If you were a fan of 1980’s movies you remember the famous line from the film Wall Street, Gordon Gekko memorably said "The most valuable commodity I know of is information."  A political mentor of mine would always tell the college class he was teaching, “Time is the most valuable commodity in running anything. If you have time nothing is impossible.” For anyone involved in maintenance management both quotations apply. Mobile workforce solutions save time by providing maintenance workers with the ability to capture and record data in the moment and providing managers with real time information. As a result, mobility increases wrench time and reduces labor costs.

Labor Impact of Mobile Workforce Management Solutions

Wrench time and mobile workforce management solutions go together. Market leading companies recognize the worker and company benefits from implementing mobile solutions as part of their digital transformation and sustainability initiatives. But what is wrench time? And how do maintenance workers benefit from mobility?


Wrench time, sometimes called tool time, is a metric used in maintenance operations. It is a time measurement focused on the amount of time technicians or maintenance workers spend working on equipment as part of the total work time. Visualize it this way. A technician has a tool in hand working directly to fix a piece of equipment. If a maintenance worker can reduce time wastes in their day, they will have more time to complete more maintenance and repair activities. More maintenance activities result in higher asset availability to enable production increases at a lower cost (critical infrastructure is not down and offline).


Wrench time measures only the tasks associated with the actual time spent working to fix a piece of machinery. To complete their work, technicians can spend a lot of their time looking up manuals, locating and obtaining parts, plus the travel time involved in obtaining the parts. These time wastes are positively impacted with a mobile workforce management solution. Why? Equipment manuals, parts inventory, and more details are at their fingertips. When time is money, putting mobility tools into the hands of technicians at the point of greatest impact changes the game for everyone.


Time Savings of Mobile Maintenance Solutions

Given you are unlikely measuring wrench time today, consider the time involved in these activities that mobility will reduce.


Traveling to and from locations. Trips back and forth from the office or a central computer workstation to the work site can add up to a significant portion of a technician’s day. If you’re a clean production facility, the requirements to go through the cleaning process can add 30 minutes or more to each trip. Every minute saved is valuable time spent elsewhere and money to the company bottom line.


Gathering equipment and parts. A worker may go through their rounds, identify parts needed but not know if they are in stock or where they are located. With mobility, a technician can identify the problem, determine the need, and immediately locate the part while at the work site.


Reviewing logs and history. Paper-based solutions do not put critical information in the technician’s hands until after making rounds. Again, time is needlessly wasted if they need to find a computer terminal to look up information.


Administrative paperwork. With paper-based solutions, administrative work is done after rounds and after a technician has identified and evaluated the problem and jotted down notes to address later. A mobile maintenance solution allows the identification, evaluation, and submission of a notification to be done on the spot.


Benefits of Mobility Beyond Wrench Time

Data accuracy is an added benefit. With Sigga, data capture happens in real time and is immediately uploaded to SAP. Wrench time savings are improved not just from using a mobile maintenance solution. Combined with a planning and scheduling automation solution for SAP even greater savings are realized. As renowned plant maintenance expert Doc Palmer notes, “(to deliver) superior wrench-time productivity, a plant should create weekly schedules loaded with 100% of the next week’s available labor hours.”

What do the labor cost savings look like? When looking at just one plant from a Sigga customer, a global food and beverage company, they saw their technicians save at least 2.5 hours per day; with a direct net positive impact on production uptime. This translates into 900+ hours saved per year per technician. This translates into less overtime and less use of contractors, to save on maintenance labor costs.


Make more informed decisions with real-time visibility to work status, notifications, parts availability, and more. With everything accurately recorded in SAP, increase collaboration across operations.


Ask yourself…..

Are your technicians and maintenance workers using their time efficiently?

What could they be doing with 1-2 hours freed up daily?

How much time is wasted looking for parts…long after the problem has been identified during rounds?

If wrench time is improved, how much cost savings and production uptime will your plant realize?

Have you determined paper-based systems are archaic and obsolete?


Are you ready to digitally transform your plant maintenance operations?

  • Create efficiencies
  • Improve worker performance
  • Increase asset usage
  • See ROI within 90 days
  • And generate more revenue

If you answer yes to any or all of these, it is time to incorporate mobile workforce management solutions into your operations and become a market leader.


Read more about Sigga Mobile Workforce Management Solutions