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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. However, if you've invested in a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), you have several ways to reduce expenses. This article looks at eight CMMS cost savers.

You can find numerous books and articles on cost savings for the home and workplace. Check out the following article for helpful suggestions.

Small Business

Fast Capital 360


American Express

Quandary Consulting Group

CMMS vs. Spreadsheets

I love spreadsheets and use them for simple expense tracking at home. However, expanding businesses have discovered that as the company grows, spreadsheets can't keep up. They end up cluttered and confusing with a lot of errors because of a lack of accountability on who has access. You have difficulty tracking edits. While somewhat organized, they lack the visual clarity I crave for comprehensive overviews.

Spreadsheets simply can't handle maintenance scheduling or dispatching work orders. Even before diving into the eight advantages, you see a few advantages of CMMS software. It tackles everything mentioned above, and then some!

Image: piece of equipment

1. Invest in Equipment

You want your assets to last. To do that you must take a proactive stance. Preventive maintenance (PM).

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?

With a CMMS, you can create a list of these PMs with details such as:

  • Frequency. How often should this preventive maintenance be performed? (e.g., monthly, quarterly)/li>
  • Who Does It? Assign the task to the appropriate crew or craft personnel.
  • Inventory? List any materials and tools required for the PM.
  • Visual Aids. Enhance your instructions with images of the equipment being worked on or link to helpful video tutorials.

As equipment ages, your CMMS can track its depreciation. This will reflect its changing value based on your chosen formula. By comparing this depreciation to the total repair costs, you can identify a tipping point. When the equipment's value dips below the cumulative repair costs (past or projected), you make the decision to replace or purchase new.

2. Label Switches

The Small Business article recommends labeling light switches to avoid turning on all the lights when you only need a few. This way, you can easily control which lights illuminate a room.

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 supervisor gathers the parts ahead of time (or maybe the week before the PM's deadline). Then the technician 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.

Even with an issue/return procedure, clear location descriptions save costs. Why? Because an organized stockroom allows supervisors to find items quickly, minimizing wasted time.

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

Don't confuse organization with space efficiency! You have to optimize your space, and a CMMS can help.

  • Identify Underutilized Stock. Check reports listing the Last Date Used on stock.
  • Optimize Storage. Avoid cramming everything into a limited space. The CMMS can help you identify areas for improvement.
  • Set Minimum Quantities. Prevent stockouts by establishing minimum allowable quantities for each item.
  • Automate Reordering. Set up correctly, your CMMS can trigger automatic notifications or even generate purchase requests when inventory dips below the minimum level.

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. A BPO streamlines purchasing, saving you both time and money.

  • Reduced Time. You eliminate the hassle of searching for vendors—the BPO handles that.
  • Cost Savings. BPOs reduce the number of purchases ordered from one company.

5. Maintain Even Workloads

You've created lists of workers, crews, and preventive maintenance jobs. Through the CMMS you've assigned crews/crafts to those PMs, dispatching the work orders to a crew leader and other specific workers. Get the right person for the job! Move beyond one-size-fits-all assignments. Your CMMS allows you to better utilize the specific skills and expertise of your workforce.

CMMS helps identify cost overruns. Don't just track completion; track time spent on jobs! A 30-minute repair routinely takes two hours. Why?

  • Analyze Delays: Use CMMS reports to pinpoint the cause of delays. Was it waiting for parts, unforeseen repairs, or something else?
  • Investigate Exceptions: Notes and comments attached to work orders become valuable clues. Maybe a worker had a flat tire, or another urgent repair emerged. This information helps identify areas for improvement and potential cost savings.
Image: hourglass

6. Time and work order management

I mentioned scheduling PMs and work orders earlier. At the start of each shift, check your dashboard and the calendar. The CMMS acts as your central database for all your maintenance operations.

7. Print Only What You Need.

Paperless efficiency and data power. While saving paper gains you a definite advantage, the real cost-saving power of a CMMS lies in its ability to generate custom reports tailored to your needs.

  • Drill Down on Costs. Don't get bogged down in generic reports. Filter your data to see exactly what matters to you.
  • Analyze Key Metrics. Dive deep into specific areas like labor, equipment costs, work order completion times, vendor compliance, and even the last-used date for parts.
  • Go Mobile, Go Paperless. Many CMMS systems offer mobile apps, letting you ditch the paper and access information on the go.
  • Customization Might Be an Option. Need data that isn't readily available in the CMMS? Some CMMS providers offer customization services for an additional cost. While the cost of this service may not be easily quantifiable, the potential benefits can be significant.

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? Call your provider for details on how to integrate your CMMS with other company systems.


Stop wasting money, Start Saving! Every company needs to find ways to tighten its belt. While cutting labor should be a last resort, uncontrolled maintenance costs can force your hand.

Don't let that happen! A CMMS can transform your maintenance department from a "cost center" into a profit driver. The tips above showcase how a CMMS can help you slash expenses across the board—equipment, inventory, and labor.

Ready to unlock cost savings and boost your bottom line? Contact Mapcon Technologies today to discuss their powerful CMMS system. They'll help you turn "future savings" into a reality. 800-922-4336

Organize your maintenance management. Learn more about CMMS Software here.


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