Whether you own a manufacturing, logistics, farming, building, or other business that uses expensive equipment, you no doubt have hefty expenses related to maintaining these machines each year.
Such maintenance work is essential, though, to ensure you can continue operations and keep your employees safe day after day. However, do be on the lookout for ways to cut costs in this area and improve your firm’s bottom line to boot. Here are some tips to consider this year.
Buy the Best Equipment You Can Afford
Cost-cutting strategies can begin early. Purchase the best equipment you can afford, so you’re more likely to end up with reliable machines that last well and require less maintenance long-term. Cheaper items may seem tempting when you’re considering how much you have to outlay, but do remember that you generally get what you pay for, and lower-cost gear often ends up being more expensive to keep running.
Research the various manufacturers creating the equipment you need, and try to purchase from companies with a trusted name, known for reliable products that don’t break down more than they should. Check out online and other published reviews and testimonials to help you find the best equipment for your needs.
Concentrate on Preventative Maintenance
Once you purchase equipment, look to preventative maintenance. While you may not like spending money on work unless it appears necessary at the time, it’s still better to invest in your machines and keep them in the best condition possible day after day, even if nothing seems wrong with them.
Inspect equipment often and follow instructions released by the manufacturer about when and how different pieces or functions need maintenance or replacing. Do what you can to ensure machinery keeps working within optimal usage specifications, so that you extend the life of the equipment.
Have workers pay attention to potential issues such as too much power used, weird or excess noises or smells arising from machines, and excessive vibrations. Utilize handy vibration monitoring tools to test movement levels. Also, have engine and hydraulic oil, and buckets and belts checked and changed as needed.
Doing this preventative maintenance will save you money in numerous ways. You’ll have fewer chances of equipment dying on you when you need to use it. Plus, regularly working on machines makes it easier to spot and fix small, manageable problems, so they don’t have the chance to become big, costly ones.
Set Up Quality Systems
To reduce yearly equipment maintenance costs, also set up quality systems for all relevant team members to follow. Develop helpful schedules and processes that make it easy for personnel to document, track, analyze, and follow up on services and repairs. Ensure everyone who needs access to particular information, including equipment operators and repairers, can see what they need when they need to.
Once this planning and administration is complete, accountability increases. In turn, there’s less chance of things being missed and turning into costlier issues, and less likelihood that work will get doubled up on unnecessarily. Plus, creating easy-to-follow systems make it simpler for your team to know when to order in necessary parts and other supplies, so you don’t have any delays in maintenance work.
Also, proper processes allow internal or external service people to see, clearly, the past behavior of machines. When mechanics and others have these details, they can tell what’s normal or off-kilter for equipment. They can do their diagnostics work easier and quickly decide which specific parts to use.
Train Your Team
Training is another vital part of yearly equipment maintenance. It may feel like investing money in this area will set your budget back, but in fact, you’ll cut costs by focusing on training. When your service and repair staff know as much as possible about all the different machines in your stable, and how they work and best practices for keeping them running, they’ll work fast and accurately. Plus, the chances of people making mistakes or missing things should reduce significantly.
Your training needs to include your equipment operators, too. Each person who uses your essential machines should know how to handle the pieces safely and appropriately. When they do, they won’t be likely to damage the equipment or make it work harder than it should. Also, trained users know issues to look out for and can alert service team members to causes for concern.
Equipment maintenance is critical yet expensive, for companies large and small. Follow the tips above, then, to help you reduce costs this year and beyond, so you have more money to invest in other areas of your business.