Four Tips on Adding Value by Controlling Costs with Planned Maintenance
Even if you're the type of business owner who can tolerate an element of surprise, discovering that your profits fall short at the end of the year due to partial calculations on planned maintenance may be more than you bargained for. If this is happening to your business, it might be time to seek the help of your dealership for a customized approach to planned maintenance.
Unplanned maintenance work for heavy equipment, including crawler or wheel excavators, wheel loaders or articulated dump trucks, can place financial strain on your construction company that directly impacts your profit potential. In addition to inflating your cost of ownership, when planned maintenance is not properly calculated, it can also reduce your ability to competitively price your products and services.
"The best way to avoid surprises is to calculate a maintenance plan that fully supports the projected hours of machine usage," says Ron Hadaway, Doosan Product Manager. "By accounting for factors such as timeframes, internal costs and parts pricing, you can be more competitive and less vulnerable."
Working with a dealership that is equipped to offer a customized approach to planned maintenance can be extremely valuable. Some manufacturers offer tools that assist dealers with calculating planned maintenance costs, creating unique packages that address their customers' specific needs, while also accounting for labor rates, inflation, margin and time estimates.
Planned maintenance simply takes the guesswork out of the cost of maintenance, helping achieve better profitability and higher resale value for your machines. Here are four ways planned maintenance helps you control the cost of ownership so you can focus on the most important part of your business the job.
1. Controlling Costs
Planned maintenance can help you forecast and budget for ongoing maintenance including parts, labor, travel, supplies and lubricants and provide totals per month and total length of the contract. Knowing the fixed costs of planned maintenance upfront can help you budget for other business expenditures and lessen the financial impact should an unexpected business expense occur.
In addition to controlling costs, planned maintenance also helps cut costs by eliminating the expense associated with stocking filters, oil, tires, tracks and other common replacement parts. It also prevents recurrent wear-and-tear repairs from gradually depleting your maintenance budget over time.
By working with your equipment dealer, you can get an exact estimate for a defined package of service procedures, replacement parts and maintenance intervals tailored to your individual needs, eliminating the potential for budgetary surprises at the end of the fiscal year.
"A planned maintenance program is intended to help the operator define and control their costs, which is a huge benefit," Hadaway says. "Estimates on the cost of planned maintenance have been as low as $3 per operating hour. Compare that amount to your annual equipment maintenance costs, plus any unexpected, but preventable, maintenance expenses incurred each year, and the benefits are clear."
2. Proactive Maintenance Planning
A planned maintenance program helps control the cost of ownership by guarding against unexpected downtime that often leads to sudden, costly repairs. A proactive, planned maintenance program executed by trained service technicians can identify minor fixes before they become major repairs. Addressing these issues during regular, planned maintenance helps avoid the inevitable domino effect triggered by an unexpected machine breakdown that causes forced downtime and results in high-priced, rush-rate repairs.
Pre-arranged maintenance intervals make it possible to conveniently schedule machine service at a time and location that doesn't disrupt your productivity. Some manufacturers provide road service technicians and truck drivers who travel to your jobsite to complete routine maintenance and diagnostics should a machine experience problems. "Not only does this get equipment back up and running quicker, but it also eliminates the cost and time necessary to haul heavy equipment to a maintenance facility," says Hadaway.
3. Extended Machine Life
The life cycle of your equipment depends on a number of variables, but regular planned maintenance has been proven to extend machine life. Operating a highly productive machine for an extended period of time offers the greatest return on your investment, and in turn, the lowest possible cost of ownership. Because some machines may require more frequent maintenance cycles, like those working in a dusty environment, a good-quality planned maintenance calculator will offer the flexibility to make adjustments that account for more frequent engine oil and filter change intervals, for example.
4. Better Resale Value
The condition of your machine not only affects your ability to complete projects on time, but it also plays heavily into the resale price of equipment. While you have no control over market supply and demand, you can influence the resale value of your machines through your approach to planned maintenance. Consistent and comprehensive maintenance is the best method for preserving the top condition of your machine, therefore increasing the resale value. A planned maintenance contract also offers the benefit of a well-documented history of all care and service of your machine. The more potential buyers know about the superior care and comprehensive maintenance record of the machine, the more willing they may be to invest hard-earned capital into a pre-owned machine.
Working with a dealer to properly calculate a planned maintenance contract can remove the element of surprise when it comes to maintaining your fleet. Planned maintenance contracts provide the highly skilled, proactive service necessary to ensure that all aspects of your machine's operations add value to your business reducing costs, minimizing downtime, increasing productivity, protecting your investment and improving your bottom line.