Facility & Maintenance Management

What Are the Main Challenges of Implementing CMMS/CAFM Systems

June 13, 2022

So, your company has reached a pivotal point where excel sheet doesn’t really cut it and it’s about time to scout the market for a professional CMMS/CAFM system, or maybe it’s another of your attempts at finding the perfect solution. Whatever the case may be, there are multiple factors to consider when choosing the right solution, and yet even if you do your homework right and choose the perfect platform you still need to be aware of obstacles and challenges, you’re going to face along the way. Here's my take on what you should prepare for when implementing a CAFM system.

Challenges of Implementing CMMS/CAFM Systems

1. Choosing the Right Solution Provider

If you thought that the list will start a little further down the road, I have some bad news for you. Choosing the right solution might be the most important decision there is to make, and the one that might make the whole process either a walk in the park or a living nightmare. There are tens of different solutions out there, so take your time while doing your research. Whenever in doubt, keep in mind that most of the system providers might let you do a test-drive on their demo platforms. Of course, there are also other factors to consider like price, scope of covered functionalities, or the track record of the service provider.

I’m not going to advocate for any specific solution here, but here’s my advice – verify if the company of your choice has some history of successful implementations, especially in the sector you operate in. Think of it as if you were looking for a business partner, not an out-of-box solution. You should also investigate the matter of post-implementation support, which might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when choosing the system, but trust me, it’s equally important. Verify how it works, whom to contact, where to report issues. Shortly speaking, make sure you’re covered on all fronts.

2. Get Yourself Well-prepared and Allocate Your Resources

Let’s say you’ve finally found the right solution that matches your requirements and fits well within the budget. The next challenge that awaits you is ensuring sufficient resources during and after the implementation. Successful implementation will require a lot of time and effort not only from the side of your system provider, but also from your team.

Make sure to designate an implementation coordinator, or even an implementation team within your organization so that the communication between CAFM/CMMS provider and your company is effective and both parties understand each other. The team should include people that are computer savvy and understand your facility management needs. On top of that give your team some time, depending on the project and type of software the implementation process can take anywhere between a month and a year. Sorting up the details, configuration, collection, and input of data shouldn’t be downplayed if you want the system to work effectively.  

3. Ensure the Quality of Data

No matter which solution you choose, they all depend on the data you put in. According to different researchers most (around 70%) CMMS implementation projects fail due to poor data insertion.  There is even a saying in IT – garbage in, garbage out and CAFM/CMMS systems are no exception here, so if you want the system to deliver quality results make sure to put quality data into it.

That is not to say you need to enter a 100% of the data into the system, but rather that all the data that gets into the system should be accurate and good quality, providing enough information to effectively manage your operations. To give you an idea, when creating your equipment database focus on those assets that require the most attention in terms of corrective and preventive maintenance, and then gradually expand your database.  

4. Securing Business Continuity

Implementing a new maintenance management software can cause real issues in terms of maintaining essential functions over the course of implementation period. CAFM/CMMS system usually contains all your maintenance schedule, equipment data, work orders, and relevant documentation. Now, let’s imagine all that data is gone and cannot be accessed for several weeks.

To avoid this kind of scenarios it’s advised to establish a transition period during which you stick to your current ways of work and set up a date when you transition all your operations to the environment. Just make sure that the transition takes place once the new system is well-set, configured and tested.

5. Organizational and Cultural Acceptance

Every time a company goes through the process of implementing a new technology, they are challenged with the task of convincing all users to accept the change. Old habits die hard, and it doesn’t matter if you’re transitioning from one solution to another or implementing a very first system in your organization, you’ll face the same obstacles. It’s just how we are wired; we like to stick to what’s familiar and don’t trust anything new. Generating an organizational acceptance is the key to ensuring smooth transition, but there are ways to make the implementation process less painful and to win the users’ trust and confidence in new solution. As it is with everything however, you will need to put some effort to see the results.

Firstly, ask the software provider for training session and prepare your team members to use the new tool. It’s a great way to build some trust and convince people that new can actually mean better. Interview your department managers to see what concerns they have regarding new system to eliminate all fears, or even involve them in the system configuration so that they have the feeling of personal input on how the system operates.

Trouble-free Implementation of CMMS/CAFM – Myth or Reality?

A modern-day CMMS/CAFM systems can play an essential role in delivering added value to your business, especially if you’re serious about maintenance management. Organizations that seek to constantly improve to achieve operational excellence realize that in the long run it’s an investment that will help them balance costs, minimize risks and optimize performance. With that in mind, we need to be aware of the risks and challenges that come with the implementation process. Having the knowledge of what to expect and how to face those challenges will make the whole process a lot less difficult.

Looking for a modern tool to streamline your maintenance and facility management operations?

Get started today with our free trial of Singu FM and see how we can empower your real estate business.

Singu FM - CMMS/CAFM software for real estate management

Written by:
Sebastian Najduch
Senior Account Executive

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