Investment in Proactive Maintenance Starts at the Top
No manufacturer is going to argue against the benefits of proactive maintenance. But when it comes to implementing a proactive approach, there’s sometimes resistance ― usually from the top. Management tends to see most things from a cost-benefits perspective. This can translate to a gap in what maintenance teams feel they need and what management allots for them.
By default, management will often drag their feet on huge investments unless there’s clear and outright return on that investment. This clear and outright return needs to be provable. The problem is, while the benefits may be clear to every technician down in the trenches, management isn’t always getting the full picture. Someone needs to bridge the gap.
Middle management is often caught … in the middle. They understand the value of an investment in proactive maintenance, but they also understand the hesitance of the c-suite in adopting it. It’s their job to bridge the gap, and to do that, they need to speak the right language and highlight the right variables.
Communicate the value
The first step in selling upper management on an investment in proactive maintenance is to clearly and thoroughly illustrate the value. How will this eventually save the company money or generate a return on investment? What obstacles does it eliminate? How does this mesh with the long-term goals of the company? Touting the specific benefits of a proactive maintenance investment makes it easy to quantify its value.
Decisions by the c-suite often boil down to finance. How will X generate revenue or how will Y conserve costs, and by how much? To make your case for a bigger investment in proactive maintenance, translate the benefits into dollars and cents.
A shift to proactive maintenance for X machines will cost Y, saving Z dollars over a period of 5 years. Or, the company currently spends X dollars on this facet of repair; method Y costs Z fewer dollars. Put quantifiable numbers into the equation to speak the language upper management knows best.
Lay out the path to implementation
There’s no benefit in saying “this is a problem” or “we need a solution.” What is beneficial is adopting a proactive approach to presenting your solution for proactive maintenance. When laying out the benefits and costs, show the path to implementation.
What needs to change? How long will it take to change? How will you measure change? Show management your plan is well-rounded and measurable, with a clear path to the benefits promised.
Emphasize the need for change
When you’ve laid out the numbers and presented your case for change, seal the deal by showing the demand. Get buy-in from anyone affected by the shift to proactive maintenance ― technicians, engineers, data analysts, other managers, etc. The more stakeholders on your side, the more prevalent support for positive change is.
Change starts at the top
Most senior management and c-suite executives understand the role of proactive maintenance and its place in today’s digital industry. It’s up to middle management and department leaders to help them see the path to implementation. Learning to speak their language, deliver comprehensive benefits, and gain support for the change is exactly what’s needed.
As a final note, middle managers should be ready to lead beyond the proposal. Being the mouthpiece between upper management and the workforce means spearheading the initiatives you’re championing. When the c-suite gives the go-ahead, prepare to shoulder many of the responsibilities of deployment!