What are good practices for a CMMS vendor to facility relationship?
With any CMMS vendor, the key to a good vendor-to-facility relationship is open lines of communication and plainly stated goals.
Open lines of communication
It’s important for both stakeholders (facility and vendor) to have an open line of communication with one another, especially if the CMMS vendor is helping to handle implementation.
Consider asking some test questions of CMMS vendors prior to choosing their software. Is the vendor capable of answering these questions? Are they responsive? By communicating prior to purchase, you gauge how communicative the vendor will be in the future business relationship.
Align on goals
A CMMS vendor can do a lot for you, but they can’t define what your goals should be for you.
Without a plainly stated, planned-out set of goals, a facility’s implementation will suffer, as will their relationship with the vendor. The vendor may find it frustrating trying to nail down exactly what the facility needs without understanding what their overall goal is. Further, clear goals will create accountability between the facility and the vendor after purchase.
A set of goals also assists the facility in choosing the right CMMS – if you’re looking for a robust scheduling system to handle preventive maintenance (PM), for instance, you need to make sure that goal is explicit before choosing a CMMS with a weak or unfinished scheduler function.
Ask questions (even if you feel like you’re being annoying)
The CMMS vendor is there to support your implementation. However, that doesn’t mean they’re going to always have the finger on your facility’s pulse – they have other customers they are managing as well.
In this case, a facility cannot afford to be afraid to ask questions of their CMMS vendor, especially if they want to know about things like new features, training, customer support, and implementation timelines.
Remember: it’s the vendor’s job to field your questions and support you. You’re never being too “annoying” to bother your vendor to ask when that new work order update is coming or to ask them to point you towards their training documentation.