Not all downtime is the same and to avoid unexpected breakdowns or scheduling mishaps you’ve got to know what to look for and how to handle it. Traditionally, standard downtime is when a machine or piece of equipment is not in production, but unplanned downtime is different. A business’s unplanned downtime not only causes costly delays in maintenance, production schedules, and order deliveries, but will also increase the chance of personnel injury, environmental incidents, and emergency repairs. While planned downtime is inevitable, unplanned downtime is one of the largest and most expensive problems a business can face.
One of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to reduce unplanned asset downtime is utilizing mobile technology specifically for visual asset inspections, quality control, and documenting all maintenance work at the point of execution. These tools improve all-around operational efficiency by allowing organizations to get ahead of equipment failures and reduce unplanned downtime with more preventative maintenance efforts.
Here are a few ways to avoid unplanned asset downtime and stay ahead of the problem.
The first step in any maintenance plan is to define your assets. If you need to slowly roll out the plan, start with your mission-critical assets. You’ve got to keep a critical asset’s performance optimized and in order to have the minimum amount of failure you’ll need accurate data. As a result of knowing and prioritizing, you can further the life-cycle of an individual asset.
Accurately estimating downtime costs can be the difference-maker for many businesses and the data collected must be precise. Five minutes of downtime here and there throughout a facility continuously adds up, and the overall costs increase drastically. It’s crucial for organizations to calculate the amount of money lost but they must have a reliable means of doing so. Mobility enables every employee the ability to input the information collected and accurately review it before sending it to a database. By having an actual dollar amount associated with downtime for your organization, you can help to focus and legitimize your prevention tasks.
To do this accurately, make sure to obtain amounts for:
- Loss in staff productivity
- Loss in production of actual goods
- Number of labor hours devoted to rectifying the situation
- Unexpected costs of repairing equipment
- Damage to reputation due to not fulfilling customer’s expectations
Absence comes at a huge cost for an organization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported productivity losses due to employee absences cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee. This increases greatly when you look at the environment of enterprise businesses and how the loss of critical employees on the production line can cause production to come to a complete stop. But, through the use of mobile devices, customizable apps can be used to instantly see which employees are qualified and available to perform any task in the facility. This empowers managers to quickly reallocate workers in a crisis, all but eliminating costs from unforeseen absences.
Finally, for maintenance plans to be effective, they need to be periodically reviewed over a period of time to make sure that they are aligned with the latest supplier-defined recommendations, meeting maintenance goals, and are optimized to reduce labor and material costs. Maintenance management with a cloud-based solution provides a quick look at critical information about your maintenance operations. You can view key metrics about your problematic assets, as well as the overall maintenance program in order to drill into the details to resolve any issues.
Running your maintenance operations using cloud-based mobile apps, automating the paper-based processes, will benefit your business financially, reduce worker injuries, maintain regulatory compliance, and meet customer commitments. From notifying an employee about a work order to have confidence that your scheduling can handle an emergency, utilizing mobility will give you visibility into problems before they happen to save you valuable money and time.