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Whether you operate a business in coal mining, in a workshop environment or on a work site, downtime can be one of the biggest time and money decelerators for your success. Here’s how to reduce downtime.

For a small business, downtime can potentially break the bank and damage the productivity you’ve worked so hard for. For a multi-million-dollar facility, downtime can hold you back from remaining competitive in your marketplace.

Whilst there are some downtime occurrences that are unpredictable, many are avoidable in a manufacturing, engineering and coal mining environment if you implement processes to limit them.

Here are five ways to reduce downtime on your worksite or in your workshop.

  1. Pinpoint the causes (and you’ll reduce downtime!)

Identifying where downtime issues are in your workflow should be your number one priority. Start by asking yourself the following questions and take the time to review your processes to see if any of them sound relevant to you:

  • Is your machinery malfunctioning, causing downtime issues?
  • Are our processes and workflows holding us back from being as productive as we can be?
  • Are there indirect causes to downtime?
  • Could the downtime be caused by a lack of training/knowledge or empowerment in your team members?

Start by reviewing the approach you take and prioritise solving these core issues first.

  1. Always check and assess your equipment.

It’s important to consistently keep an eye on the performance of your equipment. Plus, you should also stay across technologies that are becoming available to your industry.

This way, you can identify any current and looming issues with equipment performance. You’ll also be given an insight into how these are affecting or will affect your business’ productivity.

Reviewing your current equipment and systems also paves a path for you to improve your systems where possible to enhance your workflows.

The best way to measure performance is to keep a close eye on metrics for each stage of your workflow and to discuss new products with your equipment supplier, so you can stay across opportunities and be ahead of your competitors.

  1. Avoid equipment failure through regular maintenance.

One significant cause of downtime for businesses is machine malfunction or breakdown, and that often comes with an attitude from the leadership team of ‘run it until it breaks’.

Your equipment won’t last forever, however sticking to a preventative maintenance schedule can help ensure you get the best possible lifetime and performance out of your machinery.

Ongoing preventative maintenance can reduce the chance of machine failure and the downtime that results, increase the effectiveness of your equipment, improve safety for your workshop and staff, and increase overall productivity.

  1. Empower your team by giving them the knowledge and support they need.

The second most common cause of downtime to a business is operator error. Any business has the opportunity to empower their employees to reduce downtime. You can do this by giving them the capabilities, confidence and knowledge they need to solve machine or process-based issues.

An operator who has been provided with training on your machines will be able to diagnose and fix issues. They can also prevent future downtime events by monitoring the machine’s performance and implementing effective maintenance processes.

Providing your workforce with the training they need to keep everything running smoothly and do the job right in the first place can impact productivity significantly.

  1. Practice safety in the workplace to reduce incident caused downtime.

Having a safe workplace can reduce downtime by limiting/eliminating accidents that result in human injury/loss, and material loss.

There are several ways that you can create a safer workplace, including:

  • Making sure your equipment is fit-for-purpose and safe, which protects workers from the outset.
  • Making health and safety a priority in the workplace. This can be done by implementing safety processes and having regular conversations on the topic with everyone on the team.
  • Continuously reviewing your practices around safety to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Educating and empowering your team to reduce hazards in the workplace.
  • Following the Principles of Good Work Design set out by Safe Work Australia.

Want to find out more?

If you’d like to find out more about training, preventative maintenance and new products that can help reduce downtime and improve productivity for your business, get in touch with our knowledgeable team today on [email protected] or 02 4932 6611.

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