No matter your business, downtime is costly. There are the direct costs associated with equipment breakdowns that we are all too familiar with, like profit loss, low team morale, and the company’s reputation suffering. But have you ever considered the impact of the indirect costs? The list is long but may include overtime wages, fines & penalties and missed deadlines. This article focuses on tips to reduce downtime costs caused by these indirect factors.
Some breakdowns leading to downtime can be avoided by scheduled and preventative maintenance, while others are unpredictable. There are always going to be problems and failures that even the best of planning can’t predict.
The key to increased productivity and profitability is to minimize job-site and production interruptions. These feats can be accomplished with communication and accountability. If you’re looking to raise the bar and diminish downtime in your business, here are a few tips.
Be Prepared with Maintenance Solutions
Preparation and organization are the keys to profitability. First and foremost, preparation is exceptionally important when you rely on your process equipment to perform your job. Though some work stoppage is inevitable, you can reduce the frequency of unplanned malfunctions with some forethought. That’s why it’s absolutely necessary to ensure that professionals are maintaining your equipment even before you notice a problem. MAC Hydraulics can keep your equipment in tip-top shape applying any of these three types of maintenance to your equipment:
- Scheduled Maintenance uses a maintenance schedule that has been previously developed for each machine tool, and is similar to a tune up for your car. It’s important to check your equipment at regular intervals to maximize your productivity.
- Predictive Maintenance involves performing maintenance on equipment before a failure would occur if the maintenance were not performed. This type of maintenance can help keep your equipment in top form before you even notice a problem.
- Preventative Maintenance ensures that the various and intricate parts of your equipment are kept in good working condition. Typical preventative maintenance tasks include periodic inspections, adjustments, critical equipment replacements, calibrations, and basic cleanliness.
With a regular maintenance routine in place, you should also organize your processes by creating checklists and systems designed to streamline all tasks. This will help implement equipment maintenance schedules more smoothly and reduce downtime.
In any work environment, communication is essential. From the top down, the flow of information should remain constant. A key component of that communication is implementing regular staff meetings. Whether among your crew or your work associates, staff meetings are a great way to disseminate large amounts of important information in a short amount of time.
For example, having the maintenance team and operations department meet regularly to discuss scheduling maintenance between projects and production runs or during a shutdown. When both groups communicate and work together by sharing this important information, the chances of reducing downtime increase greatly.
It doesn’t mean you need to gather the team together for an hour-long gab session. It means coming to a meeting on time with a prepared agenda and a focused mindset. Make sure that your entire team is compelled to show up, pay attention, and move things along in a timely manner. After all, everyone has important work to get back to.
Holding a concise but thorough meeting during which projects, initiatives, and company culture are discussed not only helps increase productivity, it elevates morale and can potentially reduce downtime as well.
When you want to get the most out of a working relationship, accountability is paramount. Hold yourself, your employees, and your business associates (subcontractors, etc.) accountable for the quality of their tasks and the timelines they keep. More importantly, let them know that accountability is fundamental from the beginning.
When all team members are communicating their tasks effectively, everyone should know what their responsibilities are and be expected to deliver on them. From managers to technicians to the office assistants, the entire team should be expected to take ownership of their duties.
Without a solid sense of accountability, quality and timeliness of tasks and projects may slide. This loss of quality can also have a detrimental impact to both team unity and to your company’s overall reputation. Maintaining accountability is the best way to ensure that each team member is working hard on their assigned tasks, thus reducing downtime.
Do It Right The First Time To Reduce Downtime
Your project can’t move forward if your crew has to consistently redo their tasks, right? Re-doing an assignment is one of the most common causes for lost profitability in the workplace. It slows the overall progress of a given project and can inconvenience an entire team of people.
That doesn’t mean you should expect your employees to succeed on a project right out of the gate with zero supervision. It’s doubly important to convey accurate, reasonable expectations to every member of your company in order to get optimal results.
In order to understand those specifications, make sure you understand your client’s expectations. Most clients know exactly what they want. Some might need a little prodding to get there, but the majority know what they are looking for. Communicate openly with your clients to establish expectations and then relay those expectations clearly to your employees so that everyone is on the same page.
Keep To A Timeline
Punctuality and timeliness are crucial to the success of each project. Accurately outlined work has a positive impact on nearly every aspect of your business.
A properly scheduled project makes the financial aspects easier to map and enforce. What’s more, when each facet of that project is mapped out, then accountability and quality are easier to maintain.
A timeline is an effective tool to measure progress throughout the job. From the very beginning, it’s important to establish a timeline and ensure that every member of the project — from the client to your employees — is on the same page.
MAC Hydraulics – A True Solutions Provider
At MAC Hydraulics, open communication, hard work, and accountability are the pillars of our business. We understand that companies need dependable vendors, so we’re committed to keeping your equipment in excellent working order to reduce downtime. MAC Hydraulics services many industries, including construction, waste handling and recycling, manufacturing, railroad, and aviation. Our talented and responsible team is dedicated to keeping your equipment up and running like new.
MAC does it all: cylinder repair, on-site repair, welding, machining, and maintenance of hydraulic components. When your equipment maintenance and repair needs a careful eye and a steady hand, trust the professionals at MAC Hydraulics.