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

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 timesfmxbot-with-checklist

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.


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. 


FMX wishes you a fun-filled holiday!

We hope you have as much fun this holiday season as we did making our holiday video!

Although we may be out spending time with loved ones, we’ll still be here if you need us. Here’s our holiday schedule:

December 23 – Regular Hours (8:00am EST to 6:00pm EST)

December 24 – CLOSED

December 25 – CLOSED

December 26 – CLOSED

December 27-30 -Regular Hours (8:00am EST to 6:00pm EST)

December 31 – CLOSED

January 1 – CLOSED

January 2 – CLOSED

If you’ve got a question burning brighter than a crackling, cozy fireplace, our Learning Center could have the answer you need. Happy Holidays!

6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning Your Facility Management Budget

By this time of the year, most facility managers are wiping the sweat off their brow and saying “good riddance” to this fiscal year’s budget plan. While this seems like a good time to relax and take a breath (you deserve it), it’s also the perfect time to get started on next year’s budget! ln fact, facility management professionals suggest starting the budget planning process as early as 10 months before the fiscal year is out. We agree — it’s never too early to start! So, to help get your mind in the right place, we’ve compiled six questions that all facility managers should ask themselves when planning their budget. Check them out in our SlideShare presentation below.
We’re interested — what’s the top priority for your budget plan this year? Is there anything you do to streamline your budget planning process? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

With FMX, you can plan your budgets with confidence. Our cloud-based software provides you with the tools you need to track spending, productivity, equipment status, and more. With the help of our robust reporting and analytics, you can use this data to uncover insights on your facility management processes. FMX tracks resources and inventory while keeping everyone up-to-date with work orders, event schedules, and planned maintenance. Talk to an FMX-pert today to simplify the way you manage your facilities.

 Riana is the creative services manager at Facilities Management eXpress. When she’s not creating content or running the FMX customer community, she can be found doing crafts and drinking copious amounts of green tea.

Reporting and Analytics Live Q&A Recap

If your boss asked you these 3 questions, could you answer them?

  • What is our team’s average response time for work orders?
  • Which months had the highest maintenance and labor costs last year?
  • How do our work order and maintenance costs break down by trade?

Earlier this week FMX Founder, Brian Gregory, hosted a live Q&A session to discuss how our new and improved Reporting Module can empower you to answer those types of questions. During the webinar, Brian gave a brief tour of the Reporting Module, shared some FMX best practices, and answered questions sent in by viewers.

Watch the webinar!

Below is the full recording of the webinar, just in case you missed it. If you have any feedback or questions, let us know in the comments below this post. Thanks for watching!

You asked, we answered.

During the webinar we had some great questions submitted by our viewers. Here are a few of the highlights:

Q1: “How can I share these reports/dashboards with other people from my company? Can they be printed?”

A1: As long as your colleague has access to the Reporting Module in FMX, then all you have to do is copy the URL when viewing the report/dashboard, and e-mail that URL to your colleague. To print your reports/dashboards, simply go into the Reporting Module, and click either the Export PDF or Export image option located to the right of each dashboard preview (see example below).

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 11.29.27 PM.png

Q2: “What happened to the old reports?”

A2: Have no fear! In the Reporting Module, there are two sub-tabs near the top of the page (Dashboards and Reports). The sub-tab labelled Reports contains all of the old reports, but keep in mind that they’re not as interactive as our new dashboards.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 11.33.00 PM

Q3: “How do I add new request types to my site to have them show up in my dashboards?”

A3: In the Organization tab on your site, click on Request Types, and then click the Add New Request Type button and fill in the required fields. Don’t forget to hit save!

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 11.39.18 PM

Perfect practice makes perfect.

Take a look at our FMX Reporting and Analytics Best Practices, so you can get the most out of the new Reporting Module.

If you still have questions, ask away in the comments down below, or contact our friendly customer success team via email at support@gofmx.com

Stay in the loop with future FMX updates by subscribing to our blog posts. It’s easy, just click the red Follow button in the right sidebar of the blog and you’ll receive our new posts via email.

3 Tips for a Stress-Free Easter Service

Get ahead of the game and make next year’s Easter service a guaranteed success with these three simple tips.

1.) Keep events running smoothly with event scheduling anyone can access.

Has your kitchen ever doubled as a last minute warm-up room for your worship band? Does your Sunday school often run over, causing other events to relocate? Prevent these mix-ups and more by creating a formalized schedule system that keeps everyone updated.

  • You can find many calendar templates online, print out a spreadsheet, or keep a large whiteboard calendar in a central place for all your staff and volunteers to see. This central calendar gives you the ability to make any changes public so everyone stays in the loop.
  • Once you’ve created your Easter events schedule, post it on your website and/or social media channels and promote online sharing. Make sure your schedule is set in stone by this point as changing and notifying everyone is difficult at this large scale.
  • Creating individual room schedules and posting them on the appropriate doors can help deter roaming groups from taking over a reserved room.

The FMX Solution: FMX makes event scheduling easy since it prevents double booking of events and streamlines event approval processes. The FMX calendar can be exported and embedded on your church’s website or blog or synced with your phone’s calendar. And the best part is that any changes you make to the calendar within FMX are automatically reflected on these embedded calendars! Alternatively, you could take advantage of FMX’s unlimited user access by giving your whole congregation access to your FMX site to view the calendar and submit events. To keep everyone updated, you can enable email notifications that will let members know when any changes are made.

2.) Plan your cleaning strategy ahead of time to make sure everything is covered.

Not only is Easter something your members look forward to, it’s a great opportunity to make a positive impression on new guests who could turn into regular attendees. Make sure your building is in tip-top shape by getting prepared weeks in advance and keeping staff accountable for their assigned tasks.

  • At least one month before the big weekend, gather your staff for a brainstorm. Take this time to go over all the nooks and crannies that need tidying up as well as the larger, deep cleaning tasks.
  • Once you’ve identified these tasks, delegate them to the appropriate person and create a checklist to keep them both organized and accountable.
  • Some tasks may require help from outside vendors – coordinating work with vendors in advance saves you from having to stress over the details later on when you’re swamped with a million other to-dos.
  • Don’t stop there; make sure you keep tabs on problem areas that might be clutter magnets!

The FMX Solution: Our customers have found that using the Planned Maintenance module of FMX greatly streamlines the entire organizing and cleaning process. Through our Planned Maintenance module, tasks can be assigned to individuals, complete with a checklist of to-dos and instructions. This is especially useful when dealing with outside vendors. Since there’s no limit to the amount of users connected to your FMX account, invite these outside vendors into your system so you can share the checklists with them, track their progress, and keep them accountable. These checklists can then be set to occur before every Easter or other major church events (we’re looking at you, Christmas). You can also set reminders on your calendar to check on those problem areas that seem to get dirty no matter how often you clean!

3.) Tracking your inventory = fewer headaches!

It’s no surprise that you’ll be faced with a much larger crowd than normal coming to join the Easter festivities, but knowing exactly how many people to accommodate can become a risky guessing game. Keep tabs on your inventory and equipment and try to get ahead of the game by following these tips.

  • Keep all extra chairs/pews in one place. This way you can see at a glance how much extra seating you have available. You can even go the extra mile and keep a list of how many chairs go to each room. Set these up a day or so in advance to avoid shortages on the day of the event.
  • Order extra consumable inventory ahead of time. Things like toilet paper, paper towels, and beverages can quickly deplete during the course of an event. Be prepared by keeping track of what goes in and out of your inventory at all times.

The FMX Solution: FMX can easily take care of inventory and equipment headaches. When scheduling rooms, you can request equipment so you can see exactly how many chairs each room needs. You can also set up notifications so the staff responsible for chair set-up will receive emails with the equipment request. Not sure if you have enough of something in stock? Track your consumable inventory in our Inventory Module and always know how much of an item is on hand and when it’s time to order more. You can also track the cost of each inventory item in FMX to help with budgeting.


Happy Holidays from FMX!

Happy Holidays from the FMX Team!

We hope this holiday season will be a time for you to relax and spend some quality time with your family. Our customer success team will be doing the same, but rest assured that we’ll be available as follows in case you need our help:

December 23 – Regular Hours: 8:00am EST – 6:00pm EST

December 24 – CLOSED

December 25 – CLOSED

December 28, 29, 30, and 31 – Regular Hours: 8:00am EST – 6:00pm EST

January 1 – CLOSED

P.S. – Have questions over the holidays? Find answers in our Learning Center.

Welcome Customer Success Specialist Brandi to FMX!

We’re super excited to welcome Brandi Rees to the FMX customer success team! We got to know her a little better during a quick video interview. Watch the video below and read on to learn why she’s excited about working with FMX, what her hobbies are, and more.

What’s most exciting to you about FMX?

I’m excited to be working with FMX so I can interact with customers during their kick-off meetings and trainings, and help answer all of their support questions.

What are your hobbies?

In my spare time I enjoy decorating cakes, spending time with my friends and family, and planning my upcoming wedding.

Brandi's cupcakes

Yes, those are cupcakes!

What’s your dream vacation?

My dream vacation is to go to Disney World! Who doesn’t dream of becoming a Disney Princess?

Disney castle

She’s here to help you!

Brandi and the other members of our friendly customer success team are ready to tackle your questions or help you learn more about FMX. Shoot them an email at support@gofmx.com or check out our Learning Center.