What is a maintenance budget?

A maintenance budget helps you plan, manage, and prioritize your maintenance activities and objectives, so you can be as effective as possible with the limited amount of money you have. Your budget provides an overview of the expected costs for each type of maintenance, such as preventive and reactive, as well as any other maintenance strategies you use for each asset or asset group. It should include a detailed breakdown of how you intend to spend the money, with each expense categorized according to its purpose. This will help you build a case forward if you need to request additional budget.

A template for building a maintenance budget

There are many ways to create a maintenance budget. The key to a good budget is to be as detailed as possible in breaking down your needs and costs.

Our maintenance budget template breaks down all expenses into functional areas and maintenance types by month. For example, it helps you track how much you spend on materials for emergency and routine maintenance, as well as capital projects. It also tracks your target versus actual spending, so you know which areas to pay closer attention to. Then, at the end of the month, quarter, and year, you can tally up and analyze what you spent on each area and type of maintenance.

In addition to tracking costs and resource allocation, our maintenance template helps you make more informed decisions. For example, if you find yourself spending more on contractors over the course of a year, it might be worthwhile hiring someone full-time to save time and money in the long run. Similarly, if several areas of your budget are running over, you might look to offset the high costs with better employee training or invest in CMMS software to automate some of these tasks.

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How to stretch your maintenance budget further

Finding creative ways to make your maintenance budget go further is not as hard as it may seem. We’ve highlighted four areas that can be optimized to help stretch your maintenance budget.

1. Your storeroom

Many organizations don’t realize how much cash flow is tied up in warehouse inventory. Consider which parts can be bought just-in-time from vendors without interrupting the business. These could include parts that are either not immediately critical or can be easily sourced from vendors with short lead times. Adjust your purchasing schedule so you’re not spending money on unnecessary inventory.

2. Your PM schedule

Look into optimizing your preventive maintenance schedule. Cut unnecessary PMs to reduce the cost of labor and parts while still maintaining healthy assets. If your regular inspections aren’t finding something wrong with an asset, you can probably do them less often. Monitor any PMs you change to make sure failure rates don’t increase.

3. Your wrench time

Increasing wrench time helps you stretch your maintenance budget further. Start by calculating the wrench time for all work, starting with jobs that have higher labor costs. This will help you flag areas where wrench time is low, find the root cause, and tweak your schedules and processes accordingly. Increasing wrench time by a few percentage points across hundreds of repairs and PMs can save you thousands of dollars in labor and make up for some of your lost budget.

4. Your people

A routine task doesn’t need to be done by an expensive, highly skilled technician. Instead, train operators to do routine maintenance. Operators know their machines best, so they can be enabled to do light maintenance on their own. Make sure training and support materials like task lists and manuals are easy to follow. Operators need to feel equipped and safe doing the job. You can also work with operators and technicians to create standards for work requests. Work can get done faster when requests are clear and easy to fill in. That reduces the labor hours and costs of maintenance. Check out this 12-step crash course for getting operators involved in maintenance.

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