One of the key aspects of many businesses is their production. They are making a physical product, which they need to assemble and ship out to the world in order to operate. The production process can be a highly complicated one, with many people and pieces of equipment involved. With so many people and parts involved, there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. When this happens, it can result in long days and lost revenues, sometimes significantly harming the business. To help prevent that, below are a few strategies businesses can use to try to avoid production shutdowns or at least keep the downtime to a minimum.
Continuously Train Employees
A good place to start is ensuring that you have a system in place to regularly train your employees. One of the biggest causes of production shutdowns is when an employee makes a mistake. Sometimes a simple mistake can lead to extended shutdowns and a large amount of lost revenue. To prevent this, you need to minimize mistakes as much as possible.
This requires regular training for your employees. It’s a good idea to review best practices with your employees at regular intervals so that they don’t forget over time. Reviewing best practices can also help to increase efficiency and also make for a safer work environment. Sometimes something as simple as a ten-minute meeting before work can go a long way toward reducing mistakes and keeping your production running.
Conduct Machine Maintenance
The next thing you’ll want to focus on is the machinery you use in your production. No matter what sort of machines you use, there will eventually come a time when they stop working properly. When this happens, it can shut down production as you wait to get the machine working again or replace it with a new machine. Performing regular maintenance on your machinery provides two benefits. First, it helps to extend the life of your equipment and makes it less likely to break down. Second, it can help alert you when there are more serious issues arising so that you can prepare for them before the machine breaks down entirely.
For example, a common machinery component in production is a compressor. According to Samco Enterprises, a provider of compressor valve parts and repair, “The most significant cause of forced shutdowns of compressors is related to compressor valve failures.” Without regular maintenance on your compressor, you won’t be aware of the deteriorating valve. Then, suddenly one day, your entire compressor stops functioning, which leads to having to shut down a large portion of your production. By creating a schedule on which you regularly inspect your machinery, you can identify problems and implement fixes faster, allowing your production to continue with minimal interruption.
Make a Safer Working Environment
Another common reason for production shutdowns is when an employee experiences an injury. When this happens, the employee is not only unable to perform their role but it may impact other employees as well. Since you don’t want anyone working for you to get hurt, and you don’t want to have to shut down your production, it’s essential that you make your work environment as safe as possible.
A good place to start is by creating safety guidelines, which instruct your team on how to keep the work environment safe. You can also conduct regular walkthroughs, looking for any issues that might create a dangerous workplace. Finally, regularly seek feedback from your employees to see if they have any suggestions on how to make things safer.
Create Emergency Plans
Finally, it’s a good idea to create emergency plans for practically any situation you can think of. For example, what will you do if a certain piece of machinery breaks down suddenly? Or how will you continue production if an essential employee quits one day? Do you have a plan in place if your materials supplier suddenly stops providing what you need? These are the sorts of questions you can ask to prepare for the future.
Create a document that outlines all the steps you should take for different emergencies. That way, if one of those situations arises, you won’t have to waste time figuring out what to do. You can instead quickly implement your solution and get your production running again with minimal time lost.
Do What You Can to Avoid Production Delays
In the end, you may not be able to guard against everything that could cause a production delay. There are always surprise events that you may need to handle at the moment, which could take some time to resolve. However, if you implement some of the strategies above, you’ll hopefully reduce the number and duration of shutdowns, which will only benefit your business in the long run.