How to protect your maintenance budget during cutbacks.
A White Paper from SoftSols
Whenever economic conditions hit a downturn, organisations often redouble their efforts to save money. One area that may come under the accountant’s spotlight is maintenance. It can be a tempting target. Those holding the purse strings may argue that it is a largely ‘invisible’ activity, or even a necessary evil: a place where costs get lost.
The canny maintenance manager needs a strong corner to argue. The good news is that an excellent case can be made for continuing, or even expanding, your maintenance activity. You can quickly prove your case by entering your own figures into the Agility Maintenance Benefit Calculator, available free of charge on the Agility website.
Arguments for maintenance
The nature of any item of equipment is that there is an inherent risk that it will break down, meaning that the item is unable to perform the function for which it was designed. To restore functionality, an action requiring time, labour, tools, knowledge and materials must be undertaken. This is maintenance. The task of maintenance management is to correct or prevent faults by a programme of inspection and the replacement of parts - at minimum cost.
Furthermore, because maintenance is a necessary overhead, any saving translates into pure profit. Manual maintenance vs computerised systems Manual maintenance systems mean that all experience is held in people’s heads. To retain this knowledge, the organisation cannot afford to let its key staff leave – and this is a dangerous and frightening position for any company. It also means retaining a continuously ageing engineering workforce: again, not exactly a position of choice.
Paper-based systems can capture experience, but the data cannot be analysed effectively because of time constraints . To get anything worthwhile from the paper means many hours spent on administration instead of focusing on effective maintenance management. Computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) allow for the effective capture and manipulation of data, which can also be made available to other systems within the organisation.
Benefits of CMMS
An effective CMMS system boosts productivity and Return on Investment – not only in the maintenance field, but right across your organisation. Here are some examples, with approximate figures based on established industry best practice.
Breakdown of plant & equipment DOWN 5 – 15%
Everyone dreads breakdowns. Breakdowns mean business interruption, lost production, call out charges, and downtime to set production running again. Even in non-manufacturing environments, breakdowns are bad news. Lifts not working, toilets blocked, lights failed… all these mean low customer and employee satisfaction. Effective planned maintenance reduces the risk of breakdown through the regular, timetabled inspection and replacement of parts. If equipment is in good condition it will prove to be more reliable and last longer, substantially reducing capital costs.
Stock holdings DOWN 15 – 35%
By identifying and recording the spares used it is possible to identify redundant stock. Identification of duplicate stock will also reduce overall stock holding. Duplicate stock can be identified across the group if running multi-company or multi-site. There can be substantial benefits in sharing parts between sites where the equipment is the same and regular transport links already exist.
Inventory stock outs DOWN 15 – 30%
Engineering stores have a reputation for being poorly managed. Either they lacktime-critical parts and need to order them, meaning delay in fixing the equipment; or they have little idea of stock levels, and often have multiple
items in different places. By electronically recording planned/unplanned spares use, an organisation can easily predict the requirement for spares. Most stock outs can be avoided entirely.
Scrap DOWN 5 – 15%
Plant and equipment in good order means higher customer satisfaction. There is less waste, the risk of making ‘bad product’ is reduced, and overall quality rises – so you can sell more. Plant and equipment in good order means higher customer satisfaction. There is less waste, the risk of making ‘bad product’ is reduced, and overall quality rises – so you can sell more.
Lost time DOWN 1 – 6%
By effectively planning repairs, having spares available, and having the correct tools and skills, you reduce the time taken to maintain or repair an asset. Labour use and productivity UP 5 – 15% Effectively planning tasks and coordinating resources increases productivity. By making support information such as drawings, procedures, images and permits available at the right time, work is completed much more effectively. Further tangible benefits to the organisation Implementing a CMMS leads to other benefits.These vary between organisations, so are less readily quantified. However, you can expect to see…
Improved safety UP by a substantial %
This is a key issue for every organisation. More reliable assets mean fewer accidents. Furthermore, a good CMMS system enables you to easily prove that maintenance was carried out as planned. Defensible records impact Health & Safety compliance, so you can prove you did all you could to prevent any accident.
Extended asset life
By maintaining the condition of the asset, its useful life is extended, so it is replaced less often.
Reduced capital expenditure
By extending the useful life of the asset the requirement for capital is delayed.
Increase asset availability
This translates into less expensive downtime and higher productivity.
Improved workforce morale
Less downtime means a more efficient operation and higher standards of output.
Improved service levels
When less goes wrong, your teams have more time to get things right and
How to prove the benefits to your board
All of the above are powerful claims, but you can provide hard evidence for them as they relate to your own circumstances. Simply go to www.getagility.co.uk/gb/agility_downloads.htm and follow the link for the CMMS Benefit Calculator. Enter your own organisation’s figures into the spreadsheet, and within minutes you will have personalised data to back up your arguments.
Agility is an extremely easy-to-use yet powerful CMMS. Here are some of Agility’s key features and benefits:
Comprehensive: Agility is designed on the 80:20 principle. For 80% of the time, you use just 20% of any application’s functionality to deliver the real benefits. With Agility, you don’t have to pay for an over-specified system – and you get everything you need for effective maintenance management.
Easy to use: Agility is extremely simple to use. It’s so intuitive, users need very little training.
Inexpensive: From just £695 per user, the price is a market breakthrough. You no longer need to pay for complicated, over-specified systems
Browser-based: Agility’s technology means you have instant access to your maintenance system anywhere, at any time. No setup or downloads. Just connect and go.
Flexible and easy to customise: Agility works the way you want it to – and it’s easy to add your own information and database fields.
Boosts productivity: Agility provides critical data to the right person or customer in real time. This empowers your workforce and improves productivity and service levels.
Mobile and accessible anywhere: Allocate jobs and work orders to engineers in real time on their Pocket PC/PDA systems using GPRS, cradle synchronisation or wireless networking.