How Does Downtime in Manufacturing Translate to Growth?
Business owners find themselves struggling to get the balance right these days. We are all aware of the impacts of downtime. When you factor in business downtime costs and their overall impact on the bottom line, it is a subject that warrants addressing. But at the same time, you need to incorporate downtime so your employees do not overwork.
Downtime is a double-edged sword, but what can you do in order to straddle the balance? When we are looking for a way to make the most of adequate downtime in manufacturing, we need to make sure that it doesn't eat into our productivity.
In manufacturing, downtime doesn't necessarily relate to growth, but using downtime to learn significant lessons is invaluable. What are some of the key lessons?
Outsourcing is crucial to help any business navigate downtime effectively. Outsourcing some of your work to a company with specialized resources can help you focus on the bigger picture. For example, if you are looking to improve your business in real-time, opting for cloud-based solutions by hiring IT experts can give you sufficient insight into disaster recovery methods, technical mishaps, and cybercrime, but also take the pressure off you.
Companies like Rapid PSI can even handle some or all of your backorders while your main operation is experiencing downtime.
The Importance of Planning Downtime
If you are looking to prevent unplanned downtime, you need to focus on the exact opposite! Maintaining a reactive approach to any external threat is crucial, especially when it comes to your equipment. If you want to reduce unplanned downtime, incorporating maintenance schedules to guarantee your equipment is fighting fit is essential.
Whenever your equipment is due servicing or upgrading, you need to have a more reactive approach and incorporate predictive maintenance into your business. If your business was to suffer a natural disaster, or a piece of equipment found itself operating on a sub-par level, you may find that your business operations won’t just slow down, but you could see the entire workforce, from the production line to the back office workers experience a massive lull.
Estimating the True Cost of Downtime
While the average cost of downtime is dependent on the industry and the individual business, the true cost of downtime, known as TDC, consists of a wide variety of factors such as lost production, lost capacity, direct labor, and inventory (such as tech, and the oil and gas). It’s these aspects that provide a starting point.
How Can You Solve the Problem of Downtime?
The fact of the matter is that it's not just about the costs, but every individual who works in your business. When it comes to ensuring your equipment is fighting fit, predictive and preventative maintenance is crucial, but also focusing on employee productivity is just as pivotal. When you consider the time based on your productivity and downtime, it depends on the average hourly rate of the impacted employees. For example, 150 employees at an hourly rate of 50% experiencing a 70% productivity loss equating to $5,250. Sometimes knowing the true cost is essential, but in order to navigate these problems effectively, the result lies in focusing on factory personnel and upskilling them.
Downtime in manufacturing can be a sufficient headache, but downtime in one respect or another is not necessarily detrimental to your business. Downtime can be a big lesson and can translate to significant growth, just as long as you are aware of your inadequacies.