Reducing unplanned downtime by optimising your maintenance
Are you servicing effectively? We all know that downtime is inevitable, but it’s important to minimise unplanned downtime as much as possible.
On average businesses experience more than 800 hours of equipment downtime per year*, that’s more than 15 hours per week. Also downtime takes up 1%-10% of available capacity and these non-productive hours can’t be recovered, leaving businesses with rising costs through reduced capacity, idle operators, overtime costs, lost revenue, delays causing lower customer satisfaction not to mention higher maintenance costs.
How can you reduce your unplanned downtime?
The key to reducing your unplanned downtime is effective scheduling through both planned and preventative maintenance. You need to use service management software that proactively plans services based on running time rather than just periodically servicing your assets, because the reality is periodic service visits are just estimates. Even within one environment the same equipment will be used differently resulting in some assets requiring a service before others.
For example, if you have a forklift truck that requires a service every 2,000 hours, if you estimate this will be on average every 6 months then you either run the risk of not servicing soon enough and may incur a breakdown or conversely if you service too early you automatically increase your maintenance costs.
What your software should do is either capture the running hours and report this on an ongoing basis as engineers visit sites or take a feed from a telematics solution on the asset. Both minimising the likelihood of downtime whilst maintaining optimal maintenance costs.
By planning your maintenance effectively, you can:
- Set service schedules on actual running time / usage rates.
- Capture asset data every time an engineer goes to site.
- Manage contract, site, asset and asset types separately for advanced reporting capability.
- Show Service Managers & Engineers when other work is outstanding or due so they can consolidate visits.
- Flag open jobs for all assets when on site to combine work, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction.
Naturally, we know that the older a machine gets, the more often it needs servicing. It’s the same principle as your car- if you don’t service it for three years it’s more likely to break down than if you service it on time, so you need to plan in your service- much like you need to plan in your asset maintenance.
The solution lies in businesses ensuring their maintenance programme is based on actual asset running times, that they invest in assets that can ‘communicate useful data’ and implement software capable of receiving data to schedule planned & preventative maintenance. Forbes recently reported* that organisations without a preventative maintenance programme like this spend up to four times more on maintenance.
Start tracking downtime and assess the financial impact and you’ll soon realise that good service management technology can positively improve your performance and your bottom line.
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