Organisations are now focusing more concisely on their maintenance strategy in order to lower maintenance costs and increase operational efficiency, due to the continued economic uncertainty.
And with an ongoing requirement to implement a strong planned and reactive maintenance planning strategy, whilst maintaining the required levels of service and safety, maintenance software continues to be an essential face of an organisations maintenance programmer. However, the question are number of businesses ask is what the best approach to implementing a maintenance software solution actually is?
Stage 1: Assessment
The first stage is to identify the objectives for why a solution is required and what the business would want to get out of their chosen solution. This enables businesses to minimise the risk of the maintenance solution purchasing risks and justify expenditure and allocate a required ROI on the software purchase. Questions to ask include:
- Whether the system needs to link to other systems, such as Finance or CRM?
- Whether users need access through tablets or smartphones?
- Whether a cloud solution is an option?
- Whether a detailed review of current maintenance management methods or workflow patterns be required?
Stage 2: Devise An Implementation Plan
The project plan forms the basis for a well-managed maintenance software implementation, and if executed correctly, should provide organisations with a plan that results in the ultimate success of the project. An implementation plan will also ensure that timescale, resource and requirement scope risks are minimised.
In addition, other factors associated with a successful maintenance software implementation plan, should include:
- The key objectives and priorities for the new maintenance software? (whether businesses are looking to improve customer service or increase efficiency)
- How the objectives will be identified, broken down
- The business processes that should be retained and which should be replaced?
- The project team, and the roles that each team member will have
Stage 3: Data Review, System Design And Set-Up
There are a number of areas to review when planning the installation of the maintenance software solution. Prior to the maintenance software being put live; it is important to complete installation checks on hardware, operating systems and any other relevant aspects of the installation. Is there a need for compatibility testing?
With regards to the management of data,are current data sources going to be used? Does current data need to be migrated across to the new solution?
Stage 4: Going Live
The maintenance software ‘switch’ to live should be a carefully planned one. Will the whole system go live at once, or is it going to be phased? Will the new and current systems be running in parallel? Will a trial run of the solution be required?
It is also useful to establish what post-sales support and training will be provided by the chosen software provider. What level of technical support is required? Is there provision for future running costs of the system? Is there adequate system training available?