Scheduling time for maintenance and repairs is beneficial. It keeps equipment and machinery in good condition, adds value to assets and can increase the lifespan of your equipment. But unplanned downtime has the opposite effect. It can cause delays and affect your income and ability to meet customer expectations.
If your business is battling unplanned downtime, it's time to take action. Keep reading to learn more about the effects of downtime and what you can do to end it.
What is unplanned downtime?
Unplanned downtime is any time your equipment, machinery or systems are unavailable. During downtime, your team can't use assets to produce products or provide services. It's usually caused by breakdowns, equipment failure, power outages, or human error. Unlike planned downtime, which is scheduled and communicated to your team beforehand, unplanned downtime disrupts production and can cause unexpected delays.
The consequences of unplanned downtime
Unplanned downtime can affect profitability, customer satisfaction and your reputation. While the consequences may vary depending on the nature of your business, we've shared some of the most common ones:
Lost productivity: When systems or equipment go down, your employees may be unable to work, leading to a loss in productivity.
Reduced revenue: If the downtime impacts your ability to generate sales or provide services, it can lead to lost revenue.
Increased costs: Unplanned downtime can lead to increased costs. You may have to pay your workers overtime or pay for extra materials and resources for repairs or replacements.
Customer dissatisfaction: If you can't provide a product or service, your customers may become unhappy, and their dissatisfaction may encourage them to turn to your competitors.
Data loss: If your systems aren't backed up or maintained, unplanned downtime can lead to data loss. Without critical data, performing key tasks or making important decisions may be difficult or impossible.
How to minimise unplanned downtime: 5 steps
Do your technicians rely on assets to complete customer jobs? If the answer is yes, then minimising unplanned downtime should be your top priority.
There are several ways you can reduce downtime, and we've shared the best solutions to help you get started:
Preventative maintenance can help you get ahead of breakdowns and asset failure. With a maintenance plan, you can identify and address issues before they become bigger problems. Maintenance activities may include routine inspections, cleaning, and replacing worn components. Schedule maintenance with Asset Management Software to secure appointments in your team's calendars.
Use sensors and other monitoring tools to track your equipment. Tracking asset performance can help you catch and solve problems before they cause breakdowns or failure. You can also use the data collected to create an optimised maintenance schedule and ensure you service assets as often as necessary.
Show your employees how to use equipment and identify potential issues.When your technicians know how to use equipment and machines, you can prevent asset damage. You can also save time and reduce costs if you rarely need to fix equipment and machinery. Teaching them how to identify and report problems can prevent issues from escalating and causing damage.
Secure backup systems to help reduce unplanned downtime. Consider investing in redundant systems that can take over and keep your operations going if equipment fails. Redundant systems can be costly, but they can save you money in the long run. Be sure to test your backup systems to ensure they work and that you can rely on them when assets fail.
Plan for contingencies
Develop a contingency plan that outlines the steps your team needs to take during downtime. Your plan may include the procedure for repairs or replacements and how to keep customers and employees informed. A contingency plan can minimise financial losses and keep customers happy during downtime.
Unplanned downtime can be costly, but minimising downtime can protect your business against lost productivity and reduced income. We've shared how you can increase uptime, and now it's your turn to adopt these strategies and keep your operations going.