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The Maintenance Management Blog

August 02, 2022

8 CMMS Cost Savers

All businesses want to cut costs. Inventory expense, supplies, production costs, labor, utilities, and taxes. A variety of strategies exists. Efficient lighting, going 'green,' reducing hours, and cutting workforce, among others.

There are numerous books and articles on cost savings for the home and workplace. Many overlap or highlight similar points. My goal in this discussion is not to rehash or repeat those lists. For my purpose, I've chosen eight cost-saving ideas from several sources, and we'll see how a computerized maintenance management system is able to assist.

To begin, the places from which I found my ideas are:

Small Business

Fast Capital 360


American Express

Quandary Consulting Group

All list general points for cost savings. None specifically mention a CMMS but from the following eight, it's obvious how such a system can benefit large and smaller companies.

Basically, a CMMS is exactly that. You have equipment and assets (including grounds, buildings, parking lots, etc.) that need maintenance. With a computerized system, you have better control over those jobs.

Before I venture into the eight points, a word about spreadsheets. I like spreadsheets. I use them at home to track expenses. My categories aren't numerous nor is the data complex. A single formula keeps a running total throughout the time period wanted.

For maintenance work, a spreadsheet becomes trickier. It can be done, though. However, there are drawbacks. They're more prone to human error. They're more difficult to track changes and edits. While somewhat organized, I find them visually difficult to look at data with the type of overview I want.

A spreadsheet cannot help you schedule maintenance very well. It cannot dispatch work orders.

So, even before the list of eight, you can see how a CMMS is already better equipped because it can do everything mentioned above…and more.

Image: piece of equipment1. Invest in Equipment

Of course, you're purchasing quality equipment, not necessarily the cheapest. You've heard the adage "You get what you pay for." This holds true in so many cases.

So, you want that equipment to last. One of the best ways is preventive maintenance. Think about this in terms of your household equipment. Don't you change filters? Annual inspections of heater/AC? Oil changes/tune-up for your car? Roof/gutter inspection? Basic lawn care?

Why wouldn't you do the same for assets/equipment at your facility? Tune-ups/oil changes for your fleet of vehicles. Building inspections. Groundskeeping. Lubrication, filters, and parts replacements.

With a CMMS, you can create a list of these PMS. Descriptions can include how often the PM needs doing, who might complete the work (crews/crafts), any material/tools involved, and you should be able to attach images, the equipment being worked on or a link to a video instruction of the PM.

Of course, over time, equipment wears out. Your CMMS should be able to track depreciation. This tells you the value of the equipment based on the chosen formula. Comparing that to how much has been spent on the equipment for repairs, you can start to see a point when the value is less than what you are spending or have spent. So, it’s not depreciation itself but a combo of that and aggregating the overall repair costs. You could include PM costs, or not, depending on your point of view.

2. Label switches

The Balance Small Business article mentions labeling light switches in order that everything isn't turned on when only a few lights are needed. I adapt this to inputting the location of parts, tools, and supplies into the CMMS.

How does this save costs? Why have a worker search all over the stockroom for all the materials needed? Search time delays wrench time and adds to labor. As an example, one worker spends fifteen minutes two or three times per week searching the stockroom. Add it up. Half an hour each week equals over a day per year. Now add in more time and more workers.

With a CMMS, you can indicate the location of each item. Be as detailed as you want. Stockroom (in case you have multiple)>aisle>shelf>bin. Floor>room>closet. The worker knows where to go to retrieve the parts and is at work faster.

Also, consider creating kitted parts. Kitting is taking parts for a common job and putting them together in a kit (such as a toolbox or a baggie). A storeroom person gathers the parts ahead of time (or maybe this is done the week before PMs are due by a technician). Then the person doing the work order just picks up Kit 123 to do the oil change and doesn’t have to look for the five items he needs. That saves time too and it ensures the right parts are together.

If you have an issue/return procedure, this location description still saves costs because your stockroom is organized so the supervisor retrieves items faster.

This point of labeling could also relate to barcoding parts and equipment. If your company uses barcoding, you'd want your CMMS to create those and connect to a printer.

3. Minimize space usage

Just because that stockroom is organized, doesn't necessarily mean you're utilizing space efficiently. Do you have spare parts that aren't moving? How often are they needed? Are you cramming stuff into a small space because you're all out of storage? For better inventory management, a CMMS should generate a report on when the part was last used.

Related to this is setting a minimal quantity allowance on items. Doing this prevents not having an item if needed. Your CMMS, once it registers that minimum threshold, can notify you a part needs to be ordered or ever create a purchase order for you.

4. Negotiate discounts with suppliers

Purchase orders segue into a vendor discussion. Do you buy a lot of items from one company? If so, does it offer discounts for bulk orders? Keep that information handy when you create the list of vendors in the CMMS.

Along with this, make those bulk orders easier for you. Create a blanket purchase order list for each vendor. Both cost and time are saved. Time in that you're not having to spend time looking for whom to purchase, and cost in that a purchasing rep can use the BPO to get the best price.

5. Maintain even workloads

You've created lists of workers, crews, and preventive maintenance jobs. Through the CMMS You assigned crews/crafts to those PMs, dispatching the work orders to a crew leader and other specific workers. You're saving costs similar to inventory searches. Instead of telling one guy to assign jobs, you know who the best workers are for each job.

Cost-saving through a CMMS can also include reports on whether those jobs are done on time. Is a thirty-minute repair taking two hours? Why the delay? Waiting for parts? Unexpected other repairs? A worker had a flat tire on the way to the job site? Notes and comments on work orders are valuable in this regard.

Image: hourglass6. Time and work order management

I mentioned scheduling PMs and work orders earlier. This feature in a CMMS is so valuable. At the start of each shift, check that calendar. What's up for that day? You have everything in one place: the calendar, the PMs, the work orders, inventory, and the workers to do the job.

7. Print only what you need.

Balance Small Business also discussed saving paper and that's a valid point. However, I look at this cost-saving tip in terms of a CMMS being able to generate the exact reports you want. Narrow down your cost data. Does the system have filters to show only what you want? Labor, equipment costs, work order time, vendor compliance, and the aforementioned when parts were last used. Using mobile is a way to go paperless for many CMMS functions. If there is particular data you want that isn't included in the CMMS, will the system company customize it for you? Sometimes the cost of personal service isn't measurable, you just know how it benefits you.

8. Integrate

Many companies have enterprise resource planning (ERP), accounting, or other third-party systems that look at costs throughout the company. However, your CMMS software handles maintenance, perhaps purchasing. Does that leave a hole in the ERP data? Your system should be able to integrate with those systems to transfer the needed information. Call your vendor for more details.


Cost-saving measures need to be taken in any company. Otherwise, you're wasting money. Hopefully, cutting labor isn't your first step. Unfortunately, when some costs are too high, that step is unavoidable.

Don't let that happen in the maintenance department. Investing in a CMMS may be the answer to turning your maintenance 'cost enter' into a 'profit center.' As seen with the above tips, such a system will help reduce costs. Equipment, inventory, and labor.

Call Mapcon Technologies to discuss their superb system. Cost savings is in your future. Mapcon shows you how. 800-922-4336.


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: cmms, cost savings, maintenance — Stephen Brayton on August 02, 2022