Equipment management plans are important for well-run facilities seeking to reduce costs while improving efficiency.
Many companies already manage all of the factors that go into keeping facilities operating well, but harnessing every aspect of the lifecycle of your equipment can go a long way in making further improvements that save you time, reduce urgency, ensure compliance, and allow for better budgeting of materials and resources.
What Are the Necessary Elements of an Equipment Management Plan?
There are several key parts to a successful equipment management plan. The first step is to identify the assets to be included. This is a good chance to learn what is or isn’t being included at this time and why. Decide what data you need to collect for planning purposes. Begin lifecycle tracking so that you can align your supply chain with your maintenance and staffing needs.
Bring in your stakeholders; because your equipment and maintenance management plan will likely include several departments, ensure they’re on board and understand their role in the plan. Decide on and adopt a framework for data collection, analysis, and decision-making, such as a CMMS software application. Roll out your equipment management plan. Evaluate and assess how well the plan is working after a few months, and then review and adjust, continuing these last steps on an on-going basis for continual improvement.
Why Is an Equipment Management Plan Important?
An equipment management plan allows your organization to be proactive instead of reactive. You’ll plan inspections and maintenance activities around high-demand times so that you’re not struggling to find parts and staff to handle emergency repairs during the height of need.
You can negotiate with your suppliers well in advance to achieve the best prices and line up any additional resources your staff might need to do their jobs effectively. It requires a little more attention upfront but avoids unnecessary expenses, allowing you to budget staff and materials appropriately.
The added efficiency that equipment management plans provide reduces downtime due to unplanned or emergency repairs. You can schedule staff for the work and ensure you have the right assets for the job. You can also stay on top of your equipment performance and needs so that fact-based decisions can be made to maximize ROI.
For example, if you’re running through parts on a particular piece of equipment because you’re demanding twice the work out of it, maybe you need a more powerful piece of equipment – it could be more costly upfront but less expensive in the long run because it supports your organization’s goals and objectives.
With an equipment management plan, there’s accountability built-in. You know who’s responsible for tasks. You can follow through and monitor the activity, addressing failures as required.
That kind of documentation and accountability can be valuable if your organization’s facilities are subject to regulatory compliance. You’ll have the proof of all your inspection and maintenance activities as well as documented records of parts, when they were installed or disposed of, and who handled the work.
Developing an equipment management plan is a key tool in ensuring the maximum performance of your organization and keeping it that way. While it can require an investment of time and money through the adoption of new procedures and employee training, it can be worth it in the long run, making your organization more agile.