No matter what industry you’re in, or the size of the budget there are a few tips that will definitely improve your chances of getting funding for your asset management, equipment strategy build or technology project approved in the upcoming budget cycle.
For those of you that follow a July 1-June 30 Financial Year, it’s already time to start putting together those project funding requests or a strong case for spending forward.
In almost every instance, preparing a business case is necessary, but the format is relatively flexible. Whether it is presented in an email, spreadsheet, or in a meeting, these tips will help you win project funding approval.
Tip 1: Anticipate Business Needs:
Whether it’s your boss, or your bosses’ boss that is approving budgets, you must illustrate how your proposed Project aligns with strategic goals. Make sure they understand how the proposed initiative helps you, or them, or their boss and the organisation to hit priority objectives.
To do this: sell the dream – get clear on ‘the why’ to build a strong case on spending and be prepared to demonstrate why your project should get time and resources over others. Cover some of the predictable ‘why’s’ – as much as possible, and ensure these reasons tie to bottom-line benefits:
- Why do you need this for the business?
- Whose problem does your project solve (a small group/role, entire departments or the organisation)?
- What is currently unsolved, or remains a problem without your idea/project – and what are the financial consequences of this?
- What is at risk, or lost without it (does it cost the business on output, wasted money, time, resources, safety)?
- Provide an idea of cost, time and resources required to complete the project: present a couple of options where possible and the cost and resources involved in each alternative.
Tip 2: Make your case:
The best format for your business case is to lay out a reasonable argument. For that, you may need to present some objectivity – for example, by presenting a few alternatives for investment.
The best format for your funding request/argument is:
- Why the spending is required or justified. You may identify a measurable problem within the business, and its influence on the bottom line, or on the business’ capability to deliver on strategy;
- The options to the business;
- A succinct evaluation of these alternatives so that your decision makers come to agree with your recommendation.
Tip 3: Timing is important.
Budget planning usually takes three months; draft budgets are typically submitted 2.5 months in advance of a final cut, so you should have your Business Case presented by April to have the best chance for funding to be approved in the upcoming July 1 budget cycle.
Tip 4: Winning Relevance with your Decision-Makers
It can be difficult to win budget approval if your management team doesn’t fully understand asset management. So it’s important to bring your justification back to what matters to the management team and the organisation (money) and how your recommendation can deliver massive returns on investment (ROI) either in cost savings or profits.
For instance, using our recommended format, if there’s consistent issues related to equipment reliability on site, you would:
- Get started on that Funding Approval/Proposal now.
- Present Your Business Problem. Illustrate the accumulative cost associated with your ongoing equipment reliability issues. This may include the average cost of downtime, any possible overtime and shifting preventative maintenance to the backlog associated with reactive maintenance work. Quantify the number of breakdowns in a given period, putting a dollar figure on these amounts, adding up in 1 month, 1 year, 3 years… You may also want to list less quantitative matters, such as the business exposure to risk and safety issues.
- Present alternatives to solving the issue of reliability. Are you simply in need of new assets, equipment strategies, or is reliability something that could be improved through stronger maintenance tactics, or technology? Some considerations may be the implementation of new, or re-implementation or configuration of existing maintenance management systems, tech’ such as mobility devices or consulting, training and coaching teams?
- And then demonstrate which of these alternatives is most appropriate for the business. Lay out how an investment in $x could alleviate or eliminate this cost to drive profitability for the business. You may also list some of the well-documented business benefits that can be attributed to improved asset health that includes lower site risk and employee safety greater that all come with improved asset reliability.
If you need assistance with a business case, APS can provide you with real-world examples of cost savings through healthy asset management systems. We also have an Asset Management Audit that may help you quickly identify the root-cause of symptoms in the business so you can start to accurately address the issue.
For a no-pressure/sales chat about your asset management problems or assistance with a business case, get in touch.