- Author: The Field Eagle Team
- Published: 1/25/2022 2:57:07 PM
Equipment may at times be your most valuable investment. However, this investment could quickly degrade in value if not maintained correctly. Equipment maintenance, while costly, can also be one of the best ways to save money in the longer term, as replacing damaged or broken equipment can be even more expensive.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to decrease the amount of money you are spending on maintenance.
Impact of equipment maintenance costs on profits
Before looking for ways to cut costs, it's important to acknowledge and understand how maintenance costs can help your bottom line. For example, if you have a machine that's been used intermittently (a milling machine, for instance), it'll be more expensive to "catch up" on maintenance once it's been neglected for a while.
If the machine needs its bearings replaced and it hasn't been serviced since before you purchased it, simple repairs could end up costing much more than you'd think. On the other hand, regular, preventative maintenance helps lower overall running costs.
If you can increase the time between major repairs or replacements, not only will it drive your bottom line up, but it'll also provide the business with more opportunities. By not having to conduct expensive emergency repairs, bids for new contracts can be lower, increasing the chances of winning.
Review all maintenance procedures & simplify them
While scheduling maintenance activities is important, if it's not being done or done incorrectly, it's not achieving the expected results. Solicit and listen to feedback from your workers. Workers should be able to give you insight into how they can complete maintenance activities more efficiently and why each step is important.
Speeding up their work or going over why each step is important will motivate them to continue doing it. When employees know the reason for a task, it makes the process seem less tedious and more attractive. This can help reduce errors and make sure that your employees are invested in what they're doing and want to do it well.
Understand and follow safe work practices
When conducting maintenance, sometimes disabling existing safety mechanisms is necessary. Make sure that workers understand and follow all safety procedures before working on any machinery.
Be prepared for the worst
It's possible that a machine could break during maintenance or while it's being shut down. In either situation, be ready to respond appropriately.
If you have an emergency shutdown plan in place, make sure your employees are trained on all of its elements and know how to activate the plan. Make sure that all manuals and documentation are easily accessible with the most relevant information posted near the machines.
Better management of unpredictable unplanned or breakdown maintenance
In some cases, regardless of the amount of maintenance being done, a breakdown will still happen. In these instances, having a restoral plan accessible and available is key. The plan should be specific to each piece of equipment, with detailed information about what could go wrong and what workarounds can be implemented to restore services.
In case of a breakdown, have your tools and materials prepared in advance in case they need to be called into action immediately. Maintain proper supplies and make sure everything stays organized in an easily accessible location when not in use; this will help reduce stress when problems arise without warning.
If repair isn't possible, have an idea of how quickly equipment can be replaced and the impact on the business. Can you use other equipment to replace the broken one? If not, can you temporarily outsource service work? Prepare and communicate an outage plan that includes these strategies and how others within the business will need to respond.
Whether or not you have a spare piece of equipment ready to go during a breakdown, make sure your employees know their roles in case there's no backup plan. Ensure all workers are trained on procedures they may need to perform as part of their job function and cross-trained for other roles if possible. This makes sure everyone knows what’s expected of them to keep operations running smoothly.
Have the right tools – maintenance management software
Having the right tool in your corner can go a long way in helping keep costs down. The right software tool can help with the audit of your equipment and fleet and record and store information, helping you look for patterns.
Data such as the amount of time equipment is in use or how much fuel was used can help you determine when it may be time to replace certain parts or equipment. Keep track of your equipment performance reports so you can see where things are going well and where changes need to be made. Review these reports regularly so you always know how your fleet is doing and what steps need to be taken next for it to run smoothly.
By using inspection software, proactive alerts can be set up to know when maintenance is needed or if the equipment has changed somehow. The data collected by inspection software will help you determine if your current fleet plan needs to be overhauled, added onto, or left as is. You can keep track of what inspections still need to be done and avoid the inconvenience of using up time that could have been used for other purposes.
Field Eagle is the tool for you
With Field Eagle's customizable maintenance lists and reports, you can have your equipment maintenance done much faster, and can look at the results at anytime and on any device. You can gather statistics on how often a piece of equipment has to be maintained, or breaks down, and make a data-backed decision on whether to continue to repair it, or work on replacing it.
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