How to reduce response times when your equipment breaks down


For maintenance managers, and the people who depend on equipment to carry out their work, it can be stressful, dangerous and costly when machinery breaks down. It’s essential that your equipment is properly serviced and maintained to keep these nasty surprises to a minimum, but even so, there can be times when the unexpected happens and vital equipment just grinds to a halt.

As the person responsible for maintaining the equipment, all eyes will be on you as you work to get things moving again. So, you need to have a plan in place so that you can spring into action, following clearly defined steps to get everything back up and running again as soon as possible. The best way to keep response times to a minimum is by using a proactive approach so you can spot problems before they arise. Here’s how to do it!


Step 1: A regular maintenance schedule


Of course, the best way to keep downtime to a minimum is to ensure all your equipment is in the best possible shape at all times. That means implementing a regular maintenance schedule, and using a Computerised Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) is the best way to do this. If you haven’t implemented a CMMS system yet, here’s why you should.

Your schedule needs to include preventative maintenance, like replacing filters and lubricating moving parts, as well as scheduled inspections to spot potential issues before they become major issues. By carrying out regular maintenance, you will reduce the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns, which will keep response times to a minimum.

Step 2: Create a response plan


Every maintenance manager should have a response plan in place that anyone in charge is able to follow, should you not be around. Your plan should include a list of all equipment that is critical to your operations, along with a priority list of which equipment needs to be fixed first. The plan should also include contact information for all key maintenance personnel, as well as instructions on how and who to ask for help for each machine. The plan should be kept in a central place so that it can be easily found and accessed as soon as it’s needed.


Step 3: Training for your maintenance staff


Another way to keep response times to a minimum is to ensure everyone knows what to do when things go wrong. All your maintenance personnel should have the necessary and up-to-date training and skills to be able to troubleshoot and repair all your equipment as and when the need arises.

This should include training on all your electrical systems, mechanical systems, and on how to use your CMMS. By investing in extensive training for your maintenance staff, you can have confidence that they can respond quickly when equipment breaks down. Make sure your training programme is written down, formalised and kept in a central place so you can quickly identify when someone’s training is out of date and needs refreshing.


Step 4: Write a communications plan


When things go wrong unexpectedly, you need to be able to quickly let everyone know that a) you’re on the case with fixing it and b) how long you expect the machinery to be out of action. Your plan should outline the steps that should be taken when equipment breaks down, including who should be notified, how they should be notified, and what information they will need in order to respond effectively. Your communication plan should also include backup contact information, in case your primary contact is unavailable.


Step 5: Create a parts inventory


When machinery needs fixing, there will be many parts and components that you can keep in stock, on your premises, so that they’re immediately at hand when something goes wrong. One of the biggest impacts on response times is when you have to wait for essential new parts to be delivered, so keep this to a minimum by ensuring you have common parts in stock. You’ll need to create and maintain an inventory which is regularly reviewed and updated so that you always know where the part that you’re looking for is quickly and easily.


What’s the best way to keep response times to a minimum when machinery breaks down?


If you’re reliant on equipment being up and running to fulfil orders and keep everything running smoothly, then there’s little doubt that you need to implement a Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS). At SMP Ltd, we offer a comprehensive range of CMMS solutions that ensures your equipment is reliable, your team is effective and safe, and that your expenditure on maintenance can be justified. We also provide full CMMS support services and even offer a free HolisTech CMMS trial so you can see if it’s right for you.

Your CMMS will help you and all your staff quickly identify equipment that needs to be repaired, schedule maintenance tasks, and track inventory levels, so that you retain complete control over all your maintenance needs and streamline your processes.

Our experts will consult with you and understand the unique needs of your company, before helping you decide how to choose the right CMMS for your business.

With a proactive approach, and by implementing a CMMS, you will minimise downtime and keep your most critical equipment up and running, easing stress, reducing downtime, and saving money.  Get in touch today to find out how SMP Ltd can help you reduce response times in your business.

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