Mastering Asset Repairs and Maintenance: The Key to Maximizing Utilization and Profits

Asset utilization is the key to a successful asset management business. Learn how to setup your maintenance process to achieve that.

We recently started working with someone in the rental industry. They're worried about everything around tracking their vehicles, checking in their drivers and cash reconciliation. Throughout the entire call, the thing that I did not hear was Asset utilization. Compared to everything else, what this business most needs is a good way to repair and maintain their assets to increase the life. We'll talk about that today.

If you're working with assets like cabs, furniture rentals, or any other equipment that's the lifeblood of your operations, this blog post is for you. We're going to dive deep into the world of asset repairs and maintenance, and explore how mastering this aspect can skyrocket your utilization rates and, ultimately, your profits. So, grab a cup of coffee (or your favorite beverage), and let's get started on this exciting journey!

What is Asset Repairs and Maintenance?

Let's start with the basics. Asset repairs and maintenance refer to the processes and activities involved in keeping your assets in top-notch condition. It's all about extending their lifespan, minimizing downtime, and ensuring they're ready to serve your customers efficiently.

Two key terms you'll hear a lot in this context are CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) and EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management).

What is CMMS?

A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is a software platform designed to streamline maintenance operations. It helps organizations manage their maintenance activities, track work orders, schedule preventive maintenance, and maintain a database of all maintenance-related information. By automating many aspects of maintenance management, a CMMS can significantly improve efficiency and reduce costs.

What is EMM?

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) refers to the set of technologies, processes, and policies used to manage mobile devices, applications, and data within an organization. EMM solutions are particularly useful for businesses with a mobile workforce, enabling them to perform maintenance tasks on the go, access real-time data, and communicate effectively with the central system.

What's the Objective?

The primary objective of asset repairs and maintenance is two-fold:

Increase the Life of the Asset

The primary objective of repairs and maintenance is to extend the life of the asset. By regularly servicing and repairing assets, businesses can ensure that they remain functional for a longer period. This not only delays the need for expensive replacements but also maximizes the return on investment.

Keep Costs Low

Effective maintenance helps in identifying and fixing minor issues before they escalate into major problems, which can be costly to repair. Regular maintenance also improves the efficiency of assets, reducing energy consumption and operational costs.

Why Does Asset Life Matter?

As the asset works longer, the utilization goes higher, and the more profit it generates. It's as simple as that! Imagine a rental car company – the longer their vehicles stay in good condition, the more rentals they can facilitate, leading to increased revenue.

Let's visualize this with a chart:

Structuring an effective maintenance process

Let's dive deeper into structuring an effective maintenance process:

Create a maintenance plan:

Planned maintenance:

Scheduling regular maintenance tasks is crucial to prolonging the life of your assets. Base your maintenance schedules on manufacturer recommendations, historical usage patterns, and industry best practices specific to your assets and operating environment.

For example, if you operate a fleet of trucks, you might schedule regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections based on mileage or time intervals.

If you manage manufacturing equipment, you might schedule tasks like lubrication, belt replacements, and calibration based on runtime hours or production cycles.

Ad-hoc maintenance:

Despite your best efforts, unexpected breakdowns or issues can still occur. Be prepared with a robust system to handle these situations promptly.

Establish clear protocols for reporting and triaging issues, prioritizing critical assets, and dispatching maintenance personnel or technicians quickly.

Maintain emergency spare parts inventory and have contingency plans for outsourcing repairs or rentals if needed.

Auto-generate periodic maintenance tasks:

Leverage the power of your CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) to automate the generation of work orders for routine maintenance tasks.

- Configure the system to create work orders based on predefined schedules, asset usage data, or other triggers like meter readings or runtime hours.

- Automated work order generation ensures that no scheduled maintenance task is overlooked, reducing the risk of unexpected downtime or asset failures.

Increase the life of your asset through ZORP asset management

Manage work orders:

An efficient work order management system is the backbone of your maintenance process. Ensure your CMMS or maintenance software provides robust capabilities for:

- Assigning work orders to appropriate technicians or maintenance crews based on their skills, availability, and proximity to the asset location.

- Tracking the status of work orders from initiation to completion, with real-time updates and notifications.

- Capturing labor hours, materials used, and any additional notes or observations from the technicians.

- Closing work orders upon successful completion and archiving relevant data for future reference.

Manage spare parts and inventory for repairs and replacement:

Maintaining an optimized inventory of spare parts and consumables is crucial for minimizing downtime and ensuring smooth operations.

- Implement inventory management best practices, such as ABC analysis (categorizing inventory based on value and criticality), to optimize stock levels.

- Integrate your CMMS with inventory management systems to automate the tracking of spare parts usage, reordering, and replenishment.

- Consider implementing just-in-time (JIT) inventory strategies or vendor-managed inventory (VMI) for non-critical or high-volume items to reduce carrying costs.

Tracking maintenance activities:

- Capture detailed records of all maintenance activities performed on your assets. This data is invaluable for:

- Analyzing asset performance, identifying recurring issues, and making informed decisions about repairs, replacements, or process improvements.

- Maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements, safety standards, or manufacturer warranties (if applicable).

- Defending against potential liability claims by demonstrating proper maintenance practices.

Tracking maintenance costs:

- Closely monitor and analyze the costs associated with repairs and maintenance to identify opportunities for cost optimization and budgeting:

- Labor costs: Track labor hours, overtime, and any contracted or outsourced labor expenses.

- Parts and materials costs: Monitor the consumption and costs of spare parts, consumables, and any specialized materials or tools required.

- External services costs: Account for any third-party services, such as equipment rentals, specialized repairs, or consulting fees.

Labor:

- Efficient management of your maintenance workforce is essential for maximizing productivity and minimizing downtime.

- Maintain accurate records of technicians' skills, certifications, and training to ensure appropriate task assignments.

- Track technician productivity, turnaround times, and job completion rates to identify bottlenecks or areas for improvement.

- Implement scheduling and dispatching tools to optimize technician assignments based on location, skills, and workload.

Reporting and analytics:

- Leverage the wealth of data captured in your CMMS or maintenance software to generate insightful reports and perform data analytics:

- Labor performance reports: Analyze technician productivity, turnaround times, and job completion rates to identify areas for improvement or training needs.

- Asset performance reports: Track metrics like Mean Time Between Repairs (MTBR), Mean Time To Repair (MTTR), and asset downtime to identify reliability issues or maintenance optimization opportunities.

- Cost analysis reports: Monitor and analyze maintenance costs by asset, asset category, or cost type (labor, parts, external services) to identify cost drivers and optimization opportunities.

- Predictive analytics: Leverage machine learning and advanced analytics to identify patterns and predictors of asset failures, enabling proactive maintenance and minimizing unplanned downtime.

By implementing a structured and comprehensive maintenance process, you can maximize asset utilization, extend asset life, and ultimately increase profitability for your business.

When to Repair vs. Sell vs. Scrap the Asset?

Deciding whether to repair, sell, or scrap an asset is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your bottom line. Here's a formula to help you make an informed choice:

Expected Value (Repair) = Estimated Remaining Life (Years) * Annual Revenue - Repair Cost
Expected Value (Sell) = Current Market Value - Selling Costs
Expected Value (Scrap) = Scrap Value - Disposal Costs

Calculate the expected value for each option (repair, sell, or scrap), and choose the one with the highest expected value.

How to Choose the Right Platform for Repairs and Maintenance

Objective of the System

The primary objective of a repairs and maintenance platform is to streamline maintenance operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. It should provide comprehensive features for managing assets, inventory, labor, and work orders.

Data Store

A robust data store is essential for managing the vast amount of information related to repairs and maintenance. The platform should be capable of storing data on assets, inventory, labor, and maintenance activities.

Assets

The platform should provide detailed information on each asset, including its maintenance history, current condition, and expected lifespan. This helps in making informed decisions on repairs and replacements.

Inventory

Effective inventory management is crucial for timely repairs. The platform should help in tracking inventory levels, managing spare parts, and automating reordering processes.

Labor

The platform should provide tools for managing maintenance personnel, tracking labor hours, and monitoring performance.

Workflows

A well-defined workflow is essential for efficient maintenance operations. The platform should support the generation of periodic and ad-hoc work orders, inventory issues, and returns.

Reports

Comprehensive reporting capabilities are crucial for continuous improvement. The platform should generate detailed reports on labor performance, turnaround time (TAT), maintenance costs, asset-wise costs, mean time between repairs (MTBR), mean time to repair (MTTR), and spare parts consumption.

Conclusion

Phew, that was quite a journey, wasn't it? By now, you should have a solid understanding of asset repairs and maintenance, its importance in maximizing utilization and profits, and the key components involved in structuring an effective maintenance process. Remember, the key to success lies in staying proactive, leveraging the right tools and processes, and continuously optimizing your maintenance strategies based on data-driven insights.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and paper (or your favorite note-taking app), and start mapping out your asset maintenance plan today. Your assets, and your bottom line, will thank you for it!

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