6 Steps to Choosing the Best CMMS Software

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6 Steps to Choosing the Best CMMS Software

If you’ve arrived here, chances are you’re aware of how Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) streamline maintenance tasks and boost efficiency. Yet, if you’ve opted for a less

efficient solution, you might have observed that the time your maintenance team invests in maneuvering through poorly designed software is causing a significant loss of productivity.

So, let’s delve into the process of assessing and choosing the most optimal software from the numerous alternatives available in the current market.

Choosing the Best CMMS Software

1. Define Your Goals

To pinpoint the specific requirements and objectives of your organization concerning a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), start by evaluating your existing maintenance processes. Identify any challenges and inefficiencies in your company’s maintenance practices that you aim to rectify. Take into account various factors such as:

  • The size of your organization,
  • The types of assets in your possession and critical components necessary for their operation,
  • The volume of maintenance tasks and procedures that require management,
  • The capabilities of your current work request and work order software, if applicable,
  • Any industry-specific requirements and adherence to state and federal regulations.

Subsequently, define the desired outcomes you intend to achieve through implementing a CMMS. Common objectives for manufacturing companies involve enhancing maintenance efficiency, minimizing downtime, prolonging the lifespan of assets, managing inventories, and cutting down on maintenance costs.

Start contemplating features that can contribute to these goals. For instance, if the aim is to extend asset lifespan, a CMMS with robust asset tracking capabilities is essential. Likewise, addressing preventive maintenance functionality becomes crucial for reducing downtime, allowing you to proactively handle minor issues and prevent breakdowns.

Once you have a clear understanding of your organization’s distinct needs, use this insight to inform the evaluation of various CMMS software options.

2. Research and Compare CMMS

Explore providers that offer Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) solutions. Assess the features of CMMS software, taking into account usability and the support services provided.

Conduct online research to find reviews and comparisons of work order software from various vendors offering CMMS solutions. Keep these crucial factors in mind:


Ensure that the software possesses the features and functionalities essential for supporting and automating your organization’s specific maintenance processes and objectives. These may encompass asset management, work requests, purchase orders, preventive maintenance, work order management, and reporting. Consider the goals outlined in the initial step and identify specific features that contribute to their achievement. For instance, if efficient inventory management is a priority, opt for a CMMS with a parts module, barcode functionality, and automated purchase order capabilities.


Select a CMMS with a user-friendly interface and clear instructions, making it easy to use and navigate. Proactively choosing software that is easily adopted by your team on a daily basis is crucial. For example, key smart apps recently earned the highest ranking for ease of use on Capterra.


When seeking a CMMS solution, prioritize a track record of confirmed security measures, reliability, and uptime. Opt for a CMMS that guarantees the security of your organization’s data. Evaluate the software’s data protection features and the level of control it offers over user permissions.

Consider not only the software but also the CMMS vendors themselves and their data management practices. Investigate where and how they store data, the encryption methods employed, the frequency of data backups, and their approach to handling customer data. Ensure your chosen vendor complies with broader regulatory requirements. For instance, key smart Apps holds ISO 27001:2013 certification, SOC2 compliance, and GDPR compliance.


Selecting a CMMS is one aspect, while getting it up and running is another. Assess the ease of implementing a new CMMS in your organization and the support provided by the vendor. Look for a CMMS provider that simplifies integration and implementation processes, offering personalized assistance from maintenance planning to setup.

Choose a vendor that goes beyond generic implementation resources, providing a tailored approach for a smooth implementation tailored to your team. For trustworthy insights, consider industry leaders like G2, which recently recognized keysmartApps as #1 for both “most implementable” and “easiest setup” based on customer reviews.

Customer Support

Select a software vendor that provides extensive support and training resources, including online tutorials, user manuals, and technical assistance. Additionally, beyond the initial implementation, prioritize a vendor that is easily accessible in case issues arise.

Carefully examine the type of support available from different vendors, the ease of reaching them, and their responsiveness to support requests. Look for vendors offering multiple communication channels. This ensures that if, for instance, you cannot find a solution to your maintenance management issue in FAQs, alternatives such as live chat, emails, and phone calls are readily available.


Take note of how flexible a CMMS is to your specific needs. While many providers may offer appealing features in theory, not all may align with your unique circumstances. Ensure the software, at the very least, enables you to:

  • Incorporate custom fields into work orders
  • Generate custom reports and dashboards
  • Create personalized templates
  • Customize feature labels
  • Adjust the currency used in the application

3: Compile a Shortlist of Potential CMMS Options

Following your research and comparison of various options based on the mentioned factors, and upon identifying several software alternatives, request demonstrations or trials for each to observe their practical functionality.

Ensure to furnish the software vendor with comprehensive information regarding your organization, including specific needs and goals. Providing such details aids the vendor in customizing the demonstration to align with your requirements.

The demonstration should provide a thorough insight into whether and how the CMMS can effectively support your maintenance operations. Once again, prioritize assessing usability. How user-friendly is the application? Is it accessible in multiple formats (such as mobile and desktop)? If it is a mobile CMMS, does it support both Android and iOS platforms?

When scrutinizing the features of a CMMS, consider these pivotal factors:

Asset Management

Asset management involves the integration of both asset and inventory management. It necessitates a continuous equilibrium of various dynamic elements, encompassing the establishment of standard operating procedures, customer retention, and maintaining predictable profit margins. Naturally, as a company grows in size, the number of assets it requires to achieve its objectives increases, amplifying the significance of asset inventory management in scaling endeavors.

Reliable management programs are essential to ensuring seamless operations, customer satisfaction, and prudent cost management across organizational boundaries. Regrettably, it is not uncommon for operational managers to delay the establishment of efficient organizational systems, particularly in the context of asset inventory management.

The software employed should facilitate the effortless management and tracking of your organization’s asset performance, covering aspects like asset location, condition, and maintenance history. For instance, advanced applications enable the scanning of QR and bar codes, providing real-time access to asset history.

Preventive Maintenance

 aims to maintain assets in optimal condition by conducting maintenance activities proactively, anticipating potential issues before they occur. Consistently servicing assets and addressing minor problems play a crucial role in preventing the escalation of major issues, minimizing breakdowns, and reducing unplanned downtime. Notably, preventive maintenance contributes to cost optimization, with studies indicating potential savings of up to 18 percent in maintenance expenses for facilities.

The success of a preventive maintenance program heavily relies on effective maintenance scheduling. Utilizing repeatable work orders, maintenance managers can plan maintenance schedules well in advance, assign tasks to team members and groups, and monitor their progress. As previously mentioned, selecting a CMMS with asset-tracking features is advisable. This functionality enhances preventive maintenance by storing historical asset data that guides maintenance scheduling. This ensures that asset maintenance is scheduled at appropriate intervals based on performance data monitored by the CMMS.

Digital Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) play a pivotal role in the efficacy of preventive maintenance. While team members may have diverse approaches to task execution, digital SOPs eliminate the need for trial and error, ensuring adherence to proven, reliable solutions. Seek a cloud-based CMMS that provides templates for creating digital SOPs and checklists to streamline processes. key smart Apps Global Procedure Library, for instance, houses manuals, procedures, templates, and checklists spanning various equipment types, industries, and use cases.

Nevertheless, digital procedures may not cover every conceivable scenario. Therefore, opt for CMMS apps offering customizable and dynamic SOPs with conditional logic. Conditional fields permit the application of if-then logic to procedures, causing fields to adjust dynamically based on user input.

Work Order Management

The strength of efficient work order management software lies in its capacity to streamline the workflow of your work order processes.

Top-notch work order software enables your company to move beyond traditional pen-and-paper and spreadsheet procedures by:

  1. Digitally creating and submitting work requests.
  2. Enabling maintenance managers to promptly respond to work requests, identifying duplicate or resolved requests to avoid redundant efforts.
  3. Enhancing the quality of work requests through templates and checklists, prompting staff reporting breakdowns to include relevant data.
  4. Tracking work orders comprehensively, maintaining detailed work histories and audit trails that aid in analyses, investigations, and regulatory compliance.
  5. Facilitating collaboration among team members through instant chat.

Following work requests, the subsequent step in the work order process involves automatically converting approved work requests into work orders. For instance, in key smart Apps, users can effortlessly generate work orders based on individual chat messages, simply by clicking on a message when prompted.

Automation stands out as another advantage in the work order process. Users of CMMS software can proactively create new work orders and automate their recurrence, allowing the creation of maintenance work orders today that automatically repeat daily, weekly, or monthly. This feature proves crucial for preventive maintenance procedures that rely on scheduled routines.

Mobile Connectivity and Push Notifications

The most effective CMMS apps prioritize native functionality and mobile friendliness, maximizing the benefits of work order software automation features. While numerous work order management systems offer web apps, the significance of mobile accessibility cannot be overstated, both within the premises and in the field.

The adoption of mobile work orders diminishes reliance on institutional memory. Notifications are delivered to assigned staff on their mobile devices when tasks are due. This distinction can be critical in ensuring that field service and facility maintenance tasks are performed punctually, preventing breakdowns that may occur if schedules are not adhered to.

A CMMS featuring a native-first mobile app and cloud-based storage empowers staff to access Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) from any location. Furthermore, an advanced CMMS platform goes a step further, offering access to standard SOPs spanning various industries and equipment. This functionality guarantees that staff can readily access the guidance they require.

Reporting and Analysis

Even in the absence of software, it is crucial to gauge your company’s progress by monitoring specific metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Typically, you may have to document this data separately or extract it from your equipment maintenance records before proceeding with your analysis.

Nevertheless, the utilization of work order software can significantly simplify this process. Take MaintainX CMMS, for instance, which features a reporting module designed to swiftly analyze your data and generate robust, actionable insights within seconds. Utilize custom dashboards to expedite your administrative reporting, pinpoint areas for improvement, and establish benchmarks.

Going beyond mere time tracking, you can identify trends and patterns using specific metrics like Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF). The customizable Reporting module provides insights into the behavior of specific assets and the performance of your team. These insights empower you to make data-driven decisions regarding the organization of your maintenance schedules, prioritization of spending, enhancement of facility management, and optimization of overall operations.

Inventory Management

Depending on your company’s size, the CMMS system must offer robust parts and inventory management capabilities. Leading manufacturing businesses utilize inventory systems and management practices to monitor and control their inventory, covering aspects from placing purchase orders to tracking points of sale and parts usage. In today’s market, marked by supply chain challenges, maintaining accurate inventory records is paramount.

When team members can swiftly identify the assets in possession, their locations, and their respective values, they are empowered to make informed decisions independently. A CMMS featuring QR code and barcode scanning functionality significantly enhances this process—simply scanning a code allows for instant inventory updates and access to valuable asset information. Proactive measures, enabled by such features, ensure that teams avoid running out of essential spare parts, ultimately reducing equipment downtime.

Automated alerts for low inventory quantities simplify inventory management. With an appropriate CMMS, you can automatically initiate purchase orders based on predefined alerts for inventory levels. It is beneficial to choose a CMMS with a purchase orders feature that seamlessly integrates with third-party vendors.

Integration with Other Systems

The maintenance management software must have the capability to seamlessly integrate, using APIs, with other systems within your organization, such as the enterprise resource planning (ERP) or customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This integration is essential for establishing a smooth and effective maintenance strategy. For instance, can the CMMS link purchase orders to your accounting system? key smart Apps  is a noteworthy example as it provides integrations with essential software across diverse industries, spanning from fleet management to accounting and ERP. In summary, opting for a scalable CMMS tool becomes imperative, particularly as the limitations of organizing and staying proactive with Excel spreadsheets become apparent.

Instant Chat

In addition to facilitating preventive maintenance scheduling and automating inventory and equipment management, you can enhance these processes further by incorporating chat features. According to a ReportLinker study, almost 43 percent of office employees utilize instant messaging to “enhance efficiency, productivity, and team collaboration.” Chat functionality aids in saving time, preventing errors, and streamlining communication across teams and the entire company.

key smart Apps stands out as the sole CMMS offering in-app chat features.

An effective work order management system should assist in the creation of robust and comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to direct maintenance processes. As previously mentioned, utilizing CMMS programs with mobile capabilities enables team members to access SOPs for guidance as needed. There may be instances where it’s necessary to clarify a process or seek assistance. In such scenarios, having a CMMS with chat functionality proves to be invaluable.

4. Ask for References and Read Case Studies

References usually come from other entities that have utilized the software and can offer insights based on their experiences. It is crucial to gain an understanding of how the software has performed in practical scenarios and contributed to the accomplishment of organizational objectives.

Case studies offer comprehensive details about how diverse organizations have implemented the software and the advantages they have derived. These studies provide specific instances illustrating how the software has enhanced maintenance operations and contributed to goal attainment.

Presently, key smart Apps  holds the top position in G2’s report in the “Users Most Likely to Recommend Category,” in addition to leading in both the “Easiest Setup” and “Most Implementable” categories.

5. Consider Costs and Benefits of CMMS Options

Now that you have narrowed down your choices, assess and compare the overall expenses associated with the various CMMS solutions.

The expenses related to CMMS software may encompass upfront licensing fees, ongoing subscription and upgrade costs, as well as the expenditures associated with implementation and training your team on the software. Develop a budget specifically addressing CMMS implementation costs and any recurrent fees.

Evaluate these costs in relation to the potential benefits offered by the software, including enhancements in maintenance efficiency, proactive equipment maintenance, minimized downtime, and prolonged asset lifecycle. Additionally, take into account feedback from other users regarding the Return on Investment (ROI). For instance, in a recent G2 Report, keysmartApps CMMS was acknowledged as the recipient of the “Best Estimated ROI Mid-Market” award.

6. Choose the Best CMMS for Your Company’s Needs and Goals

Select the CMMS system that aligns best with your organization’s needs and objectives while delivering the maximum value for your investment. Thoroughly review the contract and terms of service before making a commitment. Additionally, ensure that customer support is available around the clock, and support materials are easily accessible for you and your teams from various devices, including mobile and desktop.

By diligently following Steps 1-5, you can identify the top CMMS software tailored to your organization’s specific requirements, ensuring it offers optimal value for your investment.

In summary, the features of CMMS maintenance software should:

  • Streamline facility management processes,
  • Align with your organization’s unique maintenance strategies and objectives, and
  • Furnish the necessary tools and capabilities to effectively manage and optimize your maintenance operations.

keysmartApps Is Your Best CMMS Solution

Choosing a CMMS equipped with the features and functionalities discussed earlier will elevate your maintenance strategy to a higher level. If you’re wondering whether you can find all these features in one solution, ketsmartApps is the answer.

keysmartApps, you can:

  1. Generate preventive maintenance work orders
  2. Facilitate reactive maintenance
  3. Engage in instant cross-organizational chat
  4. Maintain audit trails
  5. Monitor asset performance
  6. Analyze performance and identify improvement areas
  7. Create dynamic Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

All of this is accessible through the cloud, on both mobile and desktop platforms.

However, don’t solely rely on our word. Put keysmartApps  to the test and see for yourself. To evaluate our cloud-based, mobile-first, and desktop CMMS, simulate how your company would use it. Create and manage assets, schedule and track work orders and procedures, and utilize real-time reporting and analysis tools.

Encourage your team members to explore kaysmartApps on their mobile devices and provide feedback based on their experiences. When you’re ready, check out our pricing. Our Basic plan, designed for teams needing to digitize and track work orders, is free forever.



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