How accurate is your operational budget?

Most organisations use several systems to manage their accounting and finances. One system is used for budgeting purposes, another for actual expenditure and a myriad of spreadsheets are used across the business to handle the details. While it is possible to get by with these systems, hosting this information in a single repository can open up a world of efficiency improvements and forecasting capabilities that are otherwise too time-consuming to consider.

Maintenance budgeting systems are no different. Yearly budgets are produced before the start of the next fiscal year, and typically involve multiple sources of information that need to be collated, rearranged, and adapted to the finance system template. To track expenditure against budget, information then needs to be downloaded from the finance system and collated, rearranged, and adjusted again to be manageable by the teams in charge of the budget. If your organization then needs to re-forecast during the year, you go through the whole exercise again. It is time-consuming and can be a major distraction from other priorities.

As a result, it can be challenging to build accurate and trustworthy budgets that can be called upon to impact the reliability and availability of assets positively.

Budgeting: CMMS/ERP vs budget vs actuals

One way to determine how accurate and effective the budgeting process is requires looking at the differences between your maintenance plans in the CMMS/ERP, your budget, and the actuals. Even for mature organisations with established systems and processes in place, these differences can be significant.

Understanding this discrepancy requires a detailed review by the planning department. Maintenance planners, supervisors and management dedicate significant time to track the costs of each maintenance area across the organisation. Instead of using this time proactively to look ahead at maintenance activities to be performed, time is instead spent reviewing and understanding the past.

While there are no easy answers for how to tackle these issues, one thing is certain: the need for appropriate data governance is essential. The use of multiple spreadsheets by multiple users without standardisation or controls in place results in the loss of valuable information when files are edited, overwritten or when personnel leave the organisation.

Using an asset management tool like Orien allows valuable data to be stored in a single repository that is properly managed and revised. Orien streamlines maintenance strategies and enables an organisation to model different scenarios without impacting their core systems.

Make a decision

Storing valuable data in this way allows key stakeholders to make informed decisions that impact the organisation's bottom line. The owners of the data in the CMMS/ERP can implement changes in the system, and planners can focus on mid to long-term activities. Supervisors can adhere to their schedule to increase asset reliability, and senior management can use this information to populate finance systems.

By investing in tools like Orien, maintenance organisations move from reporting costs to proactively managing costs, risk and improving the performance of their assets.

Our experience

Orien is a cloud-based asset management solution relied on by the world's largest asset-intensive industries. Developed by Ausenco in collaboration with leading industry experts, Orien makes it easy to consolidate, collaborate on, and control maintenance strategies and budgets across your organization to keep assets working for you. Orien's clients manage lifecycle costs and reduce uncertainty by understanding the critical activities that keep their operation running. With teams located worldwide and 24/7 support, Orien puts you on the path to better asset performance.

Our team of experts are ready to help, reach out to Sergio Urra to learn more.