Asset Management Strategies
There are countless industries that operate on the backs of expensive, high-tech equipment. To keep these companies running as efficiently as possible, owners and facility managers develop strategies to manage the astronomical cost associated with the maintenance and repair of their assets. With ever-changing regulations and technologies, these same individuals are being asked to evaluate new technologies, keep up to date on requirements, and run their business simultaneously.
Here are a few strategies to help manage this seemingly impossible task:
- Build an In-House Solution
- Obtain Full-Service Contracts (OEM)
- Obtain Full-Service Contracts (Independent Service Providers)
- Clever Contracts (i.e. PM Only, Parts and Labor Only, Parts Discount, etc)
- Software Automation Tools
- Software Management Tools
Whichever strategy you choose, make sure that you implement the appropriate standard operating procedures that your team can easily follow and execute.
Equipment Lifecycle Cost Management
Small business owners often lack the leverage and the buying power of bigger institutions to gain favorable pricing on equipment purchases and service contracts. Therefore, these smaller, privately owned institutions are inherently at a disadvantage when competing against their larger counterparts.
There are several cost saving techniques business owners can implement to save on equipment manage cost throughout the life cycle of the asset. Utilizing these savings, smaller companies can begin making strides towards balancing this unlevel playing field.
Many owners do not know that throughout the equipment purchase process they are able to negotiate cost, terms, and conditions that can result in significant cost savings.
Here are a few negotiation points to apply:
- Request longer warranty periods
- Request reseller/refurbished warranties
- Ask for performance guarantees
- Leverage independent service provider contract pricing against the seller’s
- Create creative/hybrid maintenance contracts
- Utilize market data to get better buy back values
- Local buying groups
Knowledge is the best tool a business owner can use in negotiations. Do as much research, and gather as much data as possible before entering into the negotiation phases of a contract. Remember, the companies offering service contracts, warranties, or new equipment, are in the business of selling more equipment and maintenance contracts.
Once equipment is installed, it is recommended to generate maintenance and repair documentation to monitor the performance of the equipment. These records will provide leverage when negating favorable buy back terms for a piece of equipment which experienced optimal uptime, or demonstrate equipment’s failure to meet performance criteria relative seller guarantees or to other similar devices in the system.
Benefits of Maintenance Software
There are several great software tools available to help small businesses and automate the administrative burdens of equipment maintenance and documentation management. It is important that business owners and facility managers evaluate their current pain points within the equipment management procedures. This step is extremely useful when identifying the correct software tools.
There are several computerized maintenance management software programs on the market. By limiting the potential software choices to only those that fit within the budget and that contain he necessary benefits specific to the company’s needs, will help you navigate through all the choices.
Below are some examples of how finding the right software can be beneficial to your business:
Improve Staff Productivity
Save valuable staff time previously spent on redundant/admin activities and allow them to focus core functions and revenue generating activities.
Improve Equipment Uptime
Create planned maintenance frequencies and procedures for each device to reduce the amount of unplanned repairs.
Less Paper and Clutter
Utilize a web-based software to store repair and maintenance records digitally in the cloud and remove the unnecessarily large binders that contain hundreds of printed records.
Easily Accessible Information
Allow multiple users to access the software to input and read pertinent equipment information, as well as allow owners and facility mangers remote access to records and performance analytics.
Track Repairs, Maintenance, and Associated Cost
Analyze maintenance records and automate software-reporting tools to identify equipment that is constantly breaking down, devices that are performing to expectations, and track the cost associated with the device.
No longer worry about physical storage space for binders and information and let the software house to all of the necessary information for as long as you like.
Before committing to any software, ask for demos or free trials to ensure that the features touted by the software provide the expected benefit. Moreover, the tree trials and demos will allow you and your team to test drive to software before you spend time and money onboarding your facility, only to find out that it was not the solution you were hoping for.