Investing in a new software solution is a multistep process with plenty to consider. If you’re looking into enterprise asset management (EAM) software, a live demo is the obvious place to start.
Because there’s nothing quite like seeing a software platform in action, a live EAM demo offers you the opportunity to learn exactly how the solution will benefit your operations.
For example, you’ll see firsthand how the user interface supports your team and how easy it is to use for reporting and generating business intelligence. The interface can make all the difference when it comes to saving time and money.
What to expect from your EAM demo
When you’re searching for an EAM solution, setting up customized demos from several vendors helps you get a sense of the landscape and discover what’s new in asset management. However, when you’re focused on the logistics of scheduling appointments, it’s easy to forget the most important thing: making sure you get maximum value from each demo.
First of all, it’s a good idea to connect with more than one EAM software provider to give yourself a chance to compare several systems in your industry vertical. But aim for just a few options to preview, so you’re not taking up too much of your workday.
Share some general business goals and high-level expectations with the sales consultant before each demo. You want to ensure everyone is on the same page and nobody’s time is wasted on a solution that’s not a good fit.
A ManagerPlus Lightning demo is free and typically lasts 45 minutes to one hour, with additional time to answer all your questions. Of course, some questions come up during the demo, and we always allow time for review at the end.
If the demo meeting is your first experience with ManagerPlus or your first look at EAM software, we’ll give you an overview as well as some insight on industry best practices in asset management. But you’ll also want to prepare in advance.
How to get ready
Before meeting with a vendor for a software demonstration, take some time to go over your business objectives and ask yourself the five questions below. During the demo, expect to discuss your answers with the sales consultant, using a workshop-type approach.
1. Why are you looking for EAM software?
This “why” is the most important question to ask before purchasing EAM software. Dig deep to fully understand your organization’s need for a more robust asset management solution, and keep an open mind. You might be surprised by your answers once you think them through.
Possible issues driving the need for a new or more powerful EAM solution include:
- Critical event: Maybe it was the breakdown of a critical asset, or perhaps it was a safety issue. Whatever the case, a single incident often inspires leaders to look for an intelligent EAM solution to prevent it from happening again.
- Time management: In an organization with ad-hoc processes, staff may waste time dealing with administrative tasks, unnecessarily long lead times, and convoluted procedures.
- Accountability: Finding the root cause when something goes wrong is difficult without accountability and historical tracking. Improved accountability is one of the best features of EAM software.
- Business growth: Adding new assets means that business is good. However, scaling up can also exhaust an outdated asset management system.
- Data silos: When multiple departments (such as maintenance, inventory, or finance) all track information separately, there are bound to be data errors and out-of-date records, not to mention needless duplication.
- Compliance requirements: Rules and regulations are always evolving, leading to more and more record-keeping. Enterprises must able to organize, search, and produce accurate asset records for compliance reviews quickly.
The right asset management solution can address all these issues, and it’s important to know which ones your organization is looking to resolve. Make sure to arrive at the demo meeting ready to discuss your answers.
2. What are you going to do with the EAM software?
To answer this question, get specific about your processes and assets. Consider current systems that could be replaced or enhanced by a new EAM software. Define a high-level scope of features to evaluate during the demo.
EAM software’s most-used features support preventive maintenance and work orders. But it can do so much more. For example, ManagerPlus Lightning also integrates inventory management and business intelligence reporting.
Think about the assets you manage. Fleet vehicles? Construction equipment? A complex of office buildings? Agribusiness machinery? A robust EAM solution should handle all these asset types and more. ManagerPlus Lightning tracks assets from minute manufacturing components all the way up to huge heavy haulers.
We can demonstrate how our EAM software handles your specific asset types. You can categorize asset groups and create custom fields too.
3. Who needs to be in the demo meeting?
A demo is your opportunity to speak directly with the software expert. Obviously, the asset manager should attend a demo meeting, but consider inviting key decision-makers and other influencers, so they can personally see the product and ask questions.
Invite experienced technicians who will be using the software day-to-day. A demo gives them a chance to look at the platform and ask practical questions from their perspective.
Having the right people at a demo meeting makes a difference. Including team members from multiple levels of the organization ensures their voices and opinions are heard, which boosts buy-in, meaning they’ll be more likely to champion the final purchase decision.
4. When do you plan on implementing EAM software?
The timeline for purchasing depends on factors such as business needs, assets, and company culture. Remember that implementation time varies.
During the demo it makes sense to discuss when you’ll be ready to purchase and how you’d like to handle onboarding. With ManagerPlus, we offer three levels of onboarding service, ranging from 30 to 90 days.
You don’t need to know the exact date for launch, but you should have an idea of whether your company will be ready in a month, six months, or a year.
5. Where are you using your EAM software?
Think about where, physically, the EAM software will be used. Nowadays there are many choices for cloud-based EAM solutions, so your teams aren’t restricted to terminals, fixed-in-place computers, or private networks.
You’ll want to discuss your company’s needs regarding mobile options and mobile users who work out on the field, on the road, or on the shop floor.
For example, if you operate a fleet of delivery trucks, your operators spend most of their time on the road. Mobile access to EAM software is a time- and cost-saving advantage, as operators can log hours and vehicle inspections no matter where they are.
ManagerPlus Lightning has mobile capabilities and an app that allows users with an Internet connection to access asset information, manage maintenance, complete inspections, and more, all from their smart devices. With an offline mode, information updated in the app automatically syncs when they’re back in range.
Managing workers on the move is one thing, and managing assets at multiple sites is another. With facilities spread over a large area, you’ll benefit from an EAM system that brings all the asset information together in one place.
ManagerPlus Lightning can be deployed over multiple sites and gathers data to uncover opportunities to streamline resources and maintenance tasks.
Be prepared to discuss a rough number of mobile users you’ll want to add to your EAM. This is important for you to arrive at an accurate quote for your solution and to better gauge how the solution will work for your specific needs. When looking for the best EAM software, prices typically depends on both the features and the number of users.
Want to know more about pricing? Get a quick estimate for ManagerPlus Lightning with our pricing calculator.
What happens after the demo
At this point, your consultant prepares a quote, tailor-made for you, based on the demo and the objectives discussed.
Typically, a few days after the demo, you’ll meet again to review the proposed pricing. That means there’s time to mull over the demo, deliberate internally, and ask any last-minute questions.
During a ManagerPlus follow-up meeting, we’ll review in detail our recommendations for the best way to configure your Lightning platform and how it will meet your business objectives. It’s a great idea to have financial or executive leaders join the conversation.
Now that you know what to expect from a demo, we hope you’re just as excited about ManagerPlus Lighting as we are.
Schedule a demo and see how valuable a modern EAM platform can be for your business.