A Simple Path to CMMS Savings

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Let’s talk about saving money. I don’t mean coupon clipping, I mean fat stacks of cash that you can throw in the bathtub and roll around in like Scrooge McDuck.  I’m talking about the money that, right now, you throw away because your maintenance operation is poorly managed.

Man Diving In Dollar Notes

Every day, a system goes down, a machine dies before it’s expected to, or you sit on parts you’ll never use. Waste is all around and it’s the antithesis of bathtub cash. Luckily, computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) is here to help.

What a CMMS does for your business

Open up a storage room door in your office and tell me what you see. Piles of filters, specialty tools, lightbulbs, machine belts, and, over there, behind it all, a stack of ‘whatevers’ that you bought back in 2005 when you needed one of them.

“We’ll need more eventually,” you thought, and now you’re sitting on hundreds of dollars of inventory that may never get used.

Next, check out the orders that you’ve put in for replacement equipment over the last year. I’m sure half of those machines had more life in them, if their problems had been caught ahead of time or if someone had done a bit of preventative maintenance.

Old Leaking Pipe

That’s what a CMMS can do – tell you what items you need, when you need to use them, and what you should be doing to keep everything in your facility humming.

The CMMS eWorkOrders, for instance, assigns recurring tasks automatically, so that preventative maintenance doesn’t slip through the cracks. You can also track your tools so fewer things go missing. That’s just a taste of what you can get done with a little help.

Essentially, a CMMS does what you would do if you were twenty people instead of just one.

How a CMMS makes your life easier

Work orders are the heart of a CMMS. Work orders allow you to track tools, people, inventory, and jobs. Each and every thing that a tech touches should show up on a work order so you can keep honest tabs on how much work you’re doing.

If your team feels stretched, it’s probably because you’re doing small tasks without documenting them. An engineer spending just fifteen minutes a day doing non-tasked work will end the month having done five hours of undocumented toil. Work orders track that lost time.

CMMS savings

Take a look at how work orders operate in NetFacilities. Users login and submit orders on the spot, with the system routing them to the right person for approval. Maintenance staff can finish one order and then log another while onsite, keeping travel and expenses to a minimum, while still accounting for every minute they spend.

To make more money, you can’t give the product away and you can’t ask people to do work they’re not recording. That ends up making them feel overworked while you’ll be underpaid. Scrooge didn’t become Scrooge by just handing out whatever it is he makes or sells. He’s charging for each second of his time.

Implementing a CMMS

Great. Save time, track things, make sure the elevator doesn’t breakdown. That doesn’t fill up bathtubs with cash money, though. How do we make money with a CMMS?

First, you have to have a good plan for implementation. CMMS implementation isn’t straightforward and some studies have found failure rates as high as 80%. To ensure that your business doesn’t become a statistic, you need to get everyone on the same page from the start.

  • Get your IT sorted – A heavy dependence on infrastructure means having everything in place in the back office is going to be key to a successful implementation. If your tablets are buggy, your internet connection is prone to failure, or your techs are all on outdated phones, you’re not going to have a good time.
  • Get your house in order – Inventory needs to be measured and labeled, tools need to be tagged, warranty information needs to be gathered, and you need to know who is going to do what once the system is in place.
  • Train, train, train – Everyone who touches the system needs to understand the final goals you’re reaching toward. Then, they have to know how their piece fits into that larger plan.

Continuing success with a CMMS

Now, you’re starting to see the benefits of the CMMS. Time is no longer being lost and those undocumented hours went from a cost to a revenue stream. Keeping the whole thing ticking over is now your main goal.

If your team falls off the horse and starts skipping out on work orders, your plan isn’t going to work. A CMMS makes you money by helping you cut out waste, keep your operations running smoothly, and minimize your inventory. All those metrics can be thrown off when people start skipping out on work orders.

Beyond adoption, you will also need to reexamine your goals on a regular basis to keep the system in line with your plan. The suite of reporting tools included in your chosen CMMS can help you keep on track.

MPulse CMMS, for example, lets you build your own reports to track time and inventory. You’ll have an up-to-date view of your operations, allowing you to make decisions quickly based on firm evidence.

CMMS for the sake of cash

Depending on the scale of your business, you can expect to save thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars over the course of a year. In top of that, you’ll experience less downtime, keeping your facilities up and productive.

Scrooge would be proud of the penny pinching that a CMMS offers. Cold hard facts help you make decisions that grow your bottom line. With all the good news, though, you might have one added expense this year – a bigger bathtub for all that cash.

Looking for CMMS software? Check out Capterra's list of the best CMMS software solutions.

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About the Author

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Andrew Marder

Andrew Marder is a former Capterra analyst.

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