The image of a sector that represents only expenses no longer does justice to the role of maintenance in the industry. Mainly with the advances in technology, its performance started to generate significant impacts on business results. Consequently, companies now view maintenance costs as an investment with valuable returns.
Still, it is essential to adopt strategies to reduce it continuously. After all, low expenses indicate machines in operation and production at the expected pace. With that in mind, we have created this article to show you what maintenance costs are, explaining how you can identify and reduce them. Check it out!
What are maintenance costs?
Maintenance expenses are all those that include labor, tools, spare parts, equipment depreciation, loss of profit, etc. Roughly speaking, any impact generated on the company’s cash due to a failure involving the sector is also part of the account. Its implications, however, go beyond the supposed “expenses”.
The first point to be clarified is the role of maintenance in companies. Many people still believe that the sector is simply an expense that should be eliminated, as it deals with problems that, theoretically, could be avoided. In fact, the maintenance industry is now a strategic tool for business — and we’ll explain why.
All companies in a given niche can use similar machines and equipment. However, each has its own internal dynamics, its organizational culture, its methods, etc. Naturally, all are subject to failures and breaks, in addition to having to deal with parts exchanges and periodic adjustments.
So they all need maintenance. Consequently, the company that makes the most efficient use of this sector tends to spend less and become more competitive. After all, every cost impacts the final price of products and services — not to mention quality.
Therefore, effective maintenance is one that constantly works to optimize your processes and reduce your maintenance costs.
What are the maintenance costs and how to identify them in my company?
Making a cost survey can be a challenge, especially if your company does not have a system specifically developed for this — we will talk about this tool later. To make this process easier, the first step is to divide costs into the following categories:
- direct costs, which involve labor, tools, spare parts, inputs and services;
- indirect costs, which arise from the depreciation of equipment and loss of profit (loss caused by the interruption of an activity);
- induced costs, which are those related to impacts on the company’s production processes or cash and were generated by a failure in the maintenance sector.
This categorization will make the data organization and the management of these expenditures easier, as it allows a clearer view of the origin of each one. Still, we live in the era of digital transformation and there is no room for failures in the treatment of costs due to the application of obsolete methods, such as spreadsheets or printed controls.
In this sense, it is essential to adopt a specialized tool that records maintenance costs and favors an efficient management of the sector’s resources.
How can maintenance management software control maintenance cost?
Maintenance management software (CMMS or EAM, for example) allows industry performance to be monitored more closely and based on more reliable data. To begin with, it facilitates the implementation of indicators (KPIs), such as World Class indicators, so that the manager can measure time, expense, productivity, etc.
All costs involved in maintenance become easier to track, including labor, parts, and outsourced services. The most interesting thing is that it is not just a differentiated means of storing manually collected data — quality software makes intelligent use of language to optimize the manager’s work.
Through reports that use graphs and KPIs, they transform data into relevant information. With this, everyone involved in the processes can understand the behavior of the sector more clearly. Factors that generate unexpected or excessive costs, for example, can be identified and addressed.
Some softwares also work with management dashboards, which are digital interfaces in which the information is available to managers. Thus, they can track indicators in real time, identifying critical points that deserve immediate attention.
Decreasing maintenance management costs while maintaining the high level of reliability and availability is a major challenge. Therefore, management software plays a leading role in any company that aims to achieve this important balance.
Here’s what to keep in mind to choose a suitable solution for your business.
How do I choose the right software for my business?
The ideal maintenance software is the one that makes your work routines easier. It must contribute to maintaining productive capacity, in addition to increasing the reliability and availability of machines. Therefore, it is necessary to know the processes of your company and identify its greatest needs.
Software such as CMMS or EAM promotes maintenance management with a focus on learning and continuous improvement. This is done using techniques such as Root Cause Analysis in order to identify the reasons for failures and the appropriate corrective actions.
The solution should provide a history of all services performed, forming a consolidated basis for everything that is done by the sector. This involves factors such as:
- Costs involved;
- the amount of human resources assigned to the activities; and
- the incidence of equipment failures.
Human Resource management
The systems also assist in the management of human resources, since these professionals must undergo periodic trainings. The result is a quality standard in continuous growth, while the expenses tend to decrease.
Therefore, seek a software that gives the manager easy access to information, whose use is intuitive and uncomplicated, favoring better decision making without needing to use paper or spreadsheets. In addition to benefiting the processes as a whole, this digital solution also favors sustainability in the company.
The criteria for choosing an efficient software are summarized below:
- good cost-benefit ratio;
- quality in the support given by the supplier company;
- good developer reputation (with solid success cases);
- intuitive and flexibleuser interface.
With these tips, you can find a tool that raises your team’s performance level. In a short time, the management of maintenance costs will become much more efficient, giving more competitiveness to your company and generating value for the business!
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