5 Ways to Cut Maintenance Costs

When you’re looking to cut maintenance costs, you want to cut costs in the right places and for the right reasons. A simple an ineffective way would be to not spend any money on anything and let your building fall to pieces. It’s not the answer. You have to keep in mind both short and long term costs to maximize the useful life of your building.

Here are 5 realistic ways to cut maintenance costs and keep your buildings in great shape.

Update All Service Contracts

First of all, we hope you have service contracts in place and if you don’t read this before you go any further… The Importance of Preventative Maintenance.

Evaluate all of your service contracts for preventative and scheduled maintenance. You want to make sure the scope of work covers exactly what you need. It’s important to reconsider your needs annually at minimum. Create a preventative maintenance calendar to help you stay organized, ensure all contracted work is completed, and track contract expiration.

A good place to start auditing is your janitorial or cleaning contract. Are they doing the work they are contracted to do? Are you happy with the work they are doing for the price you’re paying? If not, rewrite a new scope of work and issue a request for proposal to at least three companies. You will either cut maintenance costs or get more for your money. Either way is a win.

Then take a look at the cost for service. Is it within your budget? Don’t be afraid to put the work out to bid and get proposals from multiple contractors. Sometimes it helps keep everyone on their toes if they know there’s competition.

If you need more convincing on why preventative maintenance cuts maintenance costs, read this great article from Facilitiesnet.com on The Real Cost of Deferred Maintenance.

Streamline Work Orders

There’s a few ways to streamline work orders in order to save money. First, bundle work orders for efficiency and travel cost savings. If you have to hire a third party contractor, hire them to do more than one job. You want to make the trip worth their while as well as yours. It’s industry standard for contractors to charge a trip charge, so bundle the work and save yourself a few trip charges.

Another way to streamline work orders is to make sure you have standard operating procedures (SOPs). In the simplest terms: Create a process. Use the process. You and your team will save time because the process will become second nature.

For the love of god, get a work order system if you don’t have one!

Outsource Administrative Responsibilities

This not-so-obvious way to cut maintenance costs is by outsourcing all or part of your facility department responsibilities. Instead of hiring inexperienced staff that you have to train, you can hire ONE SOURCE and build the facility team that is exactly what you need. There is an administrative cost to running your facility and by hiring ONE SOURCE, you can cut maintenance costs by having experienced, knowledgeable facility support at your fingertips for a fraction of the cost of in house staff.


There is less demand for an in house facility staff and now companies are scaling back payroll costs and looking for alternatives. We’ve built our business on supporting yours by being experts in facility management. Our team is trained on continuously improving facility processes and procedure. Whether you have an in house facility manager or the responsibilities are spread elsewhere, delegate responsibilities to a team of FM pros at ONE SOURCE.

Manage Third Party Contractors

Long before you bring a contractor on side to perform work, you should get an idea of their cost for service. There are often times when you don’t know exactly what a job will cost until it’s completed. However, you can negotiate hourly labor rates and material mark up costs ahead of time. It’s reasonable to set a not-to-exceed (NTE) amount. Find a way to keep track of the time that the contractor spends on the job to make sure it aligns with their final invoice.

You will be better equipped to cut maintenance costs if you manage your contractors well. Set the tone with the contractor and let them know that you care about both the quality and the overall cost. Stop in while the work is being done and inspect it when it’s complete. People do what you inspect, not what you expect.

Train and Educate Everyone

The more you know, well, the more you know. Educate yourself, your team, and your building occupants on all building systems. An informed individual will be able to make good decisions on when and where to spend maintenance budget money. The question of when to repair versus replace will be an easier one and you’ll be prepared to make it quickly. Time is money after all.

When it comes to your building occupants, education is a key to making sure maintenance requests are submitted and handled smoothly. But it will also help everyone understand and stay informed on what maintenance is being completed and why. In our experience, understanding leads to patience which leads to happy occupants and a happier you. Enough said.

Have more questions on how to cut maintenance costs?

ONE SOURCE is your local resource in providing administrative and technical expertise to support your strategic facility management goals. We provide strategic facility management solutions for clients across the Northeast.

Call us today to schedule a Free Facility Program Assessment.

Mariel Nowack

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