How to use a CMMS to minimise your operating costs

by Bryan Christiansen
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It’s time organisations looked at the ways in which a CMMS (computerised maintenance management system) can improve the way they regard basic tasks. Maintenance is often looked upon as a necessary evil by higher management, but this is a shortsighted approach to adopt.

When done correctly, maintenance can directly contribute to the bottom line by eliminating issues that can negatively affect the performance of employees from other departments. Modern tools like CMMS software can significantly enhance those efforts and help you run more cost-effective maintenance operations.

Let’s see how that pans out in practice.

Increasing staff productivity

Using a CMMS improves staff productivity, by alerting users to required maintenance tasks, spares that need replenishing or upcoming maintenance problems. Supervisors can assign and schedule tasks remotely to individuals, without paperwork and red-tape.

This, in turn, leads to cost savings by reducing overtime, as the team is able to get the same amount of work done in less time. For example, maintenance techs can use equipment maintenance logs to speed up problem diagnosis and PM Builder (a checklist that outlines the steps for specific repair/inspection) to streamline the repair process.

The shift from reactive to proactive maintenance

One of the major trends in the maintenance industry in recent years is the massive shift in maintenance routines from corrective to preventive actions and even predictive algorithms. With the average equipment downtime lasting four hours and costing $ 1,040,000, it makes sense that this is a growing area of focus.

A CMMS not only enables facilities to shift to a proactive approach, but it is also designed to optimise such initiatives. By organising the workflow, controlling the assigning work orders, and ensuring that all of the facility’s unique requirements are fulfilled, a CMMS cuts down wasted time, and thus saves wage costs.

Similarly, a facility management software can gather necessary information such as material requirements, assets intervention history and spare parts list, and provide actionable intelligence to prevent breakdowns.

Increased asset life and decreased energy consumption

A switch to preventive maintenance in the long term can drastically improve and prolong equipment availability and reliability. Not only does it make your facility’s equipment more reliable, but it can provide cost savings in the form of lower water and energy bills.

Here’s how it works. A CMMS helps you monitor assets with high energy consumption and helps you build effective preventive maintenance programs that will keep those assets running in peek condition. This way, assets are inspected regularly and you can quickly identify if an asset is using more power than normal, due to some faulty parts that lead to high vibrations and overheating.

At the end of the day, a proactive maintenance program is almost guaranteed to increase asset life.

Control inventory costs

While it may not be obvious at first sight, CMMS solutions with spare parts inventory features can reduce costs of inventory by helping you manage tools, supplies, service contracts, warranties and, most importantly, optimise stock levels of your spare parts.

With the insight maintenance software can provide, facility managers can easily establish maximum and minimum stock levels, reorder points and criticality.

By keeping track of where these spare parts are and alerting you when stock levels get low, not only is equipment downtime drastically reduced, your inventory costs drop down because you don’t need to overstock on any spare parts you don’t actually need.

Improved information flow

In many modern facilities, the buildings may be cutting edge, but maintenance is still old school. While modern methods for preventive maintenance may be adopted, the tools used for communication are distinctly 20th century.

Modern teams require cutting edge solutions to stay competitive, and the use of mobile devices is expected in every maintenance team.

Mobile CMMS solutions can leverage this fact to better optimise the flow of information from person to person. Facility managers can assign work order and change task priority on the go, technicians can quickly retrieve assets’ history at any time and remotely collaborate with other technicians, workers from other departments can use the work request portal to instantly notify the maintenance team about occurring/unresolved issues, and so on. This makes maintenance more efficient and saves time, directly reducing operating costs.

Reporting on maintenance parameters

Creating and viewing maintenance reports is much easier (and a great deal faster) with a CMMS. As a result of the system requiring updates every time any activity is carried out, the database is always up-to-date (under the condition that maintenance technicians are diligent about entering correct the information). Reporting is painless and doesn’t require a person to sip through tonnes of emails, Excel spreadsheets and file cabinets.

Predictive maintenance schedules, maintenance resource allocations and overall asset maintenance planning is much more cost-effective with well-implemented maintenance software.


There is plenty of opportunity for reducing operating costs by adopting a proactive approach to maintenance supported by a modern CMMS solution. With all of the savings outlined above, achieving ROI on your CMMS should never be a worry that keeps you hesitant to incorporate new technology into your department.

Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO at Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy to use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organise, automate and streamline their maintenance operations.

Image: ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

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