5 ways to increase productivity and save some green along the way

February 20, 2017  •  Allison McGillivray

In today’s ultra-competitive climate, organizations are always looking for ways to cut costs and set themselves apart. Did you know that making changes in your maintenance department could help your organization achieve a competitive edge (and please your boss)? Utilizing a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) could help your organization save some green and increase not only your department’s, but your entire organization’s productivity. With a CMMS you can:

1.    Increase your department's productivity by tracking work order/PM resolution times

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CMMSs record the amount of time work orders and preventive maintenance tasks (PMs) take to complete by marking the date and time they were created (or submitted) and the date and time when they were completed.

How it saves you some green

Most maintenance managers have an idea of how long certain work orders or PMs take to complete. If a task takes longer than anticipated, you have three possible problems:

  1. Your technician encountered uncommon issues
  2. Your projections are off
  3. Your technician is not staying on task

If you find that you are struggling with problems 1 or 2, investigate why this is. Maybe there is an underlying issue with a piece of equipment that you were not aware of. Maybe your technician lacks expertise in certain areas. Identifying these issues can help you resolve them and better schedule your team, and thus accomplish more without needing to add to your staff. If you’re struggling with problem 3, you can address the issue with your technician.

How FMX can help: With FMX you can track and run reports on the average resolution times for each of your work orders and PMs. You can also view average resolution times for each of your technicians. FMX enables you to assign work orders and PMs, set due dates, and keep your staff on task through email and text notifications.

2.    Determine when to outsource labor by calculating costs per task

With a CMMS, maintenance managers can track the labor rates, inventory cost, and downtime associated with each PM or work order.

How it saves you some green

With this information, managers can compare the total cost of completing a work order or PM in-house versus outsourcing it to a contractor. As a general rule, it is almost always cheaper to complete routine tasks in-house. But occasionally you’ll come across some tasks that are not so routine. At that point you need to determine whether it is worth outsourcing the project. Though your technician’s labor rate is lower, it will likely take them more hours to complete the task. However, despite this increase in time, it may take even more time to outsource the task because it may be awhile before the vendor can come out to do the repair. Tracking costs for both in-house and outsourced tasks in a CMMS will provide historical cost information to refer to in the future which will help you decide whether or not to outsource similar tasks moving forward.

How FMX can help: Maintenance managers can input inventory costs and the labor rates for each of their technicians into FMX. When hours and inventory are recorded on a task, FMX will automatically calculate the combined labor and inventory cost associated with that task.

3.    Determine (and justify) capital improvements by tracking costs over time

CMMSs generate maintenance histories for equipment, buildings, and locations by associating PMs and work orders with them over time. You can also record the age of your assets and their projected lifespan.

How it saves you some green

These maintenance histories allow managers to determine the maintenance cost (labor and inventory) of their assets over time. This information enables managers to determine the cost-effectiveness of equipment replacement and other capital improvements. When the repair rate and the accumulated repair cost become too high, it’s time to think about replacing. Equipment replacement and capital improvements may save your organization money in the long run.

How FMX can help: With the reporting and dashboard module in FMX, you can create and share customized reports and dashboards to ensure that you’re making data-driven facilities management decisions. FMX enables you to view your labor hours/costs and inventory expenses for each piece of your equipment and much more. Check out this case study to learn how FMX helped a maintenance department justify capital improvements.

4.    Lower costs by recording and tracking inventory

Most CMMSs have an inventory management module where you can track the quantities of your organization’s consumable inventory and spare parts.

How it saves you some green

Let’s revisit a few statistics I wrote about in a previous blog:

  • A typical organization overstocks about 29 percent of their internal inventory. Let’s say that your entire inventory store is worth about $50,000. That means that you likely have around $14,000 worth of overstocked materials.
  • More than half (58 percent) of a typical organization’s inventory has been stationary for more than three years. Let’s use the same example as before: if your inventory storeroom is worth $50,000, that means that you have around $29,000 worth of potentially obsolete items.

A CMMS can help you organize your inventory and put that money back into your budget.

How FMX can help: You can create an entry for each piece of your inventory in the FMX inventory module, where you can include its name, supplier, and any details about its quality and relevance to your organization. Once the entry is created, FMX will assign it a unique QR barcode for easy identification and labeling. Inventory quantities are changed automatically when pieces of inventory are associated with work orders or PMs. FMX can also help you track which inventory items you’ve used in the past week, month, year, or more. This information will allow you to more closely predict how many items you’ll need in the future. The FMX purchase order module can also help you keep track of the amount of time it takes to reorder inventory items from suppliers. This information will give you a good indication of how much of a particular item to keep in stock.

5.    Increase energy efficiency through project planning

CMMSs can help you plan and schedule energy efficiency projects such as equipment/inventory replacements and load reduction improvements.

How it saves you some green

Energy efficiency projects aren’t just good for the environment, they can also lower your energy costs. Most energy efficiency projects take the form of equipment or inventory replacements, for example, replacing a low-efficiency water heater with a high-efficiency one. These initiatives are popular because they are easy to identify and install, and the savings are immediately evident. Equipment/inventory replacements are a great place to start, but their contribution to your overall energy savings is minimal over time.

Here’s an example: In 2017, ACME replaces their low-efficiency water heater with a high-efficiency one. Five years later, when ACME discovers that they need to replace their water heater again, they decide to revert back to the low-efficiency one because it is cheaper up front. Because ACME reverted back to a low-efficiency appliance their contribution to their overall energy savings is minimal at best.

The best way to permanently improve your energy efficiency is to focus on load reduction. For more information on load reduction techniques, check out my previous blog post on How to advance your career by improving your energy efficiency.

How FMX can help: FMX can help you plan energy efficiency improvements. With FMX, you can create planned maintenance tasks days, weeks, months, even years in advance. You can also measure the success of your energy efficiency projects by tracking the total costs of your projects and comparing them to your energy cost savings.

All of these cost saving measures lead to:

Decreased downtime and increased productivity across your organization

CMMSs like FMX enable maintenance departments to become more organized and agile. They hear about important repairs sooner and are able to schedule and make those repairs faster and more efficiently. As a result, these organizations are likely to reduce downtime and improve the operations of their facilities.

CMMSs also enable organizations to improve employee/occupant productivity. CMMSs help maintenance managers to plan important capital improvements such as equipment replacements and building upgrades. Studies have shown that employees and other occupants become more productive as improvements are made to their environment.

If you’re interested in learning more about CMMSs, check out our Facilities Management Software Buyer’s Guide for some helpful tips for evaluating which CMMS is right for your organization.

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Allison is a product marketing manager at Facilities Management eXpress. When she’s not writing marketing content, she is likely hiking with her dog or cooking delicious Italian food. 

 

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