Buy Used or New CMMS?

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: August 24, 2011

Small businesses that decide to adopt a CMMS solution often face a common choice: do they purchase a brand new solution or do they obtain a system that has been used by another company? This article will take a look at the benefits and drawbacks for each possibility.


One of the advantages to new CMMS is the overall quality of the system. The hardware hasn’t experienced the constant wear and tear that naturally occurs as years goes on, and you don’t have to worry that someone returned the system due to a defect in the system. This advantage is lessened if you go with a hosted solution.

You’ll also have access to all the latest features if you purchase a new system. You can use the solution to keep track of your inventory, schedule preventive maintenance, and monitor the health of your different assets. Many of the older systems do not offer these important functions.

New CMMS is also geared to support mobile devices. They have special apps that allow you to scan items, check on instructions and enter work orders into the database. Most people have a mobile phone these days, so a newer solution allows you to take advantage of this.

That said, a new CMMS system can be quite expensive. A typical solution costs several thousand dollars, and this comes out to even more when you factor in the service agreement. This can be a pretty hefty investment for a small business in difficult economic times.

Used CMMS:

The primary advantage with used CMMS is the price. A used CMMS system typically costs half as much as a new system, and you can sometimes find solutions that are even cheaper. Considering the high cost of CMMS, this is often the only way a small business can find a system within its price range.

Another benefit of purchasing a used system is that it greatly reduces your carbon footprint. You’re essentially recycling an old system instead of using the natural resources for a new system. If your company prides itself on being a green business, it’s a consideration you may want to take into account.

The main problem with used CMMS is that your company will be operating a much older system. The hardware won’t be in top condition and the different parts will need to be replaced on a more frequent basis. These costs can quickly add up if the system has seen its share of years.

You also won’t necessarily have access to several modern functionalities. Advanced features like condition monitoring may not be offered, and there’s a good chance the system won’t support mobile devices. Used systems that are from within the last five years may not have this issue, however.

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