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Is It Time to Cut Your Maintenance Budget?

Corporate managers often look to cost-cutting as a way to boost earnings or make room for some new program. Unfortunately, the maintenance department is often a target of such cuts.

If things are running smoothly, the logic typically goes like this. “Those guys aren’t doing much, so we don’t need them all.” This conclusion is what logicians call a non-sequitor. The lack of breakdowns, emergency efforts, excess scrap, and other problems does mean maintenance isn’t running around putting out fires. But it does not follow from this that maintenance isn’t busy or that it is overstaffed. Or that it doesn’t need more training, new test equipment, or other inputs that contribute to effective maintenance.

It sometimes does make sense to cut the maintenance budget. For example, the plant shuts down 25% of its capacity because it no longer needs that capacity to meet customer demands. Unless your maintenance department has simply been wasteful, you need a situation like that to justify reducing your maintenance investment.

When something breaks, that causes a production issue and thus management is made aware of the problem and also the fact that maintenance rode in on a white horse and got the thing running again. When something doesn’t break, does this get reported? To avoid budget cuts, submit monthly reports showing actions taken and costs prevented. Don’t know the costs? Talk with the production people and get the revenue numbers for every line you work on.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection