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10 CMMS Secrets No One Ever Told You: Part 1

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Before you invest your time and money into a CMMS solution, you should know what nobody else is telling you about implementing a CMMS. At Fiix, we’re all about CMMS success, so we’re spilling the 10 CMMS secrets that nobody ever told you in a two part blog series.

1)    Data entry errors account for a large portion of failed CMMS implementations

It’s fairly obvious that a CMMS will only produce valid results if the data is consistent and accurate – garbage in, garbage out.  It’s happened to all of us.  You pick up a report that says your machine is running at 1200% efficiency, and then you have to backtrack through all the data to find the error– if it’s even detectable. CMMS generated metrics become useless unless they are built on reliable info.

Common data entry errors include: data redundancy, where two or more entries are made for the same piece of information, using a short code or description when a longer one is required, and inconsistency among users(both in naming conventions and process of entering information).

2)    More expensive doesn’t mean better

Though it is tempting to think that more expensive packages and feature add-ons will guarantee a better CMMS, this is markedly untrue.  An extensive survey of 700+ companies using CMMS’s found no correlation between dollars spent on CMMS implementation and overall satisfaction with the product.[i]


Low satisfaction levels have more to do with organizations installing systems that are above their heads rather than of low quality.  An organization looking to implement a feature-rich package must be prepared to spend a tremendous amount of money on training and tech support to get the system up and running.  And even then, the level of technical expertise required to make use of all the offered functionality means many of the advanced features are never used.

Companies shopping for a CMMS should seriously evaluate what their specific needs are, and decide on a package that does not pack in unnecessary features and add-ons.

3)    Software is only 25% of the goal

A change in business practices and culture is necessary to make full use of any new software.  A CMMS is more a facilitator of new processes than it is a standalone solution.  Implementing a preventative maintenance tool into a reactive maintenance culture will not bring about the change that CMMS’s are known for.  It takes a commitment from the organization to plan an effective maintenance strategy and follow it up with diligent use of their CMMS.

4)    A clear cut ROI is not in the books

There are some figures – cost of software license, man-hours spent implementing, reduced downtime of machines, OEE, etc, which are reliably gathered and give some sense of the CMMS’s impact.  However, there are many ‘soft’ numbers that are less quantifiable.  A properly implemented CMMS can also improve product quality, improve safety, ease regulatory compliance and increase customer satisfaction.  Evaluating success based strictly on ROI is missing the whole picture.

5)    Track 100% of work orders

Anything less is a missed opportunity to generate helpful metrics.  It seems tedious and perhaps seemingly unnecessary to log all the performed work orders, but it pays off in the long run with a high level of operational transparency and accurate reporting.

[i] Source: CMMS Best Practices Report 2011

Next Up:

Read part two in the series

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