CMMS Software Reviews – How Good Are They?

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CMMS software reviews make life easier!

do cmms software reviews offer valid comparisons?When you are looking for maintenance management software (CMMS software) for your organization you are probably going to be doing a lot of research. You will do a lot of web searching, look at magazines, get referrals as well as look for reviews of software. This is where it gets exhausting and highly confusing!

There are over 300 CMMS/ maintenance software products out there and selecting the right one is a challenge. Like many others you may decide to look for CMMS software reviews or other research that covers different products mainly from authority websites.

The truth about CMMS software reviews

Being in the CMMS software marketplace I can tell you that the value of most such research is questionable or in many cases not very useful. The problem lies in the intersection of what your needs are, the target audience for the CMMS software reviews, who did the reviews and how they were compensated for the reviews.

The first issue of what your needs are is a big one. Most CMMS/ maintenance software products are targeted at very specific types of customers to serve specific needs. For example we target our FastMaint CMMS software at small to mid-size maintenance teams. Our ideal team size varies from a single person using the software to about ten to fifteen people using it on a regular basis. For such customers being able to setup a maintenance program quickly and without too much fuss at an affordable price is paramount.

Unfortunately most maintenance software reviews and expert opinions are tailored at mid-range to large size enterprise solutions. The reviewer looks at a large matrix of features many of which will not be used by smaller maintenance organizations. Products that do not fit into this matrix rarely get considered or are given poor ratings. Products that they consider very highly are frequently a poor fit and overkill for a smaller size maintenance team. So when you consider such reviews make sure to understand what is the target of such reviews. Such reviews are not very useful if you are not a target user of the systems they recommend.

Who did the maintenance software reviews?

Who did the reviews and how they were compensated is another item to worry about. Sometimes they are done by maintenance experts who frequently have their own solutions and expertise to sell. Their targets are large organizations that can afford high value solutions and have large consulting budgets.

A while back we were approached by a magazine to have a software review done of our maintenance software by a maintenance expert. The cost of the review was $5,000! Generally software vendors selling large complex solutions with high dollar costs will get such reviews done. A single sale will completely pay for the cost of doing such a review. Unfortunately the maintenance experts also like to push such solutions since they offer the opportunity for consulting fees and other advisory services.

Another class of reviews is done by software review sites. The person doing the review is usually no expert. They are frequently working off a boiler plate checklist of features with no understanding of what is important. Sometimes such review sites offer a similar checklist to help visitors to the site pre-qualify different maintenance management packages. If you use it, they will often try to sell your information as a lead to several different maintenance software vendors.

The best reviews are those done by actual users of the software. However, this can be confusing since it may not be clear what needs they had and what processes they use. In our own product purchases we have seen glowing reviews for a software program. However, when actually using we find that it does not meet our needs very well.

Ultimately in all cases it is buyer beware.

You need to have a clear idea of your needs and what market segment you fall into as a customer. If you are need a large to mid-range enterprise class solution looking at CMMS software reviews may be useful. You will still have to filter them for self-serving reviews! However, if you are looking for a single user or small departmental solution, these reviews and checklists are a waste of time. Plus products in this space change over time. Any data that third party sites have is frequently out of date.

Finding the right CMMS software package

So how does one find the right CMMS software package? We have put together a list of questions and criteria called the CMMS Software Selection Guide. Use this to help you define your market segment and what you should be looking for in a CMMS software package. There are hundreds of CMMS packages available for different requirements! The guide can help you narrow the field and select the right one for your organization.

Good luck in your search!

Free CMMS Software Selection Guide


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