CMMS Tech Tip: Assessing Maintenance Labor Costs

Challenge: Accurately estimating and tracking spending on labor 

One of the key challenges in efficient maintenance management lies in accurately estimating and tracking labor hours and costs. This process is important for effective planning and scheduling. 

Solution: Your Mainsaver CMMS makes assessing labor costs easier and more efficient

Use the methodology detailed below to set up, estimate, and record maintenance labor hours and costs in your Mainsaver CMMS. This will make accurate reporting simple and easy.  Mainsaver’s powerful query tools enable you to find all the information you need to assess labor costs, as well as key performance indicators, including the Current Labor Estimate of Backlog, Mean Time to Repair, PM to Corrective Hour Ratio, and Estimated Hours vs Actual Hours.

Screens showing maintenance hours logged and labor costs in Mainsaver

Illustration 1 – Labor Hours and Costs Report in Mainsaver


1. Proper Setup in Mainsaver

A. Craft Code and Labor Rate Setup:
  • In the personnel module, confirm that technicians have the correct craft code and labor rate setup.
  • Utilize a fully burdened, non-confidential rate for accurate calculations.

Screen showing how to set the proper craft code and labor charge rate in Mainsaver

Illustration 2 – Setting the Labor Rate

B. Grace Period Setting:
  • In System Administration, set the grace period (number of days after work order closure) to allow for the charging of materials and hours.

Set the grace period in the application switches screen in Mainsaver.

Illustration 3 – TM Grace Period 

2. Monthly Closing:

  • In System Administration, under the Utilities menu, perform monthly closing to ensure accurate asset month and year-to-date cost accumulators.

Shows the monthly closing process screen in Mainsaver

Illustration 4 – Monthly Closing

3. Time Entry and Posting:

  • Enter time in the Time and Materials Used Module when closing and completing work orders.
  • The actual cost is not applied to work orders, assets, and budgets until timecards are POSTED, allowing an opportunity for review and corrections.
  • The craft codes can have an overall estimate rate setup in System Administration.

    Craft Estimate Rate - Electrician - Labor Cost

    Illustration 5 – Craft Estimate Rate

4. Estimate Labor Hours: 

  • Time estimates may be done on work orders, PM master records, demand tasks, and activity codes in Mainsaver.
  • A best practice is for all PM master records to have labor hour estimates to aid in effective planning.

PM - Labor Tab -showing an example for electrical craft work

Illustration 6 – PM Labor tab

5. Record Labor Hours: 

  • Mainsaver will not assume the planned hours are automatically the number of hours worked when work is completed. 
  • For labor costs to be recorded the time must be entered in any of the following areas of Mainsaver. Time may be entered before the work order is completed or closed, during the complete and close processes, or AFTER the work order is closed up to the grace period cutoff.

    • Mainsaver Core
      • Work Order Module
      • Time and Materials Module
      • Dispatch Module
      • Shop Floor Module
    •  Mainsaver Connect Web/App
      • Work Order Edit
      • Work Order Complete/Close
      • Work Order Start/Stop Work
      • Timecard Weekly View

6. Reporting on Labor Costs by Work Order

  • There are many reports on the Lists and Reports menus that detail labor costs.
  • Within the Work Order Module, the Work Order Actual Detail is a perfect example.

Screen shows employee activity, material activity and actual expenditures.

Illustration 7 – Work Order Actual Detail Listing

7. Reporting on Labor Costs by Asset

  • Use the Asset Module to understand the costs that are specific to each piece of equipment.
  • Every asset has month, year, and life-to-date cost accumulators for labor, material, and contractor costs.
  • These costs may be tiered up using the asset hierarchy to analyze system costs.

Screen shows labor cost for a particular asset

Illustration 8 – Asset Hierarchy Cost View

Maintenance Benefits:

Following these steps, maintenance teams can accurately record and analyze labor costs. Comprehensive reporting in the Work Order and Asset Modules provides detailed insights into labor, material, and contractor costs, facilitating informed decision-making.