Reduced corrective maintenance is found money

Better management of corrective and preventive work orders means a more efficient maintenance team will provide workers more capacity and reduce unnecessary overtime


You know that feeling you get when you find a $20 bill that you left in your jeans pocket after it went through the wash? Found money! That happened to me the other day and I thought to myself, where else can you find hidden money?

In fact, there is a fair amount of money lurking in the corners of your maintenance department, but you have to know where to look. CMMS helps you cut needless expenses or improves asset capacity, which equals found money, with an added benefit: Management views you as a rock star. 

Reduce overtime

CMMS can streamline your staff operations. Better management of corrective and preventive work orders means a more efficient maintenance team. In some cases your staff may want overtime, but management doesn’t agree. Optimize the team’s workload and schedule by analyzing work order data. These efficiencies will allow them to get more done during the day, giving them more capacity and reducing unnecessary overtime. Found money!

A recycling company’s East Coast plant claims CMMS gave it the ability to analyze staff performance through work order history and cut way back on overtime costs by hiring more qualified technicians. The CMMS also helped analyze replacement part usage and the plant found ways to cut parts inventory costs. The result? Maintenance costs per ton dropped by nearly 40% annually. 

Reduce downtime/improve uptime

One of the primary goals of CMMS is to give you an improved PM/corrective maintenance ratio. PMs are proven to reduce corrective maintenance, which leads to less downtime. Increase uptime, increase production, and improve service to clients. Do the math; even a small improvement in uptime can give you greater capacity to produce goods. Found money!

A dairy manufacturer reduced equipment downtime with its CMMS by scheduling simple tasks like replenishing the oil in a gear box—tasks that are often ignored until a machine breaks down. By creating PMs—large and small—for more than 1,500 pieces of equipment, the maintenance department squeezed more than 30% out of the budget. The company’s CMMS administrator trumpets his favorite slogan: “Oil and grease is cheap, parts are not.”

Asset preservation

Have you ever had equipment fail to the point where it needed to be replaced or overhauled, unexpectedly? A maintenance related issue had something to do with it, no doubt. Imagine catching those problems before they occur. CMMS shows impending problems, equipment likely to fail, problem trends, etc. Unattended, these problems can lead to catastrophic failure and a lot of disruption in your operations. Prevent these failures and you have found money!

A small food processor in the Midwest improved machine uptime and food safety compliance while cutting maintenance costs by approximately $50,000 per year. 

While I probably should have checked my jeans pocket before I put it in the wash, CMMS users should look beyond the fundamental PM-work order capabilities and find money hidden in the benefits of proactive maintenance management.

Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group, producer of Bigfoot CMMS for organizations worldwide. He can be contacted at Check out his new blog at 

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The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.