The cost of equipment and facility management can run pretty high in businesses of every size, and managers or supervisors are always looking for ways to reduce them. For some companies, especially in the manufacturing sector, maintenance management costs can be higher than the net profit in a year.
Even if it seems impossible to cut costs, the right planning can make a difference. These expenses are controllable and some simple strategies can help reduce them tremendously, like using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
If your business facility is burdened with high maintenance and repair costs, implement these simple strategies:
Simplify procedures: Review maintenance and operational procedures for redundancies or unnecessary tasks that can be replaced with newer practices or more efficient equipment.
Often, the instructions for a certain process can also get too complex due to additions made over time. If there are too many steps or details listed, people will be unlikely to follow them all, so specify only important ones.
Optimize equipment: Understand how to leverage equipment and machines, to make the most of them. A key factor is ensuring they are used for the purpose for which they’re designed. Ensure you’re not using them beyond the recommended lifespan or operational parameters, which affects their ability to work efficiently, resulting in frequent breakdowns and costly repairs.
Review training practices: Make sure that work processes are designed for maximum safety, and maintenance personnel are properly trained. Implement training for existing equipment, as well as new machinery or parts. Don’t cut corners when it comes to safety practices and operational training, since equipment operators and technicians getting injured will cost you in more than one way. Safety first.
Maintenance schedules: Not all breakdowns or repairs can be predicted, but preventive maintenance keeps them minimized. Set up a regular maintenance schedule that covers all essential equipment and accessories. This gives you a buffer, cutting down the cost and time required for handling repairs, especially in emergencies. Make sure to call experts for critical repair and maintenance.
Non-maintenance personnel: It’s important to educate non-maintenance personnel too, especially those using a particular piece of equipment often. They can keep an eye (or ear) out for unusual noises, damage, and other issues. If you’re using a CMMS system, set it up so non-maintenance staff can request repairs or report possible issues with equipment. Train them to identify common failures or potential problems.
The right technology: Using the right tools can improve the efficiency and productivity of your maintenance processes. CMMS maintenance software helps you track, manage, and control everything in one place. Today, CMMS programs integrate with existing systems to help meet different needs and requirements. Leverage this technology to streamline your database and procedures.
Buy warranties/insurance: Ask for extended warranties or insurance when you’re buying new equipment. This reduces the cost of repairs and maintenance over time, since breakdowns rarely occur right away. While buying coverage, study potential threats the equipment may face, and analyze which components or machines need to be insured. Protecting critical equipment can save you a lot of money in the long run.
CMMS software automates many activities that would otherwise be a drain on the maintenance budget and time, centralizing data for safety inspections, inventory control, and predictive/preventive maintenance. A properly structured maintenance strategy will not only have a positive impact on profits, but also keep senior management off your back. ■
About the Author: Lindsey Walker is the marketing manager for NEXGEN Asset Management. She excels at business development, project management, and asset management. Her passion for writing allows her to share her knowledge on asset management, geographic information systems (GIS), software implementation, training curriculum development, and similar topics.
Modern Contractor Solutions – September 2016
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