Choose the right calibration management software the first time.
So much software, so little time. Searching for the perfect software solution can be frustrating and may seem like a drain on resources; the flip side is that with all the software available today, there is a good solution for everyone and investing time up-front in the search will prove highly beneficial in the future.
Stability: Look for an established software provider that has a long-standing industry reputation and offers a calibration software solution as their main product offering. A stable, solutions-minded provider will be knowledgeable about your industry and genuinely interested in a good fit and your long-term success with the product. An established provider will also be able to provide you with client references, preferably within your industry.
Compliance and Other Requirements: When evaluating software, it is important to be well-versed with your company’s internal and external requirements and processes, such as ISO or FDA, as well as specific industry requirements and your customers’ requirements. A mid- to high-range software package will generally be focused on continuous adherence to common industry standards and is a worthwhile investment for a company seeking a long-term or large-scale deployment of a calibration management solution. Some less expensive software packages can be a perfect solution for teams who need something simple and compact, and they can also offer standards compliance, but if this is the direction you go, be sure to choose a vendor that the capital resources to keep the software current – some vendors of lower-end packages can be unreliable.
Ease of Use: Look for software that is easy to learn, employs industry-standard terminology and operates similarly to mainstream packages, such as spreadsheet programs and look for a product with a familiar interface to provide easy, direct access to options and utilities. Operators will learn to use the product correctly and most efficiently with thorough product documentation and training.
Services: Always ask about support services and training options, as these areas are critical to the success of any software implementation. It is also important to ask about services such as the transfer of your existing data to the new software and the ability to integrate the software with your existing systems.
Features: Determine which features are really needed and be sure to obtain a trial copy of the software package. All of the bells and whistles are great, but make sure that they won’t hinder your day-to-day operations and that you’re not paying for extraneous features. At the same time, make sure the package offers all of the basics that your company needs – don’t let yourself be shortchanged.
Scalability: Make sure that the software not only meets your immediate needs, but will grow with your company and handle extra volume without excessive slowing.
Price: Check both single and multi-user license prices. Some companies may offer discounts on multi-user licenses even though the single-user price may initially seem higher. Remember that the value of the software will be found in how it helps the company, not necessarily its price.
Finding the best calibration management software package for your company does require some work, but just think of the time the company will save by choosing the right package the first time.
About the Authors:
Dave K. Banerjea is president and CEO and Devin Brent Ellis is Director of Development and Client Solutions at CyberMetrics Corporation, developer and worldwide distributor of GAGEtrak calibration management and FaciliWorks CMMS maintenance management software.