Stretching the budget is nothing new for maintenance and reliability implementations. Particularly those where an implementation of technology is part of the game plan. But it needn't be this way, there are a few simple (very simple) techniques and approaches that can make sure that the original budget stays intact while getting all of what was originally envisioned. However, this is an approach that will need to be adopted from the very beginning of a project. That is, before you start to look for notifications of interest or price submissions. 1. Don't oversell or you will have to spend extra money trying to deliver the benefits you claimed 2. Don't make too many changes! This is not an attempt to make all of your processes electronic, nor is it an attempt to try to redesign the entire program to suit your company. Use what is there to its full before trying to make unnecessary changes. 3. Look online. Heard of Software as a Service yet? Seen some of the incredible things that companies are starting to do online? Well, if not then you need to! Even at this early stage of the trend to online programs and products there is already an impressive array of technology available for companies to implement at a fraction of the cost of the old Enterprise architecture models. 4. DO NOT go for lowest price! Everybody wants to get more for less, it is at the heart of the capitalist system we work in. BUT, if you get the lowest cost vendor, or drive your implementation partner to deliver more than they originally budgeted for, then you are in trouble. Either there will be a lot left out in the first place, of your implementation partner will be operating on such tight margins that they will try to do everything possible as quickly and as cheaply as possible. So how to save money, pay the right price! 5. Start a structured knowledge transfer program from day one! Or continue to pay until year 10! Easy calculation to make. Either you take the hit and take some short term pain in terms of resource usage, or you continue to pay real money to an external resource forever. 6. Be innovative in implementation! Be smart about how you spend your money. If you don't need the people on site then don't blow the budget getting them to site, if one of the plants is already advanced then dploy the resources and time elsewhere, look for flexibility at every turn. (This doesn't mean screwing more out of your implementation partner either by the way) For example, ten years after the publication of the RCM standard there are still naysayers claiming that a full implementation of RCM takes too many resources and is too labor intensive. These comments are spurred on by either flat-out ignorance or commercial interests. What they either do not understand, or are deliberately misleading their readers about, is that the RCM standard does not mandate the process or the way that you implement RCM! So instead of being smart and adjusting the implementation process they take the easier and less ethical route of streamlining the rigorous nature of the process. In fact, when I was in the UK with AMT-SYBEX we needed a way to make rigorous RCM available to companies who did not have the technical resources to dedicate to full time reviews as in a team facilitated approach. So I pioneered the RCM Analyst approach, a method still delivered by that company to this day with a lot of success. So instead of being smart and adjusting the implementation process they take the easier and less ethical route of streamlining the rigorous nature of the process. 7. Get a trusted adviser! The job of a consultant is short and sweet, to improve the clients condition. Full stop. it is not about lightening his checkbook, nor about increasing profit margins. A managerial consultant should be focused on making sure that your company gets where it needs to be going, and then deal with the commercial aspects second. Find this person and get them to advise you continually!