Facilities & equipment maintenance management costs can be significant!
As a maintenance manager or supervisor you will frequently be under pressure to reduce the costs incurred by the maintenance department. Due to its impact on the bottom line senior management will also take interest.
A report by E.I. DuPont de Nemours Co. (Delaware) said that the largest, single controllable expenditure in a manufacturing plant is maintenance. In many manufacturing plants the maintenance budget exceeds annual net profit. Maintenance department costs can also be a significant expense in other types of commercial facilities.
When the maintenance department is overstretched and equipment is breaking down, it may look impossible to find ways to cut or hold costs. However, there are a few things that can help you control maintenance expenditures while meeting expectations of the maintenance department.
Some of these ideas are an based on the tips in our “Maintenance Management – Tips For Success” e-booklet.
Maintenance cost reduction strategies
1. Review all maintenance procedures & simplify them.
Many procedures will have grown over time. Some steps may no longer be necessary or redundant. Better spares or newer procedures may now be available. There is a tendency of job instructions to grow over time! You may add more detailed steps to ensure that the job is done just right. However, too much complexity can cause confusion. People will tend to fill checklists without really doing the steps. Research shows that people have difficulty handling more than seven items at a time. So identify the most important steps and specify them.
2. Understand and follow safe work practices.
It can be tempting to cut some corners and get work done faster. However, a major accident or technicians getting injured will cost you in more ways than one. Make sure that technicians and equipment operators have appropriate safety training and do follow them.
3. Better management of very unpredictable unplanned or breakdown maintenance.
Try to build in buffer time to handle such work. Break each day or week into periods for planned maintenance based on category A (must be done), B (should be done sometime soon) and C (nice to do). Schedule unplanned maintenance as needed around time for category C or even category B maintenance. This can help prevent cascading maintenance issues and associated continuous firefighting. You can read more about this in “7 Breakdown Maintenance Planning Tips With CMMS Software“.
4. Create a maintenance calendar of work to be done in the next month, quarter or year by equipment and or location.
Share maintenance dates on critical equipment with operations. Make sure that it will not conflict with their plans. Learn more about the value of this calendar in “Equipment Maintenance Calendars & Scheduling Preventive Maintenance“.
5. Educate non-maintenance personnel to detect potential maintenance issues and report them.
For example an unusual noise during machine operation that may signal a potential bearing failure. Use the maintenance request management features in your maintenance software. This will make it easier for others to request maintenance or report potential issues.
6. Make sure to have the right tools – maintenance management software, for your needs.
When looking for CMMS software it may be tempting to get one with many bells & whistles. These can be things like fancy reports, integration with other systems, advanced monitoring or prediction capabilities and so on. However, in many cases the value of the system will depend on the efforts you put into it. If you put “garbage in” you will get “garbage out”! If too much data needs to be collected, you can be assured it will not be done. Integration with other systems may be incorrectly done or not implemented at all. This will result in bad data. Equipment monitoring systems can fail. They may require their own maintenance which may not be done. This results in questionable data or missed equipment maintenance. Select the “right-sized” CMMS package that will work for you and your colleagues.
Get the CMMS Software Selection Guide
If you are looking for maintenance management software to handle your corrective and preventive maintenance needs you will find this free guide rather useful.Download CMMS Software Selection Guide