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20 May 2023

The Real Costs Of Unplanned Downtime & How To Minimise It

The Real Costs Of Unplanned Downtime & How To Minimise It
Unplanned downtime has a significant impact on costs of Construction. Gary Jones, Sales Director of Service Geeni UK, explains the real costs of unplanned downtime and how to minimise it. Downtime Has A Big Impact On average businesses experience more than 800 hours of plant machinery downtime per year, that’s more than 15 hours per week. Also downtime takes up to 10% of available capacity and these non-productive hours can’t be recovered, leaving construction firms with reduced capacity, idle operators, overtime costs, lost revenues and project delays, these all cause a reduction in customer satisfaction and profitability whilst increasing maintenance costs. How To Mitigate Downtime Research shows planned and preventative maintenance are both key to minimising downtime. Planned maintenance visits ensure all the OEM recommended service visits are scheduled in advance. Preventative maintenance takes this further, scheduling specific maintenance tasks that are performed whilst an asset is still working to prevent an unexpected failure. More breakdowns occur when you don’t service plant & equipment based on actual usage, because the reality is periodic service visits are just randomised estimates. Think about how hire and usage rates differ across a wide range of construction work, the reality is the same plant with similar hire out rates can have very different running rates resulting in some assets requiring servicing earlier or later.  Using Technology For Competitive Advantage Systems such as Service Geeni service management software can receive real-time asset data from plant in the field, and use this data to trigger and schedule the relevant service visits, including booking in jobs in between planned hire worked and ensuring the engineer assigned to the work has the right qualifications, parts and documentation. This technology uses simple AI, allowing assets to ‘communicate’ data to connected systems without user intervention, helping ensure planned maintenance is scheduled for the right time and providing useful data for identifying preventative maintenance work to take place before breakdowns occur. When plant & machinery doesn’t have this capability, good service management systems can create mandatory jobs to ensure accurate run-time data is updated every time an engineer completes a job, enabling maintenance teams to forecast when services are needed before lengthy, costly breakdowns occur. Minimising Downtime When It Happens However, downtime will happen, it’s inevitable. If you’re using good service management software it also helps minimises the length of each breakdown, enabling fast response times, good parts availability and high first-time-fix rates. Reducing Financial Impact It’s best practice to plan for downtime of 5-10% and adjust financial planning based on realistic production levels. If you go over this level you will more than likely be incurring unnecessary costs, such as needing to send out replacement equipment to keep customers happy, which is all avoidable if your maintenance operation is delivering good service and keeping downtime at a minimum. Reducing Financial Impact To mitigate the highest risk breakdowns you need to determine which asset breakdowns cause the biggest reductions in productivity and impact on cost. Service management systems can identify these critical plant and service visits, and use real running time data to schedule mandatory preventative maintenance services, whilst using good inventory control to ensure parts for these critical services are always in stock. These factors combined significantly minimise the costliest breakdowns, protecting profit margins & customer satisfaction. Collaborative Working & Connected Platforms Forbes recently reported that without a preventative maintenance programme businesses can spend up to four times more on maintenance. The solution lies in ensuring maintenance programmes use service management systems that manage both hire and sales contracts, maintain asset registers based on real running times, and schedule planned and preventative maintenance to maximise uptime and revenue. Start tracking downtime and assess the financial impact and you’ll soon realise that service management technology can positively improve your performance, productivity and profits. Find out more about how Service Geeni helps maximise uptime at Plantworx 2023 from the 13th- 15th June, come and visit us at stand A-D10.
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