1.  What do you want in your maintenance program? 
    Are you looking for fast, easy service or are you willing to put in a little effort and do your research?   You have many options for an equipment maintenance program.  Working with a manufacturer may fit the bill, but it comes at a higher price tag.  Perhaps a multi-vendor service or insurance underwriter would be the right fit.  For larger labs, there are in-house contractors.   Once you have narrowed it down to the ideal levels of service, speed and ease of use, then you will have a good idea of how much you will need to budget.

  2. Shop Around & Get Quotes
    Not only is it important to do research on your maintenance provider, it is also important to obtain quotes from the manufacturers, insurance underwriters and multivendor you’re looking at.  And, don’t forget to ask what deals are available.  You will not know until you ask.
  1. Track your spending
    The best data to help you plan your budget is the amount your facility has spent in the last month. Spreadsheets tend to be difficult to share and hard to adapt to a growing enterprise.  For best practices, you can use a centralized electronic system that attacks maintenance in sections, repairs and costs.   This is an invaluable database of information for planning a budget.

Once you have tracked your spending habits, you should be able to look back over the actual expenses of your equipment maintenance.  If you are used to working with annual supply costs, then simply divide by 12, and you will get a monthly cost.  Looking at this expense by the month may make it a bit easier to budget for upcoming repairs or new purchases.