When the pandemic hit in early 2020, global gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic stability — nosedived. Fast forward to June, and even with factories regaining most of the ground they lost (the Institute for Supply Management estimates 60-70% recovery), global indicators are not strong.
With a “second wave” of COVID-19 potentially hitting many facilities as hard, if not harder than in the Spring 2020, and supply chains remaining unstable, organizations simply cannot afford downtime. Shrewd decisionmakers are taking a proactive approach to maximizing uptime with decisive action.
Focus on Downtime
In the industrial sector, downtime is already a multi-billion-dollar problem. While the metrics shift a bit from business to business and industry to industry, one study, by the International Society of Automation, estimated that downtime costs the manufacturing industry nearly $650 Billion each year.
Even in normal conditions, facilities lose anywhere from 5% to 20% of their productivity due to downtime, per a study by the International Society of Automation. In the current environment, where productivity is already off due to line reconfigurations for social distancing, personnel shortages due to sick workers, safety and cleaning rituals, as well as other operating complexities, operators need to minimize unplanned downtime as much as possible.
At Tero, we recommend focusing on the basics of reliability, which include proactive MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) management, and in particular, preventive maintenance. Per a study conducted by Plant Engineering, preventive maintenance is favored by 80% of maintenance personnel as part of a multi-faceted maintenance strategy. Yet, in times of crisis such as we face now, routines such as preventive maintenance may be postponed or even ignored.
Managing a Better Outcome
A paper published on Maintenance.com benchmarked varied outcomes and posited that companies can most readily maximize their uptime and promote preventive maintenance consistency when they implement a Reliability Assurance program. Such a program combines planning and scheduling with preventive maintenance and defect elimination, propelled and managed with technology including a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). Per the Maintenance.com paper, companies that take such an approach can anticipate 98% uptime.
To help organizations manage their current operating challenges, research firm McKinsey published a list of practical activities, several of which also help organizations reduce downtime. Following is a summary of those recommendations.
- To reassure personnel and keep them operating at top productivity, share data on the company’s evolving posture through this crisis with clarity and simplicity. Frequency is vital, as is consistency from the top (a “single source of truth”).
- Ensure transparency in your supply chains, especially those that are multi-tier. Generate a list of critical components, monitor the original for possible disruptions and identify alternative sources.
- Estimate your available inventory along the value chain, including spare parts and after-sales stock, in case you need a bridge to keep production running.
- Benchmark your logistics capacity and accelerate it, where possible. Be flexible on transportation modes, if needed.
- Invest in technology, which reduces downtime. Selective automation can be very beneficial once you are confident of solid footing, but a CMMS or EAM (enterprise asset management) platform is critical to reducing downtime.
As a firm that specializes in helping companies maximize uptime with a CMMS platform, we couldn’t agree more. We are confident that those who remain vigilant, leverage technology wisely with the help of internal or external expertise and optimize their practices to increase efficiency and reduce downtime will have the best chances of making it through this troublesome era unscathed.
In 1979, Tero developed its first Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) for the mining industry. Over the decades, the tools and technology have changed significantly, but our core ideals of excellent service, uncompromising support and complete client satisfaction have remained. The Professional Services Group at Tero includes qualified CMMS Project Managers. Our Project Managers come with years of experience and can develop detailed plans, in consultation with your maintenance and operations staff, to ensure a smooth CMMS/EAM implementation. Our team draws on years of experience to ensure that CMMS/EAM systems fully meets each client’s short, mid and long-term goals. For more information, visit www.azzier.com