The pressure of balancing maintenance costs with upwards pressure on output levels, an aging asset base, and retirement rates in skillful technical resources can cause a lot of frustration. The maintenance budget, in asset-intensive industries, is often one of the largest portions of the total.
When the maintenance department is overloaded and machinery is breaking down, it may look unattainable to find ways to cut costs. However, several things can assist you in decreasing maintenance expenditures while fulfilling the expectations of the maintenance department.
- Get the right tools
To try and manage maintenance costs without a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is one way to make life unnecessarily difficult (and almost downright impossible). A CMMS is built with preventive maintenance in mind, meaning the problem gets fixed before it even happened. Small repairs are much cheaper than big, reactive maintenance types of repairs.
Through the adoption of a proactive culture, an organization can ensure that equipment is kept in working order, preventing unexpected deterioration. It also ensures an organization is not faced with unplanned downtime of everyday operations and unexpected costs, which are unwanted aspects that are usually central to a run-to-failure maintenance strategy.
- Manage Inventory and Spare Parts
One reason for having a high average repair time is having a lack of spare parts in stock. A solution for this problem is to make sure there are similarities between interchangeable spare parts and/or assets. A clever cost-reducing trick is having the same parts fit many machines. This makes it easier to get technical assistance from the manufacturer. You should also remember that you can negotiate better prices if you order parts in bulk.
- Get rid of repeat offenders
Repeat offenders are the pieces of equipment that cause most of your breakdowns. They usually require the most maintenance and are workload intensive. To identify those you have to delve into your CMMS. You want to analyze your reactive maintenance history and build charts with that information. The goal here is to emphasize the worst performers of your reactive maintenance cost and effort. After you have identified the equipment behind your maintenance problems, you should meet with your engineering and operation teams and figure out the next steps.
- Train your team
Another important step to getting maintenance costs down is by not only teaching your technicians about maintenance issues but your whole team. If all your employees know how to spot problems with equipment, potential failures will be detected much quicker. This will ensure you have fewer downtime occurrences, and you will get rid of expensive and time-consuming repairs.
By identifying a problem as soon as possible, the repair can often be quick and inexpensive as only one or two parts must be replaced. As opposed to not knowing about the problem and parts starting to lean on each other, making the issue progressively worse.
- Negotiate Better Rates and Contracts
Another way to reduce costs is to go through the specifics in your contract. Meet with your suppliers to learn what drives costs at their end. These types of conversations help you see what you can eliminate. Think about opportunities where you can decrease your maintenance costs while your supplier can improve their profitability.
You could also look into the way your contracts are structured. Encourage your contractors to reduce waste, become more productive, and become more cost-effective. You would have to go out there and ask. What you could find that your imperative service providers are quite willing to support you on your cost-reducing journey. Good suppliers are those who understand the value of a long-term partnership.
For a fraction of the monthly price that maintenance is costing you right now, you could implement Proteus MMX – a next-generation CMMS system. Call Eagle at 262-241-3845, send us an email, or schedule a demo to learn more about Proteus MMX.