Validated CMMS or QMS systems come in many forms including custom coded, locally installed, and some internet and/or cloud based systems. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages, of course, but any of the systems may include costs that are difficult to quantify and should be considered prior to selection of the system that is right for you.
Some of the items to consider are as follows:
- Are you purchasing the software, or paying to access it? What is the 5 year cost?
- Do you have to pay extra for maintenance upgrades?
- Is installation included?
- For validated systems, do you have to pay for the validation, or the validation package?
- Do you have to execute a validation after you acquire the software?
- Is there a cost for user licenses, if you want several users?
- Is there a cost increase for additional utilization?
- Are there increased costs for additional sites (e.g. maybe you have more than one facility..)?
- What are the limits of any variable costs?
- Do you have to pay for technical support?
- Is change control included? Or do you need to have an extensive in-house change control program for each product?
- Are there limits within the pricing that can easily increase your costs?
- Are the costs over time predictable, so they can be budgeted?
- If you can be forced to upgrade in the future, what will be the costs to pay for the upgrade and the effects on your internal operations?
- Does the cost that you are quoted include what you need to be compliant? Or do you need more “bells and whistles”?
- How much do you need to change your operations to fit the software (updating SOPs, workflows, administration, etc)?
- If you are installing it internally, what are the costs required for hardware, installation, maintenance, change control, backups, etc, on an ongoing basis?
- If you decide to change systems in the future, what would be the costs?
Each approach, and each software system has different costs, and in some cases it takes persistence to nail that down. Some of the questions listed above may apply to the solutions you are considering for your validated CMMS or QMS system, or really, any software. These and other costs, if identified up front, can improve the decision-making process and cut down on surprises down the road!