team the opportunity to spot problems and offer suggestions. The early adopters you identify during this phase will most likely become highly influential to their peers later in the implementation. So, make sure you encourage them to speak to their colleagues about their experience and promote positive thinking around the new change.

How FMX can help: At its core, FMX is a collaboration tool and works best when everyone that needs to use the system can use it. Therefore, we offer unlimited requesting users to our customers at no additional cost. Adding all of your occupants to FMX as users enables you to receive requests from everyone, keep them in the loop as you work to complete their requests, add users to requests that may concern them as followers, hold your team accountable for work that is assigned to them, and more!

3. Overlooking the importance of training:

Getting properly trained on how to use your new CMMS is one of the most important steps of the implementation process. That being said, a lot of Facilities Managers find themselves so excited about the new software that they rush through the training sessions so that they can start using the software immediately.

The problem with this approach is that you and your team won’t have a clear understanding of all the things a CMMS can do for you and how to make them happen. This might eventually discourage users and result in failure, simply because of untapped potential.

When receiving training, make sure you ask a variety of questions and understand the software completely. You should learn how to use the system as though you’ll have to teach others how to use it (because you may have to eventually). Another thing to look for when evaluating different CMMS vendors is a support center with training videos or help documentation, so that you can reference it for quick questions at your convenience. Some CMMS vendors, like FMX, even provide unlimited customer support for the entirety of your relationship. So, be sure to take advantage of this and train your team before you jump into closing out work orders!

How FMX can help: Our customers continue to praise FMX on our amazing Customer Success Team and easy implementation process. One of the great things about our customer support is that it is unlimited, so you can receive as much training as you would like. For instance, if you hire two new people after you’ve launched your CMMS, we are happy to provide them with any training they will need to be successful.

Broadmoor Baptist Church Logo“Your customer support has been fantastic. We don’t see you as vendors, we see you guys as partners–and there’s a big difference there…The interaction and the customization, that makes a partner. And that’s what you guys are to us.” – Bill Watters, Broadmoor Baptist Church

While implementing a new CMMS can be a large feat, it doesn’t have to be challenging or difficult. With the right procedures in place and by utilizing the CMMS’s support team as much as possible, you and your team will have no problem setting up your system. Before you know it, you’ll be closing out work orders like a champ!


FMX-headshot-300x300Alayna is the marketing communications specialist at Facilities Management eXpress. When she’s not drafting up content for the blog or social media, she is most likely reading a good book or taking short weekend trips!

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