How to Conduct a Needs Assessment for Your Maintenance Department, Part 2: What Do You Already Have?


Last time we shared how to assess your maintenance department’s goals and needs as well as outlined some steps to get you started.

Once you’ve identified your maintenance department goals, it’s time to review the pieces you already have in place. This is your starting point so you know how to conduct a needs assessment and move forward.

Again, here’s some great advice from our MPulse customers who’ve been there.

1.    Take a good look at your current work order management procedures. 

If you’re still using paper, Excel spreadsheets, or a homegrown database to manage work orders, it’s time for a change. CMMS software can help your team capture maintenance data and use it to improve operations—a big step in getting your needs addressed. 

If you already have CMMS software, decide if it will meet your future needs and growth. If it’s been a few years since you’ve implemented or upgraded it, chances are you’ll need something more.

2.    Review your current hardware and IT resources.

Some MPulse customers have found they don’t need to invest in IT as much as they thought.

That’s because today’s CMMS software runs on external servers in the cloud. So, some organizations have discovered they don’t need heavy-duty hardware in the office, particularly PCs and internal servers.

Also, because cloud-based CMMS applications are located elsewhere, maintenance operations no longer need to enlist expensive (and often unavailable) IT support to set up and maintain technology infrastructure. Cloud-based applications are faster and easier to implement, which means maintenance managers need less support while experiencing better reliability.

3.    Identify skill sets and potential growth areas for your maintenance employees.

Don’t overlook one of the most important assets you have—your current employees. Take the time to review their skill sets and identify areas where they can expand. 

MPulse customers recommend focusing on each team member’s aptitude and willingness to learn. Identify strengthens and work on training plans to reinforce current skills and expand new ones. Also remember younger employees have different needs. Many embrace technology in ways that are very different than their older coworkers. Think outside the box to keep them engaged. 

Last, but not least, take a good look at the average age of your workforce. Like many maintenance operations, you may be facing a labor shortage as the older generation retires. Consider what this trend means for your future operations.

Now that you know your maintenance department goals, you know where you want to go and what you already have. Next, let’s talk about how you’re going to get there with more details on how to conduct a needs assessment.