If a business has downtime, idle time is unavoidable. You can’t avoid it and your customers will be aggravated by the lack of service. However, there are ways to minimize the amount of time you’re idling away while conducting maintenance tasks during an outage or repair.
Idle time is a common problem that can be fixed by implementing some changes in your business operations. This article will teach you how to reduce idle time during business operations maintenance.
Maintenance managers are always under pressure to “do more in less time.” Many people attempt to solve this problem by figuring out how to reduce labor costs. Many companies have used labor measuring methods to determine staff productivity, while others have gone a step further and implemented incentive-based pay systems to promote increased productivity.
However, few have taken the effort to research and control one of the most important aspects of labor costs: indirect or idle time.
Each distribution facility, as a great maintenance management example, contains jobs that are not of value but are necessary to maintain the operation’s efficiency, as well as others that develop due to process difficulties or bottlenecks.
Idle time during business operations maintenance should be kept to a minimum.
In the past, management teams have budgeted these indirect hours as a percentage of productive hours, but many factors — such as the lack of a detailed tracking system, the use of general buckets of time, and associates’ naive definition of “productive” — make it difficult to effectively manage idle hours.
Let’s define maintenance management before we get into the solutions for reducing idle time.
Maintenance management is an organized and applied procedure that ensures that resources and assets operate properly and efficiently. The goal of the maintenance management process is to guarantee that equipment’s overall efficiency (OEE) is high and that resources are used effectively.
How to Idle time during business operations maintenance should be kept to a minimum.
Even when assets are in use, idle time refers to when they are not performing their purpose. Companies can cut down on idle time and expenses by determining the causes of unexpected equipment breakdowns and implementing strategic remedies. Companies can discover opportunities to reduce idle time by carefully reviewing their internal procedures and practices. This includes the following:
When a large amount of work is being processed at the same time, a bottleneck occurs, allowing too much work to be finished at once. A excellent example is when a batch operation runs overnight as a result of a mistake. A single processing line that takes too long to produce a product and a material scarcity are two further instances. These are referred to as “bottlenecks” because they halt output until they are resolved.
Enhance communication channels
Incorrect job instructions, as previously noted, might result in idle time. It’s critical that teams have access to accurate, up-to-date, and easily accessible work instructions in order to execute their jobs. Using work order chat applications for work orders streamlines interactions by centralizing private messages, team messaging, and work order comments.
If a mistake is made when processing anything, the consequence might be a failure that needs more resources to fix. For example, if a damaged product is sent ahead of time, it will need extra actions to repair it.
The easiest technique to limit the amount of errors is to double-check everything before submitting the process. The second best option is to delegate each detail review to one or two persons. The last technique is to discover problems using automated software applications. After all other options have been exhausted and proven useless, automation should be explored.
Purchasing a CMMS
Idle time is defined as a period during which assets do not execute their purpose, regardless of whether they are available for use. Companies can reduce idle time and expenses by identifying equipment failure reasons and implementing effective remedies. A computerized maintenance control system is the most efficient way to keep track of idle periods (CMMS).
CMMS provides real-time data on work orders, key performance indicators (KPIs), and inventory availability to busy management. It also aids in the improvement of operations by supplying digital process templates, team messaging, and work order comments.
Increasing the flow of information
A piece of equipment or material may be sluggish for a variety of reasons. A fault might cause the machine to fail if the operator does not understand how to use it properly. Parts could not be created rapidly if there aren’t enough materials available.
Finally, due to schedule conflicts or other unanticipated factors, certain procedures take longer than expected. Companies may increase the flow by ensuring that procedures are completed in the correct sequence. They should also provide adequate time before beginning work to allow for the preparation of relevant equipment and machinery.
Define the capture procedure (for example, using papers, logs, or the date codes on an RF device). Data gathering is mainly reliant on colleagues and existing system capabilities. Regardless of the approach utilized, associates must understand that accurate and exact data is critical to guaranteeing proper remuneration for the work they do on a daily basis. It’s also critical to have systems in place for correcting errors and reducing the number of erroneous reports.
Make a system for gathering and evaluating information.
In most companies, the individual in charge of this is generally a front-line supervisor (or office assistant). Although this part of the process necessitates management time, it also boosts productivity. Patterns that suggest particular inefficiencies should be sought for throughout analyses. The more extensive personnel monitoring is, the simpler it will be to identify and overcome roadblocks to increased production.
Supervisors on the front lines are being educated.
Supervisors must recognize that their tasks include more than just administrative responsibilities. Rather than “controlling” via an electronic screen, this entails boosting their presence. Some bottlenecks need rapid attention from an on-floor supervisor who can quickly resolve the problem and avoid the risk of idle time.
Having a qualified floor supervisor may make the difference between exceptional and ordinary procedures, regardless of whether the problem is a bottleneck, safety, or efficiency.
Associates are being educated on indirect time and how to monitor it.
While training should focus on the methods and basic directions for implementing a new time tracking endeavor, workers must also understand how the program will benefit them.
Eliminating bottlenecks in an incentive-based pay organization immediately benefits them. Their greater efficiency is frequently reflected in larger incentives offered if they can spend more time on productive work and less time doing nothing.
Last but not least,
Idle time may be caused by a variety of factors. You can reduce idle time right now by taking inventory of your procedures and practices. But, in the end, it’s up to you to figure out what causes your company’s idle time so that you can put in place processes to assist you solve the issue.
Idle time is a problem that has been present for a while. Causes of idle time include, but are not limited to, poor scheduling and lack of proper maintenance. Reference: causes of idle time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you reduce idle time?
A: There are multiple ways to do this. One way is by using a variable speed setting for the game so that if you want it faster, you can increase your input rate and vice versa, making gameplay more fluid. Another thing is adding in some type of attack functionality like pressing X at any time on the controller or tapping a button on your headphones every few seconds with varying frequency depending on how long you want idle time to be before attacking again.
What is idle time in manufacturing?
A: Idle time is the amount of time when a companys machines are not in use. This includes all non-working hours as well as downtime.
What is idle time in work measurements?
A: An individuals idle time is the amount of time they spend not on a task. For most people, this includes breaks and short periods between tasks that do not require an immediate response from them. This can be measured by how much total work is done per hour.
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