A mobile maintenance solution can help organizations transform their industrial maintenance processes and dramatically cut operational costs. Yet many organizations are not aware of just how much money they can save. In this article, we will help you calculate the potential cost savings that you can expect to see with a mobile EAM solution for SAP.
Learn how your organization can slash your industrial maintenance budgets.
The Case for Mobile Maintenance Solutions
How Asset-Intensive Industries Reduce Costs with a Mobile Maintenance Solution
Innovative digital technologies are impacting nearly every industry as organizations set their sights on gaining efficiencies from digital transformation. Mobile technology is a key component of this push, providing organizations with a level of connectivity and flexibility they require to further their digital transformation initiatives. These mobile technologies include powerful technological advances for industrial maintenance operations. One excellent example of this is mobile EAM.
As a mobile maintenance solution, mobile EAM is not new. But improvements in technology combined with the widespread demand for efficient and cost-effective digital industrial maintenance solutions have led to the rapid progression and adoption of the technology. Yet when it comes to adopting a mobile maintenance solution many maintenance departments encounter resistance – with bureaucracy and natural resistance to change being the biggest barriers to replacing paper-based processes with new digital tools.
Organizations that overcome these obstacles and modernize their EAM systems like SAP with a mobile maintenance solution experience many benefits. One of the most significant is cost savings.
The Inefficiencies of Traditional Industrial Maintenance Processes
Traditional industrial maintenance processes rely on paper-based manual tasks. There are many operational shortcomings associated with these processes. As McKinsey recently noted, “In every industry in which paper plays a significant role, manual document processing causes problems. Manual processing is slow and tedious. It requires employees to perform repetitive, monotonous tasks while adding little value, which can reduce their job satisfaction. Manual processing is also error-prone and not transparent, and thus often causes operational inefficiencies and confusion among teams.”
Traditional maintenance processes usually start with work order assignments that are planned and scheduled using spreadsheets with data pulled from the EAM system (SAP). Schedulers then check production schedules and inventories and assign tasks to specific technicians. Work orders are then printed, collated with printed work instructions, and physically distributed to the technicians.
Technicians report to the work locations, complete their tasks, and manually record notes on paper orders. That paperwork is given to the designated team to input back into the EAM system through manual data entry. This extra data entry step also introduces the possibility of costly human errors. Moreover, delays in updating data in the EAM system results in inaccurate and unreliable data.
These inefficient processes lead to some 50% of a technician’s time being wasted on tasks such as coordinating delays, obtaining tools and materials, receiving instructions, and travel time. Much of this waste can be reduced with the use of a mobile maintenance solution.
Transforming Industrial Maintenance Processes with a Mobile Maintenance Solution
Although adopting a mobile maintenance solution will not necessarily digitize an entire industrial maintenance process, it lays the groundwork for this to occur. A mobile EAM will boost efficiency and work execution, drastically reducing wasted time and the potential for error associated with paper-based processes. In a mobilized maintenance workflow, the dispatch of work orders and data creation is kept digital.
Technicians have access to crucial and accurate information in real-time. In fact, the ability to access data in real-time is one of the top mobile app features for industrial maintenance. This allows the entire maintenance team to execute more jobs with greater accuracy each workday.
[In traditional workflows, technicians spend a lot of time on bureaucratic activities. A mobile solution keeps them out in the field solving problems, rather than in the office shuffling papers.]
A mobile EAM provides organizations with a broad range of benefits. These include:
Increased Wrench Time
According to McKinsey, wrench time, or the total time that technicians spend actually fixing things, averages between 15% and 25% across industries. Replacing paper-based work order processes with mobile devices reduces administrative tasks and keeps maintenance technicians on the plant floor or in the field with the information that they need at their fingertips. McKinsey found that with a mobile EAM, organizations can “increase wrench time 2.5x due to the digitization of maintenance processes.”
Improved wrench time results in more planned and preventive maintenance tasks getting accomplished. This reduces the backlog and bottlenecks in maintenance workflows and boosts efficiency.
Improved Data Quality and Reliability
With a mobile device, technicians can easily report the status of work orders, create new notifications, and update equipment master data to keep data current and accurate in SAP. Capturing notes and updating master data via drop-down menus improves data structure and consistency.
Increased Equipment Reliability
As more planned and preventive maintenance occurs, equipment operates at peak efficiency resulting in less downtime and higher output.
Improved Resource Utilization
Reducing administrative tasks and utilizing technicians for higher-value tasks allows organizations to boost wrench time and get more work done with fewer people.
Shift from Reactive to Planned Maintenance
Conducting more planned maintenance reduces the risks of breakdown events and emergencies. The cost impact to the organization is exponential to shift the ratio of costly reactive maintenance work to planned/preventive tasks.
Reduce Contract Labor
A mobile maintenance solution results in better staff utilization. This allows organizations to get more done with fewer people, allowing them to avoid the added expenses of overtime and/or contract labor.
Planned maintenance improves plant safety and reduces the risks of accidents.
Determining Actual Cost Savings
A mobile EAM offers organizations both immediate and mid-term cost-saving benefits. Immediate savings are those that are available from the moment that you deploy your mobile solution. They are typically associated with reducing labor requirements and can be quantified. Mid-term savings are not as easily quantifiable. However, you may realize that the immediate cost savings alone justify an investment in a mobile maintenance solution.
Immediate Cost Savings: Labor Optimization
The data for these averages are sourced from real-world implementations of our mobile maintenance solution: Sigga Mobile EAM
Time to Dispatch Work Orders – Average Decrease: 90%
Eliminating paper-based maintenance processes eliminates the need to manually print and deliver work orders by hand to technicians in the field. Information is digitally created and instantly accessible by technicians in real-time
With a mobile EAM, organizations no longer need to manually process potentially thousands of work orders each month resulting in significant time savings.
Field Note Creation – Average Decrease: 70%
An effective mobile maintenance solution uses catalogs and lists that are tailored for that team’s work and is integrated into a central database. This reduces the need to manually write or type in extra notes.
Time to Create Work Orders – Average Decrease: 80%
With a mobile maintenance solution, technicians can have direct access to SAP and edit work orders directly from their mobile devices. Since maintenance work can take technicians to locations without connectivity, mobile maintenance solutions generally include offline functionality to support their work. Maintenance professionals can create and manage their work orders offline, and any changes are synced to SAP once an internet connection is reestablished. For maximum time savings, the sync should happen automatically without disruption to the technician including maintaining use of the mobile device and mobile EAM app.
Time to Close Work Orders – Average Decrease: 100%
A mobile EAM allows organizations to automatically close work orders. This feature eliminates the tedious process to open work orders, one-by-one in SAP to mark them as closed.
Printing Costs – Average Decrease: 100%
With an SAP mobile maintenance solution, all work orders and notifications are entered and dispatched digitally. This eliminates the need to manually print, sort, collate with work instructions, and physically distribute paper work orders to technicians. Taking paper out of the process alone can add up to significant cost savings.
Conservatively, paper and printing can cost 5c per page. When you consider the cost of printers and servicing, the total cost can be much higher. Using at a real-world example, Furnas – an electricity generation and transmission company – saved 500,000 sheets of paper per year (~$25,000) by going digital.
Mid-Term Cost Savings: Process Improvements
Accuracy and Stabilization of Field Data
The use of catalogs lowers typing time, reduces errors, and standardizes information. This improves the quality of data and leads to better decision-making. Moreover, a mobile maintenance solution allows organizations to track key performance indicators to measure technician performance.
Reduced Machine Downtime Due to Effective Maintenance
Minimizing downtime is perhaps the most important function for maintenance teams and technicians. Yet measuring how effective your organization is in minimizing downtime goes beyond the time that it takes from breakdown to repair. Understanding these metrics is crucial to building sustainable and effective maintenance operations. A mobile EAM solution can help you track and analyze the right metrics.
Moreover, a mobile maintenance solution can help reduce downtime by increasing asset reliability with preventive maintenance and increase response speed to sudden downtime events.
Reduced Administrative Work
Eliminating time-consuming and repetitive tasks such as manually inputting completed work orders into SAP improves resource utilization and boosts productivity.
Real-Time Data Visibility for Better Decision-Making
A mobile maintenance solution improves data quality and accuracy. Stakeholders can easily access work order status in real-time through SAP.
Faster Response Times
Management can easily respond to new notifications. They can view where technicians are located and the status of other work orders, allowing them to quickly revise plans and execute a response immediately.
Improved Data Quality
Traditional maintenance processes rely on open-text notes on paperwork orders. With a mobile EAM, technicians can easily capture notes and update master data via a drop-down menu which improves data structure and consistency.
Improved Operational Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
A mobile maintenance solution makes it easy to execute planned and preventive maintenance. This keeps equipment performing at peak efficiency. Changing the ratio of planned to unplanned work can have a significant impact on costs.
Improved Job Satisfaction
Maintenance professionals are highly trained and enjoy practicing their craft. Eliminating tedious administrative tasks results in higher job satisfaction. In addition, maintenance teams are less stressed due to a reduction of emergencies.
Calculating Your Cost Savings
To calculate your immediate cost savings with a mobile maintenance solution, you need to know three numbers:
- The number of technicians that you have
- Your average labor cost per technician
- An estimation of the potential time savings your organization can gain by replacing paperwork order processes.
Here is an example from a Sigga client:
Company X Facility 1
Number of Techs 100
Average Hourly Wage (Brazilian Real) R$ 55
% Of Time Saved (Client Approx.) 15%
Hours Saved/Month 2,640
Savings in USD/Month $27,588
Hours Saved/Year 31,680
Savings in USD/Year $331,056
Mobile EAM Savings Calculator
Rather than do the math by hand, you can calculate your potential savings using our simple to use Mobile EAM Savings Calculator. Just answer a few short questions and we will send you a customized report detailing how much you can save.
In this article, we provided a broad overview of the factors that you should consider when calculating your organization’s potential savings from a mobile maintenance solution. Start by gaining an understanding of the maintenance challenges that mobility can solve. From there, calculate your potential savings to determine how a mobile EAM solution can benefit your maintenance team.
Sigga Solutions for Maintenance Cost Savings
Here at Sigga, we have specialized in cost-saving solutions for asset-intensive enterprises for 20 years. Our digital transformation and mobile solutions optimize maintenance and warehouse processes and have been proven to improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs for our clients using SAP EAM.
Major beverage maker AmBev, for instance, was using paperwork orders and processes for scheduling techs and storing maintenance history. This meant technicians weren’t deployed efficiently, and when they were, too much time was spent finding the information they needed instead of performing actual maintenance. By implementing Sigga’s mobile maintenance solution, Mobile EAM – along with Sigga’s Planning and Scheduling solution – technicians could quickly and easily locate all the historical data they required.
In the end, AmBev achieved more wrench time with a 15% increase in tech productivity and an 80% reduction in Mean Time to Repair (MTTR). AmBev is just one example of how the right technologies can optimize how techs are deployed and allow them to focus on doing what they do best.
Learn more about how Sigga solutions can help you save.