When you manage a business facility, your two main concerns are safety for employees and overall efficiency. You can provide a healthy environment for the workers and maintain high production standards without breaking your budget. By identifying potential problems or weaknesses in your facility, you can develop a plan that will address any current issues and provide insights on possible improvements. The following sections offer recommendations for running a facility smoothly while minimizing operational costs.
The safety of your employees is at risk if they work in a cluttered workspace. Every manager should enforce a stringent cleaning policy that includes daily tasks, weekly duties and large-scale cleaning each month. Your cleaning policy can be part of your hiring contract, and each new hire can agree to the provisions in the safety guidelines before they enter the facility. Provide your workers with a cleaning schedule that assigns different areas of the facility to separate groups.
A scheduling approach is more effective than a voluntary program that allows employees to pick their jobs. Arguing over a particular duty will not occur when a worker is assigned routine tasks. To make the system fair and balanced, you can rotate the tasks so that one person doesn’t tackle the same undesirable job each week. For the sizeable monthly cleaning projects, you can use a 20 yard dumpster to remove significant amounts of debris or damaged equipment.
Energy costs are a considerable portion of your monthly budget. Machinery, lighting and HVAC require a lot of power, and if you implement energy conservation techniques in your maintenance plans, you can lower your operational costs. To reduce your lighting costs, you can replace all of your standard bulbs with LED lights. LED lights seem pricey, but they require less energy to operate, and they last six to eight years longer than ordinary bulbs. Your manufacturing equipment and cooling systems should be regularly serviced to avoid unnecessary power increases, but one area managers often forget to inspect is office spaces. Computers and devices will continue to draw power while in standby mode, and you can reduce your offices’ power consumption by requiring employees to unplug their stations before leaving. By performing an energy audit, you can determine which areas of the facility need repairs or replacements.
Equipment maintenance is an essential function of facility management. Faulty equipment poses a risk to your workers and can lead to production delays or low-quality products. You likely have posted maintenance schedules in the building, but you can email your plan to your employees to reiterate the importance of an upcoming repair session. One way to avoid lengthy production delays is to use the preventative method of repairing equipment. Rather than waiting for hardware to fail, you can service the equipment frequently to extend its longevity. You may have to rotate the repair schedule to maintain your efficiency levels because most machines must be removed from production while they’re serviced.
A newer approach to facility maintenance is predictive maintenance. Although it’s similar to preventative maintenance, predictive systems use computer modeling to predict when a machine can fail. When the modeling software recognizes a weakness in the production line, you can immediately address the problem before any damage occurs. While the predictive system has high up-front costs, the method can save your company money in the long run. By implementing swift repairs before damages become severe, you’ll avoid high replacement costs for equipment and parts.
Unlike the previous methods, reactive approaches only address repairs when equipment fails. This approach is useful in inexpensive units that have a minimal effect on production rates. For large manufacturing machines and conveyor systems, the previous strategies are more effective. Depending on the layout of your operation, you may need to adopt a combination of the three approaches to provide effective repairs for different types of machines.
Running a business facility is a massive responsibility that requires a significant amount of planning and coordination among your workers. Although it’s challenging, you can maintain your facility and continue to prosper by following the previous suggestions.