Maintenance management software increase profits by cutting costs. The software does this by reducing unplanned downtime. That’s because as you move from reactive to scheduled maintenance, small issues get caught and fixed before they have a chance to grow into budget-busting disasters. How much money does it save you? To answer that, we need to look at all the costs directly and indirectly associated with unplanned downtime.

Unplanned downtime costs you money in a lot of different ways. Some are obvious while others are just as serious but harder to see.

Maintenance management software avoids idle operators

Idle machines mean idle operators. And those operators are getting paid whether they’re productive or not; it costs just as much to have a tool and die maker stand by a machine looking at his phone as it does to have them cranking out parts. Something to consider is that these costs are set to increase, especially in manufacturing. As automation increases, the workforce shrinks. At the same time, the remaining workers become more specialized, requiring higher levels of compensation. Even one or two idle operators can lead to significant lo

When their machines are finally up and running again, if you still want to hit your goals, the organization is looking at running longer shifts, and overtime hours are prohibitively expensive. Other short-term methods for increasing productivity to make up for lost time often result in quality control issues at best, safety issues at worst.

Maintenance management software puts an end to rushed parts and heavy carrying costs

With maintenance management software you’re able to set up preventive maintenance, shifting from reactive, on-demand work orders to preventive maintenance that are scheduled weeks or months in advance. You’ll know what work is set to get done long before you have to actually do it, giving you more than enough lead time to make sure you have all the necessary parts and materials on hand. If you know you’re going to change the fan belts on a motor is three weeks, you can order replacement parts and have them shipped at the cheapest, slowest rates. That’s very different than waiting until the belts break and you have to overnight express replacements. Over time, all those express delivery fees add up.

You might try to avoid this problem by holding a lot of spare belts in inventory. That way, you reason, you’ll never have to worry about rush deliveries. But remember, inventory comes with carrying costs. A stockpile of belts might give you peace of mind, but now you’ve got a bunch of your inventory budget locked up in belts. And because you’re doing work reactively, there’s no way for you to know how long it’ll be before you get around to using all those belts. It could be that they degrade before you can use them. The money you saved on rush deliveries ends up getting thrown out in the form of old useless belts.

Maintenance management software cuts maintenance overtime pay

We already talked about how idle machines lead to idle workers, who then have to be paid a lot of overtime to make up for lost time. But maintenance management software also reduces the need for overtime for maintenance technicians. Because you can schedule all your work orders in advance, you never have to have someone stay late on a Friday trying to get an asset back up and running before Monday’s first shift

You’re also going to save money when working with outside vendors. When things get fixed during regular business hours, there’s one rate. There’s also a much higher rate for emergencies. For example, it’s not cheap to have an electrician come to your factory to check and update the panels. It’s significantly more expensive, though, to have them come on a Saturday afternoon to figure out why all the fuses keep tripping.

Maintenance management software increases asset and equipment life cycles

This one is simple: the more maintenance you do before breakdowns, the longer your assets and equipment are going to last.

There’s another aspect of maintenance management software that’s going to be a big help to you. Aside from allowing you to move from reactive to planned maintenance, the software also makes collecting data about your operations much easier, and all that data can then be leveraged. One way is with auto-generated reports backed with KPIs that give you key insights into where your budget is really going. You know which assets are breaking down the most and which are costing you the most to repair. All of this helps you make make crucial repair or replace decisions. So, yes, the software increase your assets’ and equipment’s life cycles, but it also tells you when is the best time for those life cycles to come to an end.   

Maintenance management software cuts intangible costs

These costs are hard to quantify, but impossible to ignore. The easiest way to understand them is with a quick example. Let’s say you’re in the food processing business and you’re set to deliver X number of chocolate Santas for the holidays, which is great news for your organization. Last year, you had orders for half that many, but that new guy in sales is worth his weight in gold; he’s managed to get a large retail chain to carry your product. But due to production delays, you only manage to deliver two-thirds of what you promised.

How much is that going to cost your organization overall? It’s not hard to go back and find the numbers for the production delays. Add on top of that the loss in sales; you could have sold one-third more chocolate Santas. But then there are the intangible costs, too. Next year, what are the chances that retail chain is going agree to buy the same number of Santas? They’ll likely ask for a smaller order or none at all. It’s the price of lost confidence. And that guy in sales, the one who landed that deal in the first place? Those production delays stepped all over his hard work. His morale is down and he might not be working for your organization much longer. Morale is also down across the maintenance department because people are looking at smaller end-of-year bonuses.

Next steps

If you want the savings, you need to get the Computerized Maintenance Management System or CMMS software. The only question now is how to find the software provider that’s right for you. It’s a bit of a process, but well worth it in the end. First, it’s a good idea to start looking around online. Check out the main providers, what they offer, and their reviews. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, start reaching out to providers and sitting in on some live demonstrations. On top of the right feature sets, you’re also going to want to look at ease-of-use, on boarding and ongoing support. All the fanciest features in the world end up being a waste of money if they’re hard to use.

About The Author

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan has been covering asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions since joining Hippo CMMS. Prior to that, he wrote for textbooks and video games.
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