How to Choose the Right Preventative Maintenance Tracking Software
How much money does your business lose when equipment breaks down? How often are maintenance teams slow to arrive? And how frequently do you discover that you've missed a scheduled maintenance check? Preventative maintenance tracking software is specifically designed to prevent these problems.
If a maintenance software purchase is part of your plan, it's important to carefully consider your options. Preventative maintenance tracking software is intended to make your life easier and save you money in the long run - but a poor choice will do just the opposite.
The key is finding the right combination of features and cost. Here’s what to look for, and what you can expect to pay.
Preventative maintenance tracking software scope
Before you choose an application for your business, consider the scope of each of your options. What types of schedules can each application track, and how well-suited is it for your particular enterprise? For example, many of these programs can track everything from lawn care to license renewals, and you might benefit from an application that gives you more flexibility. Others are more focused on detailed vehicle maintenance.
Leading providers like FaciliWorks, DPSI, emaint, Maintenance Connection, and Manager Plus provide CMMS platforms that often include:
- Ability to log preventative maintenance issues at either the task or procedure level
- Web-based platforms that can provide extreme efficiency, enabling users to create, log, and follow up on preventative maintenance issues from any web-enabled device
- Broad, flexible search capabilities
The goal of using preventative maintenance tracking software is to reduce, or even eliminate, the need for human involvement in scheduling. For this reason, the software you choose should be sufficiently intuitive to use past data to create new schedules as time goes on. Furthermore, you should be able to use the same data for numerous calculations.
Common scheduling aspects include:
- Full scheduling capabilities, including "skip-day" settings
- Easily defined and highly manageable preventative maintenance groups, routes, and route sequences
- Automated, repeating schedule for the preventive maintenance required within standard intervals
Although any software program you buy will require at least some training for employees, you'll probably want a fairly easy-to-use system. Many of the programs on the market are straight forward and easy to learn, requiring very little assistance from the manufacturer. This will save you money and time while preventing unnecessary mistakes. Get a hands-on demo of each package you're evaluating so you can judge the ease of use for yourself.
No two businesses are exactly alike, so you'll want to use preventative maintenance software that can be easily customized to your needs. You should be able to hide functions you'll never use and make other changes to meet your specific requirements.
Additionally, you might want to consider preventive building maintenance software that was designed for your industry, such as health care or oil and gas. That can reduce the amount of customization you'll need to do, possibly even saving you money on features you don’t need in the process.
Typical features that are vital to customization should include:
- Unlimited, customizable categories for parts and equipment, as well as detailed descriptions of the type of service required
- In-depth, customizable reporting
Finally, great preventative maintenance tracking software will allow you to introduce other materials to the system without confusing your schedules. For example, you might have reports or spreadsheets that need to accompany various data, and the software you choose should be capable of attaching those to fixed assets.
These are just a few features you should consider when making a purchase. When you start your comparison, work closely with the software publishers to determine which packages are right for you, how much customization it will take to get you up and running, and what your true ongoing costs will be.
As mentioned above, preventative maintenance tracking software software is broken into two basic types: web-based and in-house. While web-based provides a greater degree of freedom in terms of accessing maintenance info and issues on the go, some operations may find the monthly fees too costly in the long run for the level of service they require.
With that in mind, expect to pay:
- Around $30 for a single user per month and up to $120 (and above) for five users per month when it comes to web-based solutions.
- Locally-installed programs require a one-time payment for the number of licenses required and can be found for as little as $500 for a single user - though a more accurate range is usually closer to between $1,000 and $1,600.
- Facilities with more extensive maintenance needs can expect to pay between $500 and $3,000 per license, depending on the brand and level of customizations included.
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