The business case for investing in an FSM software solution
Technological interventions have made significant inroads into corporate boardrooms across...
Technological and/or digital interventions have made significant inroads into corporate boardrooms across industries. Companies looking to use software applications around Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) are no different. With evolving customer expectations and an imperative to reduce cost structure, many are looking towards such software applications to enhance the customer experience dished out to their stakeholders. Companies in the field services with the right set of technology tools can manage customers, inventory, technicians, vendors, suppliers and various other parts of their operations seamlessly while continuing to focus on providing a superior customer experience.
Through the course of this article, we are going to evaluate the benefits that an MRO software can bring to your business and how these can turn into a substantially large ROI percentage which would not just outdo the investments in implementing the software application, but also result in significant cost savings in the medium to long term.
But before we can figure out the value an MRO application suite can deliver, one should be careful while making such claims: The ROI of any MRO suite is dependent on so many factors, many of which are specific to you, your goals, and your facility. So this is less of an exact ROI calculation, and more of a list of areas where an MRO application suite brings value to the business and how it can outdo any investments made in implementing the software application.
Significantly reducing downtime. Downtime can cost anywhere from a few thousand to a few million dollars every year. An MRO application can help you reduce downtime and the related costs by:
Labor. Eliminating inefficient processes with MRO applications can save your organization a lot of time and money. Once you have a baseline in terms of the time it takes to complete tasks as well as labor hours and pay rates, you can start finding answers to the following questions, and find the ROI of MRO software as it relates to labor costs:
Inventory. Fine-tuning your spare parts purchasing and organization can lead to fewer costs. You can measure this by calculating the amount you’ve spent on inventory before and after MRO software implementation. Here are some ways a MRO software can lead to smarter inventory decisions:
Asset life and efficiency. Part of the ROI of MRO application software comes from ensuring assets get the maintenance they need to operate longer and run at full speed. There are two main advantages of this that can save your company thousands or millions of dollars in the long-term:
Company sustainability and success. There are many ways an MRO application can deliver a higher ROI by affecting the business outside the shopfloor.
Here are just a few examples:
Streamlined Communications and Coordination. One of the biggest advantages of having an MRO solution is that it brings everyone on the same unified platform – the mangers, maintenance technicians, suppliers and vendors and any other stakeholder.
The customer service can use MRO software as a dispatch board to schedule service calls or create work orders. In addition, technicians on the factory floor or on the field can then use the mobile software and to be notified when a new job is assigned to them. By providing various stakeholders the access, you can allow them to raise requests, get notified of the status of their requests and feel empowered. All these save you valuable hours of manual work or call-center employees catering to incoming queries, translating into direct savings for your organization. To remain competitive, service providers have to manage various business activities to meet the demands from stakeholders, which can only be achieved in a scalable way by using a digital MRO solution.
Streamlined Operations and reporting. MRO software put everything in one place, making it straightforward to manage operations and generate insights which might help decide the future course of action. Workflow automation can optimize and streamline processes saving valuable resources. Software allows reporting dashboards which allow to track business growth and view the real-time health of your business operations. They even provide information on technician performance and help manage customer relations ensuring retention and loyalty.
Invoicing and Feedback Automation. Typically, it is invoicing which can be held up massively by the paper trail - completed work documentation arriving from one/all of your field workers at once, leads to inevitable bottlenecks and admin teams frantically playing catchup. The MRO software will capture and record everything from hours worked, parts used electronically and when a job is completed. The digital solution will then sync back all the necessary information instantly to your office staff to action for invoicing - resulting in not only a quick invoice turnaround but also accurate invoicing every single time. In case of late payments, automated reminders and notifications could be set up so that all your customers and stakeholders do not miss an invoice.
Scalability for business growth. As service processes and technologies become more sophisticated and field service teams get larger, keeping the administration cost structure and profit margin intact becomes more urgent. This is where MRO Software has its greatest payback. An MRO supplication suite mitigates the complexity of meeting growing industry demands and aggressive service delivery levels, and balances all the moving parts that go into deploying field personnel to complete service work.
The primary downside of a manual approach is the absence of real-time communication with the various stakeholders leaving them unable to effectively deal with surprises. With MRO software and mobile devices offering real-time, two-way communication, schedulers and service teams can respond quickly to dynamic circumstances and alert the teams, reorganize priorities, and address any shortfalls from the field. Not just does it streamline the operations, but also improve the customer experience to enhance retention and brand recall.
MRO applications are very different – at different features and at various price points, each of the solution in the marketplace comes with different features, capabilities, use cases, and ROI. Figuring out the cost of a MRO application and the value it provides requires a careful analysis of your company, its goals, and the MRO application options available. It’s important to consider all these factors and talk to different vendors to get the full picture.
With Steer’s No-Code MRO Platform, you could customize the application to suit your unique processes and workflows. This would allow your organization to modify the templates available on Steer to ensure that the workflow is created to suit your requirements. The Steer license allows you to build unlimited applications on its No-Code platform to extend all your digital transformation requirements.
Sid Wadehra is a seasoned and a result-oriented professional with varied experience spanning geographies from leading multinationals to fast growing start-ups. His industry experience is well-complimented with business education from a global business school. Sid's expertise include digital transformation, corporate strategy, and innovation management.
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