Running Shepherd CMMS is good news for the organization of your field service, maintenance management and rental departments. It is also good news for your IT departments: maintenance of the Shepherd solution itself is designed to have the smallest impact possible on the day-to-day operations of your organization.
When talking about the Shepherd NetSuite-native CMMS solution, maintenance can be summarized as keeping up with functionality, configuring and deploying the software and training on its use. Of those, the only one to influence a client’s work in any noticeable way is arguably the training aspect since the others take place in the background and NetSuite has systems in place to minimize negative side effects of coding work.
Updates: the most common maintenance with Shepherd
Keeping up with functionality often centers around the fortnightly update releases by Shepherd during which bugs are fixed , or new client-led functionalities are made available.
Contrasting this to integrated solutions, you will find that maintenance is a far less serene affair. The main reason is simply that the maintenance is occuring in up to three places at once: the third party software itself, changes needed in NetSuite and how any new code interacts with NetSuite, i.e. the integration. In the case of Shepherd, there is only one place: Shepherd’s solution.
Much like the updates offered by smartphone manufacturers, it is up to the user to decide if they want to implement an update or not, certainly in the case of Shepherd. Unlike a smartphone, an organization’s operations will not suffer if choosing not to implement a Shepherd update: no slowing of performance, no bugs in its functionality.
Not a prerequisite to reliable service
Shepherd views its updates as opt-in, rather than opt-out. Shepherd makes a point of issuing clear information to users of what an update offers and from there, they can make an informed decision as to whether they want to implement it.
Shepherd’s standard recommendation is to update in time with NetSuite’s own biannual update schedule as a minimum in order to not fall too far out of sync with the NetSuite installation. Having said that, the likelihood of a company running into problems due to not updating Shepherd those minimum two times a year is small.
To illustrate this, let’s consider that one particular customer has not updated in 2 years and 2 months at the time of writing this blog. That was not a result of neglect or disorganization, but rather a sign of success: the lack of a need for an update was a sign of their reaching a stable state. This is a point most companies will want to reach. A point when all their processes are streamlined, the business is secure and is cruising along with the minimum need for input or revision.
Maintenance beyond scheduled releases
The only other times that Shepherd may need to step in after the initial implementation is if a customer decides to add another shepherd feature to their system (for example, a customer decides to add the Rental module to their existing Shepherd portfolio) or that they decide to buy third party software which somehow involves or affects Shepherd and NetSuite. A new NetSuite module could have a similar effect.
And such a move should be considered with care as all the additional work entailed would come at the customer’s expense: new code is, after all, new code. With that said, Shepherd does everything reasonably possible to ensure a customer can have the working environment they want, even if that means accommodating new outside products after Shepherd’s initial implementation. Time has shown that Shepherd can find the most practical, low-impact solution to such a change in a client’s ERP/CMMS set-up.
Implemented with reduced hassle in mind
Examples of Shepherd doing third party integrations include when Shepherd tied their solution to a product called Square Works that offers data storage solutions. Another was integrating an image generation solution called Smart Equip. These now function as intended, and while updating costs might be higher than one for just Shepherd alone, Shepherd will have put in place the means of keeping those costs down as much as possible.
If you want a CMMS system that allows you the flexibility of changes to your business further down the line, instead of closing doors in the process, perhaps you should book your Shepherd demo today.