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 equipment downtime per year*, that’s more than 15 hours per week. Also, downtime takes up 1%-10% of available capacity and these non-productive hours can’t be recovered, leaving businesses with rising costs through reduced capacity, idle operators, overtime costs, lost revenues, and delays causing lower customer satisfaction not to mention higher maintenance costs.
How To Mitigate Downtime
Research shows planned and preventative maintenance are 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 based on actual usage, because the reality is periodic service visits are just estimates. Even within one warehouse environment, the same equipment will be used differently resulting in some assets requiring a service before others.
Using Technology For Competitive Advantage
Systems such as Service Geeni service management software can receive real-time asset data e.g. from warehouse automation equipment, and use this data to trigger and schedule the relevant service visits, including ensuring the engineer assigned has the right qualifications, parts and site 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.
Minimising Downtime When It Happens
However, downtime will happen, it’s inevitable. If you’re using good service management software your maintenance team will know your asset has a problem before you do. So not only is integrated service management software critical to reducing downtime it also minimises the length of each breakdown, enabling fast response times, good parts availability and high first-time-fix-rates.
Reducing Financial Impact
In a typical warehouse environment, if you need 25 forklift trucks to operate normally and up to 3 are out of action at any one time, you either need to invest in more trucks and have the space for them or you need to factor in running at reduced capacity, lowering your margins, reducing your profits.
For maintenance businesses supporting logistics providers, it’s best practice to plan for downtime, with most estimating between 5-10% downtime. This enables warehouse operations to adjust their financial planning based on realistic capacity levels. But this also means there are often high penalties on maintenance contracts if downtime goes overestimated targets. Whilst initially, this helps warehouse operators mitigate costs it doesn’t help their customer satisfaction scores for late deliveries and they inevitably get revised estimates for the next year's maintenance programmes.
Collaborative Working & Connected Platforms
The solution lies in the warehouse business ensuring their maintenance programme is based on actual asset running times, that they invest in assets that can ‘communicate useful data’ and implement software capable of receiving data to schedule planned & preventative maintenance. Forbes recently reported* that organisations without a preventative maintenance programme like this spend up to four times more on maintenance.
Start tracking downtime and assess the financial impact and you’ll soon realise that service management technology can positively improve your performance and your bottom line.
Find out more about how Service Geeni helps maximise uptime.