Purchasing a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is a large investment for buyers regarding finances, time and energy. Because of this, purchasers’ inquiries and final decision making are guided by finding a system that meets their company’s needs and budget. From a CMMS vendor’s perspective, top priorities relate to being responsive to their customers’ needs as well as industry and technological advances. As part of its effort to learn more about its buyers and ultimately, shape their product to their client base, Hippo CMMS surveyed 125 customers on a variety of facility management indicators. The following are the main findings of its survey that shed light on the issues most important to its buyers:
Only 20% of survey respondents were currently using a CMMS. Among the remainder, 36% of respondents were not using any maintenance system at all while 44% of respondents relied on spreadsheets as their facility management approach. When asked if they had recorded data relating to equipment, parts or vendor lists to be imported, only 33% of respondents indicated “yes.” In sum, these findings suggest that those surveyed recognized the limitations in their current maintenance management strategy and were now looking for ways to either automate their company’s maintenance management or upgrade the CMMS currently in use.
Most of those surveyed described their operations as being medium size with 41% of respondents reporting having 2-10 buildings, 50% of respondents having 5-20 internal maintenance staff and 55% of respondents reporting having 26-100 work orders completed monthly. For these respondents, there clearly is a need for a CMMS that can interface with multiple sites, accommodate multiple users, create preventative maintenance schedules for all equipment and have a spare parts inventory list with customizable threshold levels.
Respondents were presented with a list of 17 Hippo CMMS features. They were then asked to indicate their level of importance for their operations for each of the features. Given the previous finding that many respondents had operations of a medium size with numerous monthly work orders (26-100/month) and a sizeable maintenance staff (5-20 persons), it is not surprising that preventative maintenance was the feature found to be most important to 96% of respondents. Other features that respondents ranked highest were: work order management solution (i.e., repairs, unplanned maintenance) by 91% of respondents, equipment management by 71% of respondents, maintenance request portal (i.e. a module that allows employees to submit maintenance requests in need of approval) by 70% of respondents and use of mobile devices to view and manage maintenance by 69% of respondents. The least valued CMMS features reported by respondents were: general purchases orders by 17% of respondents, barcode or QR code scanning for equipment and parts by 22% of respondents, single sign-on and software that integrates with other applications and systems (i.e., ERP, SAP, accounting software etc.), each by 23% of respondents and vehicle maintenance by 25% of respondents. It appears that most of the least valued CMMS features were those requiring additional technological knowledge. It is possible that without a clear understanding of what these features were, their value was not fully appreciated by many respondents.
The implementation timeframe for 88% of respondents was six months or less with 29% of respondents reporting that they would like to implement a CMMS in 30 days or less. These findings suggest that moving forward with a maintenance management system is indeed a priority, and it is something that is understood to hold value for their operation.
Since researching a new product for an organization is generally relegated to individuals other than a final decision maker, it is not surprising that this survey found that only 22% of respondents were actual company decision makers. The remainder of respondents were either part of a group of decision makers (44%) or those who make recommendations to a company decision maker (34%). It is therefore essential that CMMS vendors sufficiently educate those making inquiries so they can direct their company decision maker to move forward with maintenance management software because it is a sound investment and the right fit for their organization.
The Hippo CMMS survey findings developed a buyer profile that revealed a medium size organization with a maintenance staff of 5-20 employees that typically handles up to 100 work orders monthly. The survey also found that respondents most valued features relating to equipment maintenance as well as mobile device access. Surveying potential CMMS buyers about their organizational framework and company needs helps vendors ensure that there is a good fit between their customers and their product.