Benefits of Zero-Based Budgeting and EMPs

  December 9, 2013

Managers can use an equipment maintenance plan (EMP) when developing the tasks required to properly maintain a facility, plant or piece of equipment. The EMP captures all of the maintenance tasks that are required consistently for all equipment.

For each asset, managers can develop an EMP that includes one or more tasks designed to ensure the continued operation and maintenance of the equipment, process or system. These tasks include preventive maintenance (PM) and predictive maintenance (PdM) work, annual and biannual inspection activities, and capital improvements or projects.

There are numerous benefits from this process for managers and their departments. First, the EMP captures all of the tasks required to maintain the equipment. As a result of using an EMP, top management cannot ignore the fact that this work is required to operate equipment properly.

If management decides to reduce the level of maintenance for the piece of equipment in question, the EMP helps managers make the case that the risk of failure increases, and therefore, the equipment will become even more expensive to maintain. The EMP also captures the required time and resources for maintaining the equipment, which are two fundamental aspects of budgeting. It also captures capital projects related to maintaining the equipment, for which managers need to budget.

If managers take the sum of EMPs for all assets in their facilities, they can calculate the annual dollars for maintaining these assets. They also can calculate the labor for both mechanical and electrical systems and components. Managers can customize this plan to include other resources, such as materials used for PM, PdM, and capital projects.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, managers who have historical data collected on EMPs can use this information as a helpful tool to go beyond building budgets. I have used historical data to mine for emergency work. How many hours did we expend on emergency work last year, and what were the costs associated with it? Keep in mind that world-class maintenance standards accept a 10 percent allocation for emergency work.


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