Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming in a cost-effective model


Furthermore, in the event of an equipment malfunction, spare parts must be on-site along with a fully trained technician to complete the repair. A resident maintenance program meets these maintenance challenges and provides a predictable cost for guaranteed throughput. The program not only includes trained mechanical, electrical, controls, and software technicians but also spare parts stocked for fast repair, plus instant access to OEM resources and engineering assistance.

A fully integrated CMMS

Keeping hundreds of assets maintained and operating at peak efficiency is a daunting task. By implementing a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), every facility asset can be viewed and tracked on a graphical interface, ensuring efficient management throughout its lifecycle. CMMS implementation has benefits that range from system-wide maintenance planning and labor allocation down to individual machine-level monitoring to identify repetitive issues and cost of ownership.

Maintenance scheduling, labor management, PM planning, work order generation, spare parts inventory, and performance reports can all be aggregated within a CMMS. In addition, a CMMS integrates with the DC’s[SS1]  ERP and WCS to share data and provide an unprecedented ability to manage assets and predict system wear and tear, all while optimizing maintenance budgets and schedules. The CMMS also sends notifications via text, automated voicemail, or email in the event of critical situations. The result? Reduced response time, less downtime, and lower perceived maintenance costs.

 “With a properly implemented CMMS, the operator gains a complete asset history from cradle to grave, including ancillary equipment such as lift trucks and batteries.” says Rick Emery, CMMS system administrator, Intelligrated. “This provides invaluable insight into the true cost and performance history of each asset, impacting how and when maintenance is performed and a potential upgrade or replacement is scheduled with attendant cost benefits to the operator. In addition, each asset is tracked individually so identical units that may have different motors are managed as separate assets. It’s just a smarter way of working, with a real impact on increased uptime.”

Make time for preventive maintenance

Maximizing equipment life and preventing unplanned shutdowns are some of the primary drivers for a PM program. A PM program also ensures that recommended system enhancements and upgrades are implemented. Running a lean internal maintenance team frequently results in downsides such as minimal to no time allocated for preventive maintenance.

Responding to unplanned outages takes all the resources available, with the consequence of expensive equipment not meeting life expectancy and a noticeable increase in unplanned outages. Running 18- to 20-hour days, seven days a week, can also compromise a PM program. A resident maintenance program includes a robust and highly structured PM program designed for total lifecycle support. This type of PM program ensures maximum life of the capital equipment investment, as well as keeping uptime and throughput at optimum levels.

“While a PM program can be overlooked due to reactive maintenance requirements, it’s really an insurance policy for long-term system performance,” said Ryan. “Ultimately, the lack of PM is going to impact cost in terms of lost throughput, increased downtime, and shorter equipment life. We see cost-effective PM as one of the greatest benefits of a resident maintenance program.”

Decrease downtime with contracted uptime

Throughput is one of the most important KPIs. The ability to meet throughput goals relies on sustaining uptime. A superior maintenance program contractually guarantees uptime of 97% or better. While actual uptime frequently exceeds this figure, the number alone is not the whole ROI story. With operational staff free from maintenance oversight, they can focus on strategic planning and management.

“Guaranteed uptime is a huge relief,” said Ryan. “We reach and exceed these uptime figures due to our skilled technicians, our robust PM program, and our ability to immediately respond to emergency outages and equipment failures by having the right technicians and spare parts in the right place at the right time.”

Corey Calla is director of the lifecycle support team at Intelligrated.

Resident maintenance: What to expect

Your resident maintenance professional should be:

  • Time efficient: Providing high-quality maintenance during limited downtime
  • A clean sweeper: Keeping your systems clean and clear of debris
  • A system inspector: Inspecting and identifying worn parts and equipment to prevent failures before they happen, reducing unplanned downtime
  • A reference point: Providing greater access to company resources both remotely and in-person as an employee of the system’s manufacturer
  • Fully trained: Comprehensive training in the company’s specific solution, as well as industry standards and OSHA requirements.  
  • Familiar with asset management and legacy knowledge base: Maintaining complete system knowledge that never just “gets up and leaves,” like employees. The system manufacturer manages hiring, training, record keeping, and reporting.

Calculating the ROI

Factoring in sales volume, number of employees, hours worked, and wage structure, operations can easily calculate potential savings incurred by a contracted resident maintenance program. For example, a facility operating 4,500 hours a year with 4% downtime could reduce downtime by 56.25 hours with a resident maintenance uptime guarantee, saving more than $1.25 million annually. Subtract more than $500,000 of in-house maintenance costs and total program savings exceed $1.75 million.

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