May 2, 2023


Four Reasons Why CMMS Implementations Fail and How to Prevent It

Four Reasons Why CMMS Implementations Fail and How to Prevent It

In this blog post, we lay out common reasons why CMMS implementations fail. And then provide practical tips to help ensure your CMMS implementation process leads to long-term success.

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When utilized effectively, a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can transform how you manage assets, maintenance schedules, and work orders, ultimately saving you time and money. But what happens when things don’t go as planned?

“While there usually is a lot of focus placed on selecting software, many purchased systems remain on the shelf or are grossly under-utilized. Many implementation efforts result in the CMMS users simply creating work orders to track equipment history, while the rest of the program is left in the box, so to speak.”


At MaintainX, we know that selecting the right CMMS is critical for the success of your maintenance management strategy. But maybe:

  • Your maintenance department needs to move from assigning one-off maintenance tasks to preventive maintenance and implementing standard operating procedures.
  • Your maintenance teams and other stakeholders would like better communication about the CMMS. 
  • Your change management leadership didn’t consider that the implementation plan needed to also automate inventory management and better onboard new maintenance technicians.
  • And, as a result, plant managers are wavering and their technicians are waiting and watching.

“The powerful methodologies that have become maintenance staples in recent years-preventive and especially predictive maintenance among them-are made possible through modern CMMS. Organizations that falter during their implementation project may fall short in their attempts to switch to effective strategies and spend the next few months scrambling to fix their mistakes. Therefore, it’s far better to get it right the first time.”

Plant Engineering

Four Reasons Why CMMS Implementations Fail

Here we list out four of the most common reasons CMMS implementations don’t always go as planned. We also list how you can alleviate some of these causes.

Your Employees Need Better Training and Support

One of the main reasons for low user adoption is inadequate training and support. This lack of support and guidance for frontline teams or fearful senior technicians will hinder getting your CMMS system off the ground.

Set aside time and resources for comprehensive, hands-on training sessions that cater to different learning styles. Additionally, ensure your team has access to ongoing support, such as help guides, tutorials, and a dedicated support team to address any questions or concerns they may have.

Change Is Hard for Everyone

Change can be challenging for everyone, and your team may hesitate to take on this new CMMS project. Employee buy-in is crucial.

Answer the resistance with patience and sound reasoning. Be open and transparent with your team about why you are implementing a CMMS. We know that the best CMMS is the one that your technicians want and will use. Perhaps, more important than other solutions we offer here, the CMMS you and upper management choose must be user-friendly.

Take the time to clearly communicate the benefits of the CMMS to your team. Be specific about how it will streamline their tasks, improve productivity, and lead to better decision-making. Share case studies or success stories from other organizations to illustrate the system’s positive impact.

Implementing a CMMS “creates value across the organization on a sustainable basis, which can be challenging. Integrating systems, people, processes, and data requires a well-coordinated and dedicated effort.  But the effort it takes is well worth it, as the savings are both real and significant.  The key to generating these savings lies in data and information.”


You Need to Improve Data Management

A CMMS relies heavily on accurate data to function effectively. Insufficient data can lead to bad decisions, increased maintenance costs, and reduced equipment lifespan. Data at your disposal is only as good as what you can do with it. Your data needs to be actionable and easy to work with. When it’s not, your data becomes one of the most underutilized resources in your toolkit.

Implement a system to audit and verify data regularly to catch errors and ensure that the data driving your CMMS is reliable. Once you digitize your workflows and standard operating procedures, your data is accessible in real-time.

CMMS Implementation
MaintainX Parts Inventory

Likewise, if your data entry is not consistent, accurate, and reliable, the system may provide misleading information and hinder your ability to make informed decisions.

With a robust CMMS, your data is consistent and reliable. Develop a culture of accountability among your teams. Encourage regular communication and collaboration to address any data discrepancies and promote a shared understanding of the importance of accurate data. 

“While there usually is a lot of focus placed on selecting software, many purchased systems remain on the shelf or are grossly under-utilized. Many implementation efforts result in the CMMS users simply creating work orders to track equipment history, while the rest of the program is left in the box, so to speak.”


You Chose the Wrong CMMS

Don’t choose a CMMS based solely on price or vendor. The CMMS you choose needs to align with your organization’s needs. Identify your goals, pain points, and the specific features you require from a CMMS. Use this information to create a list of criteria to guide your selection process and ensure you choose a system that effectively addresses your needs.

Find a CMMS that offers the features and capabilities your organization requires. First, look closely at your organization’s unique needs and requirements. Then, thoroughly assess your organization’s maintenance and asset management needs. 

At the end of the day, the goal of any business is to make a profit. For this reason, looking for opportunities to reduce unnecessary expenses is integral to improving operations. MaintainX features a robust inventory management system, real-time KPI metrics reporting, global procedures, and work order management.

“When companies get all of the requirements right, the results can be impressive. Leading players in a variety of heavy industries have used digital tools to dramatically reduce unplanned outages while boosting maintenance-labor productivity. Higher availability and a more-efficient workforce have increased profitability by 4 to 10 percent in some organizations.”


When You Find the Right CMMS . . .

Your CMMS Will Scale and Grow with Your Company

Make Sure You Can Scale and Customize Your CMMS SolutionA CMMS should grow with your organization and adapt to your evolving needs. As you evaluate potential CMMS options, consider whether they offer the flexibility to be customized to your requirements. By prioritizing customization and scalability, you’ll invest in a CMMS that remains valuable and relevant for years to come.

Your CMMS Will Help Improve Workflows

Using a mobile-first digital platform to manage Work Orders ensures that everyone involved in the process knows the status of the work. This workflow helps improve productivity and offers a scalable way to manage the process

CMMS Implementation
Work Order Analytics in MaintainX

Your CMMS Will Help Improve Your PM

We also recommend adopting a preventive maintenance plan over reactive maintenance. Preventive maintenance reduces downtime, increases equipment availability, and improves OEE, to name just one KPI that results from smart and successful CMMS implementation. To improve your preventive maintenance, we recommend that you (1) only accept digital work orders, complete checklists, asset and parts inventory management in real time. And watch how your reporting features will provide actionable evidence of your success.

CMMS Implementation
MaintainX Real-Time Reporting

Your CMMS Will Provide Actionable Insights

Whatever the case, once your CMMS implementation project is up and running, a CMMS with solid reporting features will allow you to run the KPIs and metrics—and ditch the paper spreadsheets—to prove the ROI on the CMMS.

Your CMMS’s Support Team Will Be by Your Side

Remember that when you begin implementing your new maintenance system, your CMMS vendor should be there all along the way. MaintainX, for example, provides world-class support, webinars, 4000+ ERP integrations, support articles, a learning center, and courses—all free.

MaintainX’s support and implementation teams will be right beside you the entire way. In addition, we’ve been awarded an ease-of-implementation badge by third-party review sites. We also offer the MaintainX Training Center, with a range of free courses for techs and management.

MaintainX: Voted Most Implementable by G2

With MaintainX, You Can Go All In

CMMS software like MaintainX helps you get standard operating procedures, checklists, tutorials, operating manuals, and more into one easy-to-access platform. 

It’s simple to use for both your tech-savvy employees and those lacking strong digital skills, making it easy for everyone to share, communicate, and develop a practical knowledge hub for your business. Get started today for free. 

A CMMS like MaintainX provides all the features–work order automation, real-time parts inventory management, QR and barcode scanning, global procedures library, checklists and filters for audits, in-app communication, and robust KPI and metrics reporting–to scale with your company as it grows and expands. MaintainX also will give you greater visibility into all your workflows. Want to see how MaintainX and our award-winning support and implementation teams will get your maintenance up and running? 

Book a live tour to find out more.

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Caroline Eisner
Caroline Eisner
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