Spending Money to Save Money – How Investing in Technologies Can Reduce Maintenance Costs 

Bryan Christiansen, Founder and CEO at Limble CMMS

Posted 3/12/2024

As economic uncertainty carries on into another new year, businesses around the world are carefully reviewing budgets and seeking effective ways to minimize expenses for the months ahead. One significant area that business leaders may consider is facilities maintenance. After all, it is a very large and multi-faceted expense, involving repair costs, part replacements, staffing, and more. 

The high cost of maintaining physical assets can strain any business, inflating operational costs and narrowing profit margins. However, you can’t have a successful business without proper working equipment. The only solution is to manage maintenance activities and expenses as efficiently as possible. 

Understanding the Scope of Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs encompass all expenses associated with keeping equipment and facilities in optimal working condition. This includes costs associated with downtime that impact production volume, labor costs across the maintenance team, spare parts inventory spend, and regulatory compliance costs from time spent on audit prep to fines for failure to meet requirements. 

Traditional maintenance methods rely on manual processes and reactive strategies, which often lead to inflated costs due to unplanned downtime and inefficient use of resources. In industrial industries such as manufacturing, energy, and construction, where equipment reliability and overall profitability go hand in hand, the impact of maintenance costs on overall operational expenses is even greater. A comprehensive understanding of these costs – both direct and indirect – is vital for businesses aiming to streamline their maintenance strategies and increase ROI.

Failing to manage maintenance efficiently doesn’t simply mean spending more time on the same tasks or watching labor costs soar. It also results in higher parts inventory spend, reduced asset lifespans, lost production hours, and even safety or regulatory issues. In certain industries, the costs of hands-off maintenance could include fines and legal fees. 

Leveraging Technology to Improve Maintenance 

Maintenance technology has brought significant changes to the way maintenance teams conduct their work and raised the bar for the impact they can make on businesses. Technology solutions such as Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and IoT sensors are revolutionizing maintenance strategies across industries. 

CMMS platforms streamline maintenance operations by automating Work Orders and PMs, optimizing inventory management, and providing critical data analytics. These systems include features like intuitive mobile apps to manage work in the field in real time and automated scheduling to implement an efficient PM program. IoT technology, like performance-monitoring sensors, enables real-time equipment data collection to prevent breakdowns before they occur. Together, these technologies not only reduce the immediate costs associated with maintenance, but also minimize indirect expenses by improving asset reliability, reducing downtime, and optimizing resource allocation. 

Investing in Technology to Reduce Maintenance Costs 

Investing in Technology to Reduce Maintenance Costs 

It’s clear that advancements are continuously altering the maintenance landscape, offering various methods for managing teams, scheduling tasks, and reducing costs. A few of the potential cost-saving benefits of maintenance technology include:

  • Real-time monitoring & data collection: Enhances maintenance efficiency by providing vital asset information, reducing manual checks and unplanned downtime, and enabling closer attention to failure metrics like MTBF and MTTR.
  • Automated maintenance scheduling and workflows: Reduces time spent on administrative tasks, increasing wrench time and boosting overall productivity.
  • Mobile access for team members: Enables technicians to view Work Order procedures, parts, and tools on the go and make real-time updates as they complete work. 
  • Improved asset performance and lifespan: Proactive maintenance and data-backed failure predictions help keep assets running in optimal condition – preventing breakdowns before they occur and extending overall asset lifetimes. 
  • Improved employee performance: Maintenance tools keep maintenance tasks organized and surface employee performance insights for improved efficiency and reduced rework. 
  • Improved safety: Technology can incorporate standard operating procedures into each, ensuring work is completed safely and compliantly.

Many business owners consider the maintenance department to be more of a cost center than a value driver. It isimportant to think of maintenance as an investment – maximizing equipment performance and, ultimately, overall revenue. Enabling the maintenance team with the resources they need to perform proactive maintenance and boost productivity can have a significant impact on the company’s bottom line.  

Maintenance technologies are here to stay, and they are only getting better. For organizations looking to reduce budgets in the new year, investing in new technologies is a great place to start. Sometimes, you have to spend money to save money! 


Bryan Christiansen

Bryan Christiansen is a self-taught, full-stack developer turned marketer turned entrepreneur. Bryan is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS, the leader in CMMS software which empowers the unsung heroes that support the world. Limble has grown to having thousands of users in just a few short years.

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