3 Ways To Reduce Maintenance Costs (and Maintain Quality)
In lean times, manufacturers may find themselves cutting costs to preserve margins or hit budget goals. While the maintenance department isn’t immune to cost-cutting measures, producers must be careful about how they cut costs. Compromising on quality could rack up expensive problems in the future, making it imperative to consider where you’re extricating dollars from the maintenance budget.
Here’s a look at three cost-cutting optimizations to squeeze critical pennies from the maintenance budget without affecting the caliber of service. In fact, they’re likely to improve reliability!
1. Outsource maintenance services
Most manufacturing enterprises have some cost-inefficient maintenance processes they should outsource. Although outsourcing your maintenance practices comes with some expense, it’s much lower than retaining an in-house maintenance team and paying for all the associated costs, like wages, retirement funds, insurance, vacation, medical care, and more. This is especially true of specialized repairs and those who possess niche skills.
Aside from cost savings, you also get a better standard of quality from specialists. By partnering with an outsourced maintenance provider who understands your industry and the machines you use in your day-to-day processes, you’ll reduce downtime and improve productivity. Along with elevating your bottom line, you’ll be supporting a safer working environment for everyone on the factory floor.
2. Fine-tune maintenance processes
Whether you outsource maintenance, keep things in-house, or employ a mix of both, continuously simplifying your approach can result in massive savings. By creating a well-considered checklist highlighting preventive maintenance strategies, you can reduce downtime, increase operational efficiency, and reduce the risk of expensive equipment failures.
How do you make a thorough maintenance checklist? Start by involving the right people in the process and continuously training your team to provide insights and ideas for the tasks necessary to maintain each asset. Be detailed yet concise, and include pictures or visuals to make the checklist as clear and easy to use as possible. It should also include safety measures and any safety warnings and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for each checklist item.
Finally, mobilize your checklists by investing in asset operations management solutions to help you digitize processes and make new ones.
3. Use predictive maintenance techniques
Unlike preventive maintenance procedures determined by the equipment’s condition, predictive maintenance catches failures before they happen by monitoring assets during normal operations. Also called condition-based maintenance, the process involves spotting an issue and scheduling service when it would least impact production.
Predictive maintenance saves companies money by reducing downtime and ensuring equipment operates at maximum capacity. It’s also a more cost-effective strategy than preventive maintenance since it focuses on targeted maintenance. Preventive models can often involve unnecessary service solely based on schedules, which can get expensive.
Cut costs strategically
There’s a good chance cost-cutting measures are coming down the pike for domestic manufacturers in 2023 — if they’re not being implemented already. Where maintenance is concerned, be careful to model cost cuts around efficiency improvements. While these goals might seem diametrically opposed, it’s possible to achieve both lower costs and better results. You just need to solve for efficiency.