Best CMMS Software For Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) In the UK


What Type of Assets Are You Looking to Maintain?

Recommended CMMS Systems For Small and Medium Maintenance Teams

FaultFixers

FaultFixers CMMS software for small business

The Product

A simple, scalable CMMS that replaces paper and spreadsheet-based processes.

Ideal For

Small to medium-sized organisations looking for a streamlined, SMB-focused CMMS solution

Industry Fit

Education, Healthcare, Retail, Buildings and Facilities, Real Estate and Housing

Pricing

From £99 per month

Snapfix

Snapfix

The Product

An image-first task management solution with embedded messaging.

Ideal For

Organisations looking for a highly visual task management solution

Industry Fit

Education, Hospitality, Hotel Management, Buildings and Facilities, and Manufacturing

Pricing

From £8.50 per month

ShireSystem

ShireSystem

The Product

A modular maintenance management solution that replaces manual H&S, asset and maintenance processes.

Ideal For

Organisations with a total first-year budget of at least £3,000

Industry Fit

Manufacturing, Engineering, Construction, Automotive, and Food & Beverages

Pricing

From £744 per annum

Workmate by Cayman

Workmate by Cayman

The Product

A quick-to-implement, all-in-one CMMS solution with flexible deployment.

Ideal For

Organisations with 3+ maintenance engineers

Industry Fit

Manufacturing, Engineering, Construction, Logistics, and Food & Beverages

Pricing

From £1,490

MaintainX

MaintainX

The Product

A self-service maintenance management solution with a library of customisable processes and integrated messaging.

Ideal For

Organisations looking for a self-service maintenance management solution that can be easily scaled

Industry Fit

Manufacturing, Food & Beverages, Hospitality, and Education

Pricing

From £13 per user, per month

5 Considerations For Small Businesses When Selecting a CMMS

1. What Should You Budget?

Any form of investment is a major consideration for small businesses. Whether that be hiring, acquiring assets, or purchasing software. When selecting a CMMS for small business, budget considerations should be along the lines of:

  • How long will it take to see a successful return on investment (ROI)?
  • Does the purchase cost outweigh the cost of unplanned downtime?

Whereas larger businesses often have the budget and staff to absorb shocks, small businesses do not typically have that luxury. Maintenance management is one area where this balancing act plays out.

Every business owner knows that planned maintenance and preventative maintenance saves money in the long term. But, when time is scarce and budgets are lean, maintenance is the first area to suffer.

2. What Are the Costs (Upfront, Fees, Monthly, and Long-term)?

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) models have made software costs more affordable for small businesses. Costs are broken down into monthly and per-user payments, as opposed to lump sum fees.

In the research stage, price up all costs associated with your purchase. These will include:

  • Upfront costs
  • Hardware requirements (IoT devices, monitoring sensors, tablets, etc.)
  • Additional user fees
  • Data storage fees
  • 24/7 support fees
  • Planned yearly payment rises

3. Does It Match Your Required Capabilities?

When shortlisting CMMS Software for your small business, have a list of your desired capabilities. This helps to ensure you’re looking at products that are right for your maintenance needs, instead of choosing the cheapest available product.

For example, if you require a system to improve preventive maintenance workflows, ensure the product has those features and hardware available.

Also, be aware of products that are too complex for what you need. They might look good on the surface, but all those extra capabilities can be overwhelming and lead you and your maintenance team down a path you haven’t planned for.

4. When Will It Be Up and Running?

Small business maintenance managers have very little spare time, so the implementation of a CMMS tool should be as easy as possible and hassle-free.

When committing to the purchasing costs of a new tool, you’ll want that tool to be up and running straight away. As there are not as many hoops to jump through when compared to enterprise software purchasing, the implementation of a small business CMMS can be relatively quick.

But, this isn’t always the case and implementation time can depend on factors such as:

  • The amount of data migration needed
  • Staff training required
  • Integration with legacy systems
  • Vendor availability

5. Is It Easy to Use?

This is a completely new system for you and your staff. Staff have been using spreadsheets or legacy systems for several years, meaning there will be pushback in learning a new way of working.

To avoid as much friction as possible, your new small business CMMS tool must be easy to use. Look at processes like creating workflows for planned maintenance and how easy it is to export reports.

An effective way of understanding how easy a system is to use is by committing to a free trial before purchasing. Be sure to involve staff members and gather as much feedback as possible.

How Much Should SMBs Spend on a CMMS?

The average budget allocated for software purchases across all industries is 4-6% of the total yearly budget. This accounts for all business sizes and types. To go granular, this percentage changes depending on the industry:

  • Banking & Securities: 7.88%
  • Technology & Telecoms: 6.47%
  • Education: 4.54%
  • Energy & Resources: 2.31%
  • Manufacturing: 2.14%
  • Construction & Infrastructure: 1.68%

The main concern among small businesses when purchasing software evolves around price;

  • How much should you budget?
  • How much should you spend per month?
  • Will the product deliver good ROI?

SaaS prices are offered as a flat rate (monthly or annually), per user, based on usage, or as a tiered pricing system. When pricing CMMS Software for small businesses, vendor costs vary from $20 per user per month to $75 per user per month.

Some CMMS products are also offered for free (like Fiix’s free trial option). However free options tend to have fewer capabilities and features, meaning they’re mostly seen as interactive trials using your data.

When it comes to budgeting for small business CMMS Software, keep in mind the comparison between the cost of a spreadsheet error versus the costs of purchasing software. Although there are upfront costs and integration fees, the cost of a spreadsheet error can have serious ramifications for your maintenance management.

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What Type of Assets Are You Looking to Maintain?

Benefits of a CMMS for Small Business Maintenance Teams

Consolidating Equipment & Maintenance Data

Planned maintenance and predictive maintenance data are multi-dimensional. It’s simply not possible to display everything on a single 2D spreadsheet. At a minimum, you will have multiple workbook sheets.

More than likely, you have a series of linked files (like spreadsheets) that need updating with information regularly. CMMS Software eliminates this by keeping all relevant data in one place.

Safeguard Against Errors

It’s too easy for errors to creep into your maintenance management data, particularly when using spreadsheets. A simple copy-paste error or a missing bracket can disrupt entire maintenance schedules. Errors can remain undiscovered for months or even years. A CMMS protects formulae and calculations from user error.

Automatically Trigger Notifications and Work Orders

Even the best-designed spreadsheets cannot send a work order reminder to a technician in the field or on the workshop floor. A key advantage of a small business CMMS system is that it is far easier to manage workflows.

Proactive maintenance tasks can be automatically scheduled using manufacturer recommendations and previous maintenance dates. Task completion is logged instantly and your scheduled maintenance records are updated.

Compiling Your Audit History

Using a CMMS simplifies maintenance audits. While audit data is simple to store in spreadsheets, pulling out relevant information from multiple files at audit time is a time-consuming manual task.

CMMS systems maintain a complete digital paper trail of every action; when it happened and who did it. Keep in mind that planned maintenance history is entirely transparent. As the software is designed with maintenance managers in mind, audit reports are available out of the box.

Reporting and Analytics

Weak analytics and reporting are other problematic sides of maintenance management spreadsheets. A skilled user can create custom reports, but it requires time to set up and maintain.

CMMS vendors understand what metrics and KPIs are the most important. Essential reports, such as overdue work orders and predictive maintenance forecasts, can be generated immediately.

Real-time Accuracy

As a manager, an accurate big-picture view of your operations is essential. Manual information entry in multiple spreadsheet files naturally causes a delay between carrying out an action and reporting it. Urgent tasks and emergencies may not become visible until the damage has already been done.

Reducing Manual Admin Burden

Many maintenance managers report the feeling of “drowning in paper”. The lack of specialisation inherent in spreadsheets forces the extra burden onto the user. You may even have a spreadsheet to keep track of your spreadsheets. By automating manual processes, a CMMS allows maintenance managers to focus solely on carrying out their work.

Important Factors Overlooked by Small Business Software Buyers

Small business software buyers overlook two key factors; cyber security and product quality. When researching, maintenance managers will prioritise costs and deployment times. This narrows the importance of other factors, which are viewed as unimportant. Until they are.

Cyber Security Is a Threat for Small Businesses, Too

Data breaches, financial losses, and malware corruption aren’t just risks associated with large organisations, they impact small businesses too. Choosing a CMMS that lacks advanced security features or support because it is cheap, can leave your maintenance data vulnerable.

When shortlisting CMMS Software for small businesses, look for SaaS products that provide dedicated data security features. Ideally, pick a product with a 24/7 IT support team that handles regular security updates and software patches.

Product Quality Directly Impacts ROI

Settling for the cheapest CMMS solution can hinder how you intend to use the product. If it isn’t easy to use and has a complex UI, it can alienate users and potentially deter users who are more comfortable using spreadsheets.

To get an idea of a product’s quality and ease of use, try a free demo before committing to purchase. This helps to identify any potential pitfalls with product quality.

Spreadsheets vs. CMMS Software for Small Businesses

Small businesses naturally turn to spreadsheets to manage their scheduled maintenance. Over 93% of CMMS Software buyers previously used spreadsheets or pen-and-paper to manage maintenance tasks. This is largely because:

  • Spreadsheets are free to set up and use
  • There is minimal implementation and adoption time
  • Very little training time is required as most staff know how to use spreadsheets
  • Reduced risk of failure (studies report 40% failure rates of maintenance tools – a big financial gamble for a small business)

However as preventive maintenance activities become more complex, the limitations of Excel spreadsheets start to show. The top three methods for performing preventative maintenance management are pen-and-paper (39%), spreadsheets (52%), and software (63%).

Spreadsheets are not specialised, meaning they can be adapted for many tasks but are not built for or optimised for specific applications. There are also the added downsides of limited scalability, customisation, unseen errors (wrong cell data inputs), and lack of security.

Switching From Spreadsheets to a CMMS

Moving away from spreadsheets is the number one reason (39%) why software buyers look for a CMMS. In doing so, small businesses export large amounts of maintenance data stored on spreadsheets and import it into their new CMMS.

With a SaaS CMMS product (and the right vendor support), the process is simple. Essentially, it involves just four steps:

  1. Export your spreadsheet(s) data into a common exportable format such as CSV
  2. Upload the CSV file into your CMMS product (look for an import button or talk to a support team member)
  3. Map your maintenance data from each column, row, and cell into the correct field of the CMMS
  4. Review and run tests to ensure data is being collected and displayed correctly