14 tips to reduce maintenance costs in 2024

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While not quite the million-dollar question, it’s a significant one: What strategies can your company employ to lower maintenance expenses? Frequently, high maintenance costs can significantly impact profit margins, hindering a company’s growth. Avoid falling into this trap! Explore our 14 tips on minimizing maintenance expenses and initiate savings today.

So, is it impossible to reduce maintenance costs? 

reduce maintenance costs

Achieving a sudden reduction in maintenance cost  may seem daunting, but it’s not an all-or-nothing scenario. Implementing a systematic approach can enhance control over your maintenance budget. The key lies in eliminating unnecessary tasks, thereby boosting productivity and conserving materials.

Research indicates that about half of maintenance costs constitute “waste.” Yet, achieving a 50% reduction in maintenance spending demands an almost superhuman level of efficiency. Instead, let’s aim for a 20% reduction. To achieve this, the primary targets for cost reduction include:

  • Equipment incurring the highest preventive maintenance expenses.
  • Equipment with the most extensive operational hours per year

CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System, a software tool used to streamline maintenance operations, manage work orders, track assets, schedule preventive maintenance, and store relevant data related to equipment and facility maintenance.

CMMS software helps in various ways to control and reduce maintenance costs:

CMMS software helps in various ways to control and reduce maintenance costs:

  1. Optimized Scheduling: CMMS enables better scheduling of preventive maintenance tasks, reducing unexpected breakdowns and associated costs.
  2. Inventory Management: It assists in managing spare parts and inventory levels, ensuring you have what you need without overstocking, which can save on storage costs.
  3. Efficient Workflows: It streamlines processes and workflows, reducing time wastage, and improving overall efficiency, thus cutting labor costs.
  4. Data-Driven Decisions: CMMS provides insights and analytics, allowing for data-driven decisions, optimizing resource allocation, and identifying cost-saving opportunities.
  5. Reduced Downtime: By minimizing breakdowns and increasing the reliability of equipment, CMMS helps reduce downtime, which in turn saves on lost production time and associated revenue.
  6. Improved Compliance: It ensures adherence to regulatory standards, preventing fines or penalties associated with non-compliance, thus avoiding additional costs.

In essence, CMMS plays a crucial role in controlling maintenance costs by improving efficiency, reducing unexpected failures, optimizing resources, and providing data-driven insights to make informed decisions.

14 strategies for reducing maintenance spending

The equipment you spend the most time on is probably the biggest source of waste. However

you can use these strategies to reduce maintenance costs on any asset:

Eliminate repetitive tasks 

Were you aware that approximately 30% of preventive maintenance tasks are executed excessively? Not all equipment breakdowns exhibit a predictable timeline. Without a clearly established pattern, such as specific cycle counts or periodic maintenance needs, there’s a chance of overdoing maintenance tasks.

Eliminate tasks that do not correspond to any failure mode 

To prevent excessive maintenance, it’s crucial to align each task with a particular failure mode. This means ensuring that scheduled maintenance directly addresses potential issues. Uncertain about the failure modes? Here’s a guide on conducting a root cause analysis to delve deeper into identifying these failure modes.

Instead of “fixing”, find a cure 

Facing recurring breakdowns with your equipment? Rather than repeatedly addressing the symptom, consider performing a root cause analysis to uncover the actual source of the issue. Investing additional time in understanding the problem can yield significant long-term benefits.

Optimise work orders 

Streamlining work orders facilitates quicker technician response and ensures they have the necessary items like protective materials and tools readily available. However, there are additional methods to minimize inefficiencies. For instance, upon receiving breakdown notifications, utilizing geolocation can identify the closest technician, optimizing travel time and efficiency.

Avoid reactive maintenance 

In line with Reliable Plant’s findings, unplanned tasks consume 3 to 9 times more time. This underscores that reactive maintenance not only drains finances and resources but also elongates timelines. Thus, steering clear of reactive maintenance stands as one of the most effective methods to curtail maintenance costs.

Negotiate contracts with current suppliers

This approach holds the promise of cutting your maintenance expenses by as much as 5%. Evaluate all supplier contracts to identify opportunities for renegotiation, unmet obligations, or the possibility of consolidating services to secure a more competitive price.

Know the life cycle of your assets 

If a particular asset demands frequent repairs, it’s essential to evaluate its viability for continued maintenance. Understanding your assets’ life cycles is crucial in determining whether repairing the equipment, refurbishing it entirely, or opting for a new replacement is the best course of action.

There isn’t a singular approach to cutting maintenance costs. Maintenance remains crucial for ensuring safety and comfort for all. However, the focus should be on eliminating unnecessary maintenance tasks and enhancing staff productivity. This involves assigning specific objectives to each task and optimizing work routines for the staff.

Prevent breakdowns

Naturally, the most effective approach to minimize maintenance expenses is by preventing equipment malfunctions. This isn’t just about the high costs associated with repairs but also the potential disruptions to operations, which might even necessitate halting activities. How can you prevent breakdowns? Investing in a robust preventive maintenance strategy is crucial, ideally through an Intelligent Maintenance Management Platform (IMMP) capable of scheduling, monitoring, and assessing all technical operations.

Track and manage inventory

If your repair duration tends to be lengthy, a potential cause might stem from inadequate spare parts in inventory. One solution to address this issue involves ensuring a level of uniformity among assets or employing interchangeable spare parts. Employing parts that can be used across multiple machines not only serves as a savvy cost-saving tactic but also simplifies acquiring manufacturer support. Additionally, consider the advantage of bulk ordering, which allows for negotiating better prices when procuring parts.

Cut down on day-to-day wastage 

Similar to other tasks, maintenance activities often involve inefficiencies. Typically, technicians spend merely 30% of their time actively engaged in work, with the remaining time consumed by waiting for tools, awaiting authorizations, and navigating various interruptions. Leverage the data accumulated by your Intelligent Maintenance Management Platform (IMMP) to identify bottlenecks and pinpoint areas where productivity is compromised.

Optimise MRO inventory 

An additional approach to reduce maintenance costs involves streamlining inventory management for maintenance, repairs, and operations. Once more, leverage the historical data from your Intelligent Maintenance Management Platform (IMMP) to predict your requirements accurately. This approach prevents unnecessary spending on parts and tools that won’t be utilized or are already stocked. Moreover, it facilitates space-saving measures and enhances logistical efficiency.

Train your team

Ensuring cost-effective maintenance involves training not just your technicians but your entire team. When all employees are equipped to identify issues, problems can be detected swiftly, leading to reduced downtime and averting costly and time-consuming repairs.

Choose the right technology

While occasional tech glitches like phone freezes or quick computer reboots might happen, leveraging technology remains vital for your business operations. Consider the daunting task of manually analyzing each maintenance operation with pen and paper. Utilizing a customizable Intelligent Maintenance Management Platform (IMMP) streamlines infrastructure management, saving considerable time and effort.

Extend the warranty/insurance period

Perfection is elusive in functionality. It’s wise to consider insuring your business’s most expensive equipment or extending warranties for certain items. This approach not only reduces maintenance expenses but also mitigates the impact of substantial repair costs. Sometimes, it might even be beneficial to insure particular components — consulting with your technicians can help determine the most suitable policy for your business needs.

Extra tip: finding the ideal maintenance partner with key smart Apps

key smart Apps Achieving flawless functionality is a challenge. Considering insurance for your business’s costly equipment or extending warranties on select items is a prudent move. This not only trims maintenance expenses but also cushions against hefty repair costs. There are cases where insuring specific components might offer added benefits — seeking advice from your technicians aids in identifying the most fitting policy for your business requirements.










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