Cost Savings Over Time: The Long-Term Benefits of Maintenance Investments


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Cost Savings Over Time: The Long-Term Benefits of Maintenance Investments.

By Josh Hanley, freelance writer.

Running a business is not an inexpensive undertaking. There are a great many different outgoings that collectively describe a given business’ expenditure, and no two businesses are exactly alike in what this expenditure looks like. In a period of increased costs from energy to raw materials and beyond, though, it is universally true that businesses are paying more to keep their operations afloat.

Amidst this landscape of increased business costs, it is more important than ever for businesses to keep careful track of their money – and to make every effort to minimise unnecessary expenses as a result. One of the more underrepresented costs in this regard is that of maintenance, or more accurately a failure to properly maintain mission-critical equipment. How important is maintenance, and just how cost-effective can it be in the long term?

Importance Of Proactive Maintenance

Maintenance is a crucial consideration for businesses even in times of relative normalcy. This is because keeping equipment and facilities in good condition can improve a business’ short- and long-term outlook through a variety of variables and factors.

Proactively maintaining equipment and facilities ensures that their lifespan is increased, reducing the frequency with which repairs or replacements need to take place. In turn, this reduces the downtime that can be associated with repairs and replacements, improving a business’ overall profitability. Cost is the central consideration here, with potentially catastrophic consequences for failure to properly maintain a proactive maintenance schedule.

Cost Implications Of Neglecting Maintenance

Those consequences relate to the uncontrolled and unexpected failure of equipment and items that a business failed to proactively maintain. Using an industrial facility as an example, machines involved in the processing or manufacture of a given product are constantly enduring tension, friction and wear; failure to properly lubricate or monitor moving parts can increase the likelihood of their seizure, leading to complete machine breakdown and repairs that exceed the cost of the part alone.

Failing to regularly maintain equipment also increases the rate that wear and tear occurs, in turn reducing the time between replacements – and increasing the costs associated with fixing a given machine even further. This is all before considering the ancillary costs caused by a machine breakdown, in the form of wasted materials, inefficient use of man-hours and potential loss of custom.

Best Practices And Actionable Insights

As far as best practice is concerned, a business should ensure they run a programme of preventive maintenance. This programme should apply as much to conventional facilities as it should to bespoke equipment; retaining an in-house engineer and equipping them with plumbing tools can reduce costs and inefficiencies associated with boiler or bathroom failures, for instance.

Preventive maintenance is best conducted by creating administrative milestones for engineers and departments to follow. Each piece of industrial equipment in the factory example above would be assigned a logbook, which would be updated according to usage. Just as PAT-tested equipment is date-stamped, so too would a maintenance logbook demonstrate the last time at which equipment was checked or serviced.

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