Okay, so you’ve bought the No.2 pencils, the 64 count brand name crayons, the twin pack of clear glue sticks, and the 3-subject wide ruled notebooks in six different colors for your kids to go back to school. You’ve made certain to check off every item on their school supply list to ensure that they will have all the tools they need to have a successful school year. Checklists can be laborious and time consuming, but the habit of creating them can actually help you stay on track in your personal life. In business, a checklist can help improve efficiency and even cut expenses. When it comes to equipment maintenance management, creating a checklist enables you to effectively boost your bottom line by planning for all costs related to the repairs, maintenance, and support of your electronic equipment.
Gather the Paperwork
Begin by creating an equipment asset list and then identifying which equipment is covered by a service agreement and which equipment is being maintained on a time and materials basis. This may take some detective work but it is worth the time and effort. Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to ask for cooperation from other departments in order to collect all of the information needed to complete the asset list. This is also a great opportunity to take some time to review the terms and conditions of the different agreements. You may be surprised what you find! By understanding your agreement, you understand the services you are paying for and there will be no surprises. You will also want to note the coverage levels for each piece of equipment under a service agreement, e.g. is it full service, preventive maintenance only, labor only, depot service, inspection/calibration only, etc. Don’t forget to include the effective dates of each agreements as well.
You may want to consider assigning one staff member to be the Equipment Manager who will be responsible for all records, inventory, and other duties pertaining to the organization’s equipment. This person would be responsible for managing warranties, collecting service reports, tracking preventative maintenance events, monitoring repairs, and checking service invoices for any discrepancies.
Pay as You Go
If you have equipment within your organization that is not covered under a service agreement or management program, you will want to collect all expenses associated with the maintenance and repair of that equipment. Your accounting department should have copies of the service reports and invoices paid to the service organizations. This information will give you an idea of how much is being spend on service for this equipment. Perform an analysis of the expenses related to equipment not under a current maintenance program. If paying as you go is leaving your budget thin, maybe you should consider adding it to a maintenance program to help save in the short and long run.
Pencil to Paper
When developing your checklist, think about the actual lifecycle of your equipment. Include every expense that falls in between the acquisition and the eventual disposal for each piece of equipment. Consider the following:
By tracking all of this crucial data, you will learn how to effectively manage your equipment, make needed adjustments when necessary, save money, and avoid costly mistakes. The goal is to ensure that your organization’s equipment is well documented, safe, and effectively used.
So, you’ve gone through your checklist and are ready to effectively manage your equipment. While it does take a little time and effort to organize, you will understand everything about your equipment without having to guess. By keeping a detailed log, you will avoid costly mistakes like buying a maintenance agreement on an item already on a maintenance plan, leaving you with termination fees and avoidable expenses or not having adequate coverage on mission critical equipment. Just like you wouldn’t send a student to school without the tools needed for success, don’t manage your equipment without your checklist for success. Wishing you a successful and worry free equipment maintenance year!
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