When Benjamin Franklin coined the now cliché phrase ‘time is money’ in his 1748 pamphlet, Advice to a Young Tradesman. Written by an Old One, he was illustrating the concept of opportunity costs for an American audience that was just becoming acquainted with the theories of labor relations and exchange that would become the founding principles of economics.
The concept is simple: the true cost of any given activity can only be determined when forgone opportunities to generate income or value are factored into the calculation. Franklin gives the example of a laborer who can earn 10 shillings (a couple hundred dollars) per day working, but chooses to spend half of the day on some unproductive diversion instead. While the laborer may only spend a small amount of money on their chosen diversion, the true cost of their decision must include the opportunity that was passed up to earn an extra five shillings working.
Today, opportunity costs remain a major concern for businesses in every industry, but the factors determining what those costs are, and even the concept of time itself, have undergone significant changes in the 266 years since Franklin coined his famous phrase. Cost calculations must include a complex range of factors, including equipment maintenance, regulatory compliance and inventory control, while time is increasingly measured in terms of the instantaneous availability of data in ‘real time.’
In other words, modern companies looking to use their time more efficiently need accurate, up to date information about all of their costs, and they need to be able to act on that data quickly. This is why computerized maintenance management solutions (CMMS) like ManagerPlus have become a necessity for companies in asset-intensive industries.
Scheduling in Real Time
Finding time to schedule preventive maintenance services and regulatory inspections, while also keeping track of inventory, labor, and other data can be a huge challenge for companies that rely on outdated tools such as spreadsheets and paper systems. Because these tools offer little to no automation, data must be input manually every step of the way, which can cause a major lag in information availability. Continue reading