It seems odd I’d focus a piece on Maintenance Connection alternatives. They do offer fantastic computerized maintenance management software (CMMS). At least, that’s what Clarkson University, Tractor Supply Company, the city of Santa Barbara, and Knott’s Berry Farm believe: they all adopted Maintenance Connection last year. Maintenance Connection also added a lot of people—a 50% growth in employees, to be exact. The company’s reputation, size, and success are all growing.
But every business is different. And finding the right product for you might mean going with a different company. That’s why I’ve found the top Maintenance Connection alternatives, so you can decide which CMMS solution fits your needs.
Maintenance Connection Alternatives
Vendors on this list all had to have at least the following functionalities:
- Service History Tracking
- Technician Management
- Work Order Management
- Preventive Maintenance
- Mobile Access
- Inventory Control
- Asset Tracking
The following options are listed alphabetically.
1. Bigfoot CMMS
Bigfoot CMMS is a major player in the computerized maintenance management system world, as they demonstrated last week. On February 27, Bigfoot released its new Integration Suite, which will help customers link information between their CMMS. The Integration Suite will connect your CMMS data with your enterprise resource planning, human resources, accounting, and procurement data. The new product promises to reduce data entry, and help keep all your company’s functions working together.
Bigfoot’s software can manage a wide range of functions. They’re sort of like the Wal-Mart of the CMMS world. The things you can do with Bigfoot cover all the categories a maintenance manager needs:
- Asset equipment management
- Occupational safety and health
- Preventive maintenance
- Predictive maintenance
- Work order management
- CMMS mobile app
The depth and usefulness within these functionalities is similarly impressive. For instance, their preventive maintenance function uses a drag-and-drop interface, so it’s as easy as messing around on your desktop at home.
I spoke with Susan Towers of Bigfoot about what makes their preventive maintenance feature so useful. Besides the drag-and-drop feature, Bigfoot also has automatic workflow management. Equally useful is the ability to “instantly associate relevant documentation, users, and safety programs to particular work orders.” Instead of sending a technician into the field with a folder of papers, they can just punch it up on their smart phone.
With preventive maintenance, you want the information and control to keep your assets functional. Bigfoot CMMS provides this, allowing you to easily switch schedules for preventive maintenance tasks, enter detailed instructions so technicians at the site know what they need to do, and even automatically reschedule one preventive task if an earlier one hasn’t been done.
Bigfoot reviewers love the functionality, too. Ron Guertin cited it as Bigfoot’s best feature, and said it also a reason his company invested in the system. Bryan Pisciotto of Ave Hardware also said that Bigfoot’s range of functions was a motivator behind his purchase. Wayne Glass of Gillibrand Industrial Sands said “The Bigfoot mobile app gives greater functionality without an internet connection than every other CMMS I evaluated by far!”
Pricing starts at $7,500, but definitely call Bigfoot for more information if you’re interested.
Direct Line has been helping manufacturing and facilities managers since 1984. In that time, they’ve built up a customer base that can count Smuckers, Wild Turkey, and Unilever among their successful relationships.
There’s another particularly successful relationship I noticed in one Capterra review of DirectLine: “the use of MegaMation was a condition of my accepting the position that I am in now.” What’s behind that brand loyalty, according to the review, was DirectLine’s willingness to work with changing needs.
In the instances where that reviewer used DirectLine, “Both applications were customized to meet my specific needs and this is an evolving process; not just an initial start-up service.” A company that’s willing to meet a business’s changing needs is great preparation for future scalability.
That support is also great preparation, period. A surprising number of software adoptions fail because technicians don’t want to use them. To solve that problem, DirectLine designed an implementation program that uses “the principles of adult learning” to ensure employees will know how to use their new software. DirectLine will even assign an implementation supervisor to work with you and plan your adoption so an overwhelming process becomes manageable.
3. MaxPanda CMMS
Launched in 2009, MaxPanda is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) CMMS option that can help you organize everything from work orders to inventory. They have an impressive range of customers, from Macy’s and Hilton to the universities of Arizona and Florida. As an SaaS option, MaxPanda doesn’t require any hardware: just download the program, store your information in the cloud, and get started.
Reviews of MaxPanda focus on how easy the program is, and how easy it is to communicate with other team members. Linn Decker said MaxPanda made communications “perfect” for her team, praising the ability to “stay in close communication with my supervisors and co-workers.”
Rob Bechard of Strata Council focused particularly on the ease of use (he titled his review “How to make maintenance management easy”). Even higher praise, he said “it seems I have waited my whole life for this program.”
MaxPanda’s features keep your whole team informed. Users get emails and push notifications whenever a request becomes a work order, which streamlines a technician’s workflow (no need to ping-pong back and forth between the site and the main office). You can also use MaxPanda to communicate with other team members in real-time, again creating a more seamless work experience.
All five versions come with unlimited users. There’s a limit on number of work orders you can generate, however, based on which version you pick.
- Starter: 50 work orders a month; $69 a month, or $59 a month for a yearly contract
- Enhanced: 150 work orders a month; $99 a month, or $89 a month/yearly contract
- Standard: 350 work orders a month; $199 a month, or $189 a month/yearly contract
- Pro: 500 work orders a month; $299 a month, or $289 a month/yearly contract
- Enterprise: unlimited work orders a month; $399 a month, or $389 a month/yearly contract
NetFacilities boasts customers as diverse as Oakley, Dupont, the University of Michigan and the Archdiocese of Baltimore. No surprise, then, that flexibility is frequently mentioned by NetFacilities’ customers.
Jeff Clark of Transwestern called NetFacilities “very flexible,” and said that flexibility was what “initially intrigued me.” Brett Francis of Epic Aircraft also praised NetFacilities’ flexibility. Cate Staid of City Mattress was enamored of the way NetFacilities’ flexibility let her “edit an already created work order.” That flexibility extends in even more ways than the reviewers mentioned.
Since NetFacilities is a web-based solution with a mobile app, users can access the software from the field, on their phone or tablet. That gives technicians the flexibility to move around more freely from site to site. On top of that, NetFacilities’ inventory control feature lets you keep track of what you have enough of, and what you need: no more being constrained by a lack of materials.
NetFacilities’ Executive Director of Marketing, David Barbara, told me about other helpful features his program offers. In keeping with their vaunted flexibility, NetFacilities offers “unlimited users, so you may include everyone in your organization along with your vendors.” NetFacilities can also adapt to your questions, needs and changes. They offer free ongoing training and support, and Barbara described how you can “call and speak with a representative and schedule live training sessions.” Better yet, new features are are “typically released each month,” Barbara added, so even the crew behind NetFacilities prides themselves on staying flexible.
Contact NetFacilities for pricing information if you’re interested.
Maintenance Connection alternatives I missed
Are there any CMMS software programs you use that you don’t see here? If so, let me know about them in the comments. Or, if you use one of the above four programs, and want to add to its already good reputation, please post below!
Better yet, write a review of the program you use. It will help prospective buyers decide on a choice, and help the company know what they’re doing right.
Looking for Field Service Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Field Service Management software solutions.