When business owners speak about maintenance, they're often referring to a recurring monthly expense for keeping the office building's grounds in decent shape or hiring an outside repair team to fix a broken piece of equipment. The truth is, there are multiple kinds of maintenance, all of which significantly impact a company's bottom line. Depending on the industry, managers might spend anywhere from a tiny fraction of their time to many hours per week making sure equipment, machinery, fleet vehicles, buildings, grounds, IT infrastructure, and inventory stores are properly maintained. Here's a short list of what makes up the largest components of this universal expense.
- Equipment & Machinery
Besides vehicles used for company tasks, the E&M (equipment and machinery) category often represents the single largest line item, in terms of value, on a company's books. Even businesses involved in light manufacturing or personal services use office and factory equipment that is essential to producing goods and services on a daily basis. High-end equipment often comes with a maintenance agreement at the time of purchase. In some cases, however, it's up to owners to pay for each service call, which can cut deeply into profits if you end up with a faulty machine or piece of manufacturing equipment. Some business owners choose to outsource all E&M repair and upkeep for a monthly fee, which can represent an excellent value in many cases.
For any company in the transport or shipping niche, fleet management is the heart and soul of a successful operation. In fact, a wise first step for owners is to review a comprehensive guide on how fleet maintenance management is central to any company's mission. Not only will a detailed guide explain the basics, it will also demonstrate how to choose the right solution based on the particular needs of your organization. Vehicles aren't cheap, and keeping them in top shape with routine, timely repairs is the key to getting the most out of costly assets. Top-notch fleet software systems can collect multiple varieties of data about the current operating state of fleet vehicles. Not only can managers learn when regular repairs are due, software alerts them to any small or large malfunctions that need immediate attention from a mechanic.
Though they're on the low end of the cost scale, grounds keeping services are part of the standard list of business expenses for companies that own office space, land, and multiple buildings. For large corporations headquartered in vast campuses that stretch for hundreds of acres, grounds keeping teams often number in the hundreds of employees and are indispensable components of making your business run smoothly outside your own office walls.
Depending how large a company is, IT can be maintained by an in-house or outside concern. Smaller entities tend to hire local providers who make weekly, monthly, or ad hoc visits to solve computer-related issues and stay on top of digital security. Think about if your business should be outsourcing in general before you research providers.
For larger organizations, there are often entire teams of employees who oversee the management, storage, accounting, and safekeeping of inventory. Indeed, many of the world's largest corporations own huge warehouses full of goods and need experts who know how to maintain and operate the facilities.