What are the different types of maintenance costs for facilities?

Maintenance costs. Everyone’s favorite topic, right? Although measuring costs may be challenging, it’s important to understand the different maintenance work order categories so you have a good starting point. Here is a quick primer on the types of costs:


One of the biggest maintenance costs for most organizations is labor. By labor, I’m not merely talking about wages and salaries. In fact, a wide number of sub-costs fall under this category including:

  1. Wages and salaries
  2. Benefits and bonuses
  3. Training and development costs
  4. Safety and incidents insurance and costs
  5. Contractor costs
  6. Emergency or overtime pay

Equipment, Supplies, and Tools

Depending on your business and industry, you will require different equipment, supplies, and tools to perform necessary maintenance. If you’re responsible for managing an apartment complex, you will require repair equipment, plumbing and electrical supplies, furnace filters, landscaping equipment, and janitorial supplies. In the case of a manufacturing facility, you may require equipment-specific gauges or other testing tools. In just about any maintenance department, buying and using maintenance software is a significant cost as well.

The Other Side of the Equation

It’s difficult to talk about maintenance costs without addressing the other side of the equation: what costs are saved with effective maintenance programs?

Most companies will admit that the biggest cost is unplanned downtime. According to Aberdeen Research, more than 80 percent of businesses had unplanned downtime within a three-year period with a potential cost of more than $250,000 per hour. If an efficient maintenance program can be implemented and operated at a fraction of that cost, you experience a major boost to your bottom line.

On a micro level, a CMMS can help you identify preventive and predictive maintenance tasks for particular critical pieces of equipment as well as measure the impact of those tasks over time. With that type of data, you can weigh the true cost of maintenance against replacement cost of specific systems in your organization and make better decisions in the long run.

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