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The ROI of maintenance management software (plus 5 questions to ask before you buy!)

Is a CMMS/EAM solution worth it in terms of bottom line?

If you’re considering a maintenance management software platform, you’re probably pretty familiar with how computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) and enterprise asset management (EAM) tools can help. From work order tracking to remote data collection to hassle-free reporting, these systems have a lot to offer busy maintenance and operations teams. Considering that more than half of maintenance managers are already using a CMMS and the EAM market is a $5.5 billion industry and growing, there’s clearly something to this whole digital thing. But, after doing some product research and maybe watching a demo or two, you might be thinking, sounds great… what’s this system going to cost me?

Let’s be honest, you already have a system in place and, even if it’s not ideal, it works, right? Will the improvements save you enough to justify the cost and effort of a new system? Determining ROI can be tricky when it’s based on predicted savings over time. The good news is that there is some great foundational knowledge about what your business challenges may already be costing you.

OK, we need to talk about downtime first

In the manufacturing world, unplanned downtime costs somewhere around $50 billion per year with just four hours equaling an average of $2 million. Eek. Unexpected shutdowns can become catastrophic fast. A CMMS or EAM system can help reduce unplanned downtime, which in turn increases productivity and profitability. How maintenance management software does this is sort of a mixed bag of maintenance goals and best practices. Your CMMS/EAM can enable:

  • Maintenance tasks at regular intervals

  • Real-time condition-based monitoring

  • Preventive maintenance

  • Increased safety

  • Improved asset reliability

All of these superpowers work together to make sure your equipment doesn’t stop running.

How else does a CMMS/EAM solution provide value over time?

Your maintenance management software creates a lot of efficiencies that add up. Some significant ones include:

Inventory management – Order tracking and inventory features can help you avoid running out of or overstocking on parts.

Reduced labor costs – More adequately staff your shifts based on workload. You can even get more granular and analyze productivity based on facility location, team members, time of day, etc.

Extended asset life – All of that best practice maintenance means your equipment will last longer and you can better plan for pulling the trigger on costly new assets.

Utilities savings – Better maintained equipment uses less gas, electric and water.

Real-time communication – If plans change, you can update team members in real time, and vice versa; you’ll receive instant alerts on work orders and other issues.

Faster onboarding – Your CMMS/EAM provides a complete activities log on each asset (often with pictures and comments!), making it much easier for new employees to come up to speed.

CMMS/EAM software unlocks another important resource… you!

Don’t forget that your time is also incredibly valuable. In addition to improved maintenance planning and scheduling tools, your CMMS/EAM also offers features like quick, hassle-free reporting and work order generation that can help get you out of the weeds. You can automate workflows, access real-time data, download and export reports, etc., all freeing you up for more strategic tasks.

What are you paying for upfront?

Oooh yeah. Cost. Great question. It’s kind of hard to understand the value without knowing the out-of-pocket costs to get up and running with a maintenance management system. Naturally, that’s going to vary a lot depending on what solution you go with. That said, it does help to at least get a feel for what you need right away. Your startup fees could include:

  • The software package itself (usually a subscription)

  • Implementation

  • Training

  • Hosting

  • Hardware costs

  • Any requested customization

5 Questions to ask your vendor before you make a move

One of the most important things you can do to ensure you’re getting a good return on your investment is to make sure you are crystal clear on how you’re paying for the above as well as any ongoing or future costs. Here are some useful questions to get you started:

  • What’s your implementation fee?

  • What factors affect pricing (number of users, facilities, asset types, etc.)?

  • Is your solution web-based (typically less costly)?

  • Are service hours included if I need to make adjustments after using the platform?

  • How can this solution grow with my business?

Maintenance management software will save you money. It just will. It’s genuinely more of a question of how much and how long until you see the return. But, you need to be comfortable with your purchase and clear on how it helps. We’re always happy to field any questions you may have. Get in touch!

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