To Fix or To Prevent…. Part II of V

October 7th, 2014

"Are you investing in preventing breaks for your equipment or fixing it as you go?"

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President of Operations and COO at SafeSourcing.

Yesterday we began a series exploring Maintenance and Repairs and the types of companies that begin exploring their options as they try to control their expenses.  At SafeSourcing we have seen most of our customers fall into the exploring, changed company landscape or validating the decisions they have already made categories.   The next three days will look at the standard phases we see our customers, especially those which fall in the first two groups, go through when exploring their options for Repairs & Maintenance.   These phases provide data and pricing from which every single one of our customers has been able to make the best decision for them.

PHASE 1 – Reduce what you pay today

Many companies fall in the category of trying to explore whether maintaining a break fix model is better than implementing preventative maintenance programs for their R&M spend.  Whether they have implemented a full, partial or no preventative maintenance plan, break-fix issues still arise and a frequently ran first step is an RFQ to lock in and control hourly rates, part costs and other incidental costs such as travel.

Begin the legwork for Phases II and III – A good step to begin in conjunction with the Phase I RFQ is to collect the data needed for the next phases.  This means understanding the current R&M expenses for the equipment being maintained, preferably by location.  Also, collecting current contracts, agreements and statements of work will also be useful so that an understanding of where the company is coming from can be laid out.  A very important piece that sometimes gets overlooked is to also begin inventorying the equipment at each location.  Having this information for the suppliers up front will shorten this process greatly.

Collect detailed hourly rates – While running the RFQ it is important to collect the rates in as detailed as fashion as possible.  Ideally this means collecting the hourly rates for every location that needs service so that cost of living differences are not rolled in together.  At the very least collect hourly R&M rates by state or province as it applies and if possible break large areas into smaller chunks if it contains significant metropolitan areas.

Lock in part costs – Locking in part costs is the second critical piece of this phase.  If possible collect pricing for the most commonly needed individual parts but at the very least locking in discounts off of list prices should be conducted at this point.  Along with this rate information collect the list price for all parts needed from the vendor so that they can be locked in at the same time as the discount rate applied against them.

Getting early help for current expenses is key to developing longer term strategies for the business.  For more information on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

Stay tuned for Part III of this series tomorrow.

We look forward to your comments.

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