The cost of downtime: How unplanned downtime is hurting your field service business
Discover the dangers of downtime and how you can prevent it.
As a field service business, your ability to deliver high-quality services to your clients is critical to your success. But unplanned downtime can disrupt your operations and stop you from offering a good service. As a result, unplanned downtime can affect revenue, customer satisfaction and your reputation. This article will explore the cost of downtime and how it's hurting your field service business.
What is planned downtime?
Planned downtime is when a business takes its system or equipment offline or shuts it down for maintenance, updates, or repairs. It usually takes place during off-peak hours, such as overnight or on the weekends, to keep business operations on track.
What is unplanned downtime?
Unplanned downtime is when a business's equipment or machinery is unavailable, or its system goes offline. Equipment failure, power outages or other unexpected events usually cause downtime. Unlike planned downtime, it can happen anytime and without warning. The business may lose money and experience decreased productivity.
The cost of downtime
Unplanned downtime can have a significant impact on your field service business. Here are some of the costs associated with downtime:
When equipment is unavailable, technicians can't complete scheduled appointments or service calls. Your customers may become unhappy because you can't help them in time, and they may turn to your competitors, leading to a loss in revenue. You may also have to offer discounts or refunds to appease customers, reducing income.
Increased labour costs
Your technicians can't work during downtime, but you'll still need to pay them for idle time. If they need to work after hours, you may have to pay them overtime, increasing labour costs.
Equipment repair costs
You may need to hire maintenance workers to repair equipment if your team doesn't have the skills or knowledge to do repairs. Unfortunately, hiring contractors will increase your costs. And if you need to replace expensive equipment, your expenses will increase even more.
Downtime is bad news for productivity. No matter how efficient your workers are, they can only be productive when equipment is up and running. Reduced productivity can lead to delayed service calls and a backlog of work. As a result, you may only be able to accept new jobs once you've finished the work you've committed to completing.
Damage to your reputation
Downtime can impact your ability to meet customer demands and reduce customer satisfaction. Unhappy customers may share their negative experiences with others online or by word of mouth. Poor reviews may damage your reputation and affect your ability to attract and keep customers.
The effects of downtime can be detrimental, so minimising downtime is critical. Here are some tips to help you ensure your operations run smoothly:
Do regular equipment maintenance
Regular maintenance can help identify potential issues before they cause downtime. Create a preventative maintenance plan and schedule cleaning, inspection and repair jobs. You can use Job Scheduling Software to save time assigning jobs and optimise your technicians' schedules.
Invest in reliable equipment
Reliable equipment can reduce the risk of downtime and reduce your repair and maintenance costs. Research the quality and reliability of equipment before purchasing it.
Improve inventory management
Equipment failure can hold your technicians back, but so can poor inventory management. Even when machines are available, your technicians can only complete jobs if they have the proper materials. You can improve inventory management with technology such as an Inventory Management System. You can create and manage purchase orders, check stock levels and keep an accurate record of stock available.
Train your technicians
With the proper skills and training, your technicians will know how to use equipment and how to do maintenance and repair jobs. They'll know what to do to prevent breakdowns and equipment failure. Training gives employees the confidence to do their jobs, improving maintenance and productivity.
Have a contingency plan
A contingency plan minimises the impact of downtime and ensures your employees can keep working. You can arrange backup equipment, extra labour for downtime, and a plan to reschedule service calls.
Unplanned downtime can cost your business. But preventative measures and a contingency plan can minimise the impact of downtime. By prioritising maintenance, you can reduce downtime and provide a quality service.
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