Best Practices to Avoid the Top Profit Killers in Manufacturing Maintenance

7 minutes

Today’s manufacturers have many challenges to juggle, from the economy to the effects of the pandemic to the US-China trade tensions.

That’s why it’s a critical time for maintenance operations – and as a maintenance or operations professional, you’re the critical piece to promoting efficiency and profitability in your organization.

While you’re having to be more creative than ever with staffing, resources and budget, there is one area you can explore to gain some lasting efficiencies: profit killers. There are several profit killers in manufacturing maintenance that could be keeping you from having a more profitable and successful maintenance operations department. Let’s look at the top profit-killing areas, as well as some best practices that will help you avoid them and work smarter.


Your part to play

Finding and combatting the lurking profit killers in your maintenance workflow first starts with an understanding of the part you play as a maintenance professional. Your daily work and the work of your team has a direct impact on your organization’s overall profitability and success.

You have the power to:

  • Increase organization and production capacity
  • Integrate and streamline across many departments
  • Impact your organizational success and growth

To unlock improved profitability, it’s all about maximizing your resources to promote proactivity and efficiency in your maintenance operations.


Top 4 profit killers

Finding and combatting the lurking profit killers in your maintenance workflow first starts with an understanding of the part you play as a maintenance professional. Your daily work and the work of your team has a direct impact on your organization’s overall profitability and success.


1. Labor and staff

People power your profitability, so it’s important to make sure your labor and staffing is being optimized.

Profit killers

  • Poor team planning that creates more reactive work
  • Time wasted chasing down paperwork on work orders, inventory, etc.
  • Missing clear instruction for maintenance tasks

Profit promoters

Optimize team scheduling and work

Use an organized, interactive schedule so you can know who is doing what work and avoid overtime costs.

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Solid, streamlined and mobile workflow

Solidify your workflow and automate notifying the right team members in the right order so you can increase efficiency. Use mobile technology to help your team to get instant access to their work details, enabling them to do their work faster, wherever they’re located.

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Clear instructions

Make your equipment and asset instructions easier to follow with clear directions and instructions that are digital and accessible.


2. Parts and procurement

Your inventory is often a place with hidden costs that you may not even realize, whether you have too many parts or too few. Getting more organized can help you combat this area of profit killers.

Profit killers

  • Stock-outs (not having the part you need when you need it)
  • Stocking too many expensive parts or stocking expired parts
  • Poor part management, including loss/theft

Profit promoters

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A system for parts management

You need a place where you can build out the inventory information that you need to confidently manage, order and reorder parts.

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A way to avoid stock-outs

With a detailed digital inventory, you can have the ability to see what parts you have before you work on an asset and automate reorder points.

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Use just-in-time inventory and ordering

This process can help you stock fewer parts (and reduce costs), while ensuring the quantity of available items is visible to your entire organization.


3. Asset effectiveness

How you manage your assets can either make or break your profitability, so there is a great opportunity to see ROI from boosting your asset management processes.

Profit killers

  • Downtime
  • Wasted labor, parts and materials
  • Assets that don’t last and need excessive repairs

Profit promoters

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Use asset barcoding

Explore using QR code scanning on assets to quickly bring up associated work, work history and other asset details/ instructions right at your fingertips.

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Understand why you have downtime

Use reporting in your CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) to easily investigate your downtime, using problem codes and cause codes to make decisions that help extend asset life.

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Confident repair vs. replace decisions

Use your asset data to know when you should repair or replace and reap the profitability benefits of making datadriven decisions.


4. Compliance

Not meeting compliance standards can lead to great risk and costs, as well as sacrificing safety for those in your facilities. That’s why you need an easy way to promote safety and compliance.

Profit killers

  • Not staying up on compliance can lead to lowering product quality, fees, fines and increased insurance costs
  • Losing business/customers due to lack of compliance
  • Unsafe work environment

Profit promoters

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Establish a compliance workflow

From work order statuses to escalating work to capturing digital signatures, your CMMS can help you organize a fail-proof workflow for compliance-related tasks.

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Document safety practices

For PPE instructions, lock-out, tag-out procedures and documents like safety datasheets, a CMMS can help you easily access and update it all.

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Provable preventive maintenance

With good instructions, a solid schedule and reliable data on your preventive maintenance program, you can promote safety and compliance – and prove compliance work to your auditors.

Technology and methodologies to help promote profitability

Having the right maintenance technology is key to your profitability. With a CMMS, you have the tools, automation and organization you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your impact on profitability – and to increase it.

There are also a few methodologies that can really help kickstart your profitability.

Organizations that use a CMMS can experience:

35-40% improvement in reliability of your equipment. 28.3% increase in maintenance productivity. 20.1% reduction in equipment downtime. 19.4% savings in lower material costs. 17.8% reduction in maintenance, repairs, operation (MRO) inventory.


4 methodologies to boost your profitability

1. 5S

This is a methodology that encourages the following process to promote a clean, uncluttered and safe workspace: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.

2. Six Sigma

Six Sigma is focused on reducing the probability of error and promoting quality improvement by minimizing variability through a process of: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

3. Kaizen

This is a methodology built around continuous improvement and translates to mean “change for good.” It focuses on eliminating waste and involves everyone in an organization.

4. Total productive maintenance

TPM is an improvement methodology based on continuous and rapid improvement measures. There are various pillars of TPM, from autonomous maintenance to planned maintenance and more.


Picking a partner in profitability

Once you have the software, the profit-killing areas to avoid and a solid methodology to help you continuously improve, you just need one more piece of the puzzle. That is taking advantage of the services offered by your software vendor to help you on your profitability journey.

Just as selecting the right software is critical to your success, so are partner services.

Here’s how services can help insure your ROI:

  • Consulting services historically improve time-to-value by 50%
  • Inadequate implementation guidance is the leading cause of unsatisfied CMMS users
  • Services can be applied to match your budget, goals and timeline

So, what services can really make the difference in your overall success?


5 services you need to be more profitable

1. Implementation consulting

You need a simple, proven implementation process with clear goals and objectives that align to your priorities.

2. Data migration

You need the best framework for collecting data, as well as a clear way to import your previous data into your system.

3. Training

You need ongoing user training that is accessible (on-site and virtual options) and valuable.

4. Integrations

You need a discovery process to help identify your integration needs and multiple interface options within your system (ex. Connector tools, API connections, etc.).

5. Ongoing support

You need software experts you can count on and a help desk you can contact via phone, email or chat.


Time to jump-start your efficiency & profitability

Wherever you are on your path to better profitability, there are plenty of ways to take steps toward new efficiency and cost savings.

Take the first steps today by outlining:

  • What profit killers you want to focus on avoiding
  • What technology and methodologies you will use to do so
  • How your technology partners can help



Profit killers you can avoid

What profit killers could you be avoiding in your manufacturing maintenance processes?

Explore this guide for tips on:

  • The top four profit killers in maintenance
  • Best practices and methodologies to help avoid them
  • Ways maintenance technology can help improve your profitability

Download your own copy to start avoiding these profit killers, so you can reach a new level of success in your maintenance and at your organization.