Work Order system accommodates variety of Maintenance Authorisation, Approval & Scheduling of Jobs.. It is critical each Job site determines how to implement product to fit mission requirements. Specifically, users must determine what approval stages are necessary, where the input will be done and who will be responsible for input/verification processes:
Maintenance of equipment is critical to its longevity and performance. A well-maintained machine will serve you and your operation for many years to come. To get you started on the road to maximum throughput, we're sharing some expert tips for proper machine maintenance:
1. Plan to replace wear components and critical spare parts
It is extremely important to have a plan in place to replace wear components, which are expected to wear out from repeated use of the equipment, and critical spare parts, which cause significant downtime when they fail. Ideally, manufacturers have these spare parts as inventory so that they can replace them immediately if they fail. In many manufacturing facilities, the downtime from waiting even a single day for a part can be extremely costly, and so manufacturers should plan to be able to replace highly critical components at any time.
Of course, manufacturers and packagers are also concerned with the funds and space that are tied up in extensive parts inventory. You should consult the manufacturer of your equipment about a list of components that are necessary to keep on hand. Level of inventory required is in part based on the stress on the line, and so each manufacturer’s needs are different.
Industry leading manufacturers will continually analyze their customers’ needs for these components, and refine the necessary level of parts inventory for each customer to optimise it for their specific needs. These top manufacturers will also maintain strategic inventories of recommended spare parts, so that they can support both planned and emergency component replacement needs.
2. Choose manufacturers who provide reliable service
When you purchase line equipment from industry-leading manufacturers, you are likely to get the kind of service and support you need to keep your line operating smoothly. It is also important to choose a manufacturer who can provide installation and training in order to ensure vertical startup of the production line with the new equipment.
Leading equipment manufacturers also offer tailored service agreements that link with customers’ maintenance programs in order to ensure maximized line uptime. These service agreements include visits from qualified field service technicians, who can inspect equipment, replace any necessary wear components, and train operators and maintenance teams. Making use of manufacturers’ tailored service agreements can help to optimise spare parts inventory, and to ensure consistent, reliable equipment operation.
3. Put in Systems responsible for Maintenance planning and efficiency
Identify best practices, which can then be applied to other facilities or geographic locations. The knowledge you learn about how to maintain your equipment can become quite valuable – be sure to best leverage this important knowledge and use it at every applicable location.
Automated equipment always needs to run faultlessly to ensure it does not become a constraint on the performance of the terminal. The breakdown of a single piece of equipment can lead to shutting down part of the terminal to remove the machine from the yard.
Planning the operations and maintenance of an automated terminal is a complex task that needs continuous optimisation of multiple variables. A structured approach to maintenance ensures greater equipment availability, which in turn increases overall equipment efficiency
4. Train and empower your employees
Ask yourself, who affects downtime the most? Are they your maintenance technicians, production supervisors, or line operators? The staff who have the most potential to prolong downtime events are often in the best position to prevent it in the future. Operator error is the second-most common cause of downtime after hardware error. A good operator will not only diagnose and fix their own machine, but have the ability to prevent future downtime events through maintenance schedules and accurate documentation.
Direct your resources into specialised industrial and automation training and emphasise the importance of keeping up-to-date documentation. Empower operators to be able to diagnose and problem-solve their machines and remind them how their actions can positively impact downtime. The emerging trend of combining the operator and maintenance technician roles is also effective because the employee knows the machine intimately and fixes his/her own problems.
Many types of large machinery have multiple operators. One of the ongoing inspections on any checklist should be overseeing the correct operation of the equipment. Large machinery should be inspected as soon as it is purchased. Operator training is usually done at that point, but training needs to be kept up. Employees come and go, skills become rusty and poor operation leads to breakdowns.
Operator manuals can be revised for the specific work situation. They can be rewritten in simpler language. A short manual can be provided to each operator for easy reference. And, if you operate in a paperless environment, you can rest assured operators use the most current version of each manual
By involving plant staff in your efforts to reduce downtime, it enables them to understand their role in boosting productivity and efficiency. They may even have suggestions on how to minimise downtime or improve production functionality.
5. Get support for your current automation systems and equipment
The reality is, whether you are a process or discrete manufacturer on a small or large scale, most automation equipment will be from a range of different vendors and span across different eras. This requires operators and maintenance technicians to be skilled across multiple vendor digital tools, as well as hold multiple spare parts – a challenging task, to say the least.
Automation service partners can cover maintenance, repairs, replacements, upgrades, programming and integration for a range of vendor systems. Having these services on-hand ensures you have up-to-date industry knowledge to implement prevention programs, and 24-hour support for breakdowns.
Typically, these tasks must be performed once a shift, day, or week. They are trained to perform the various tasks with simple visual cues. These training visuals describe exactly what operators are expected to do, often showing the necessary tools and expected outcome. For example, operators who are expected to clean a machine component once a day receive training images with what cleaning supplies to use and what a clean component looks like.
Though tasks like these are often simple, they can forestall the need for larger, more time-consuming maintenance. Additionally, operators are often able to catch problems before they get out of hand, leading to shorter, less involved and less expensive maintenance or repair.
In the best manufacturing and packaging companies in the world, every worker is critical to ensuring reliable operation. Companies must make use of the knowledge and skills of designated maintenance running each machine in autonomous maintenance, in order to avoid unplanned, costly repairs.
The benefits of using autonomous systems and maintenance strategies are an increase in effective maintenance over unplanned, maximised equipment availability, and the ability to forecast production capacities and maintenance budgets with greater precision.
6. Make workers see benefits of risk audit
Updating all documentation on your equipment is a simple, yet effective step to reducing the length of any downtime event. Up-to-date drawings of equipment, machine history and procedures should be kept on hand for easy reference in the event of an error. This ensures operators have the right information to quickly address issues, rather than trying to solve issues with no context.
The challenge is cultivating a culture where people care about this. The trick? Show people how documentation impacts on their time and overall plant performance. Risk audit is the fastest and most effective step you can take to reduce downtime in future.
In particular, equipment obsolescence poses a significant risk to operations. Despite advancements in control systems, a great number of manufacturers still work with decades old equipment and aging systems that are no longer supported by manufacturers.
Parts often become unavailable and take to long to deliver. Knowing your support networks and equipment availability can mean the difference between a few hours or a few months in a downtime event.
Not calculating the true cost of downtime is one of the biggest errors that manufacturing managers make. True downtime costs include loss in staff productivity, loss in production of actual goods, number of man hours devoted to rescheduling, the unexpected costs of repairing equipment, time spent satisfying customers
Other risks that impact automation infrastructure include: security, safety, and quality. A risk audit will highlight problems and solutions so that when you go down, you’re better prepared.
7. Control and Utilise your data/reporting systems
It goes without saying that manufacturing and enterprise software will impact the level of insight and control you have over production. A large amount of manufacturers still report having manual methods of data collection or unsuitable software for the job, which has driven the uptake of specialised manufacturing software and integration solutions.
Evaluate your current data collection systems. Are they providing the right information? Your data should pinpoint the macro causes of downtime. A spreadsheet or report stating that ‘machine X caused two hours of production loss’ doesn’t solve the problem. Having access to your entire operational data in real-time does.
Different operational and digital systems can be integrated to give a plant-wide view. This helps manufacturers pinpoint the exact moment a machine goes down, and allows them to cross-check this against other activities in the plant to find a correlation.
Quickly finding the cause of downtime enables faster, more accurate responses. Even if you've got the replacement part, if you haven't got the backup program you’re in trouble.”
Requires discipline and continuous staff involvement. Regular, site-wide backups of control systems is integral to safeguarding any operation. In one worst-case scenario, a large manufacturing company with a complex cut-to-length machine erased their entire system by accident. The company had no backup digital copy and the provider had gone out of business so no external support was available. They had no choice but to rewrite the program, halting production in the entire factory.
8. Change your learning processes from reactive to proactive
A learning culture will play a large part in determining whether preventative maintenance, staff training and other measures are successful in reducing downtime.
Adopting and championing a proactive rather than reactive mentality is one important habit that manufacturing managers must adopt – or face being left behind. Proactive thinking will ensure you adopt the systems and habits needed to stop problems before they occur.
Program is one example of proactive thinking to maximise customer value while minimising waste. This includes undergoing continuous improvement, which have a positive impact on your performance For example, long changeover and set-up times between production runs can cause considerable downtime.
9. Replace dated legacy programming to improve performance
Replace the central processing unit and software and instantly gain the benefits of a new platform without changing the wiring. This enables you to preserve your investment in application design and embedded process knowledge whilst extending the life of your existing control system incrementally and provide you with new operational capability. New digital tools provides the basis for any technology upgrades you want to do in the future and provides a smooth transition for operating personnel to the new technology.
10. Gradually incorporate new technology into work space with modernisation programs
One way to reduce the amount of unplanned downtime in your plant is to implement a modernisation program for your control system. This can be addressed in a step-by-step approach that will not only increase uptime, but provide a range of benefits for your processing facility whilst preparing your plant for the future, a future where the fourth industrial revolution and the internet of things are fast becoming a reality.
Top 10 Business/Tech Customer Service Metrics Approach to Design, Acquire, and Field Product Support Package Execute Sustainment Strategy.
Site Visit Executive plan for formulating, implementing, and executing the product support strategy describes the efforts to ensure that the system design, as well as the development of the product support package, are integrated and contribute to achieving life cycle sustainment metrics.
Site Visit Executive has responsibility for and authority to accomplish program objectives for development, production, and sustainment to meet the user’s operational needs. and maintains accountability for credible cost, schedule, and performance reporting to the Milestone Decision Authority.
Site Visit Executive toolbox includes package of support functions required to field and maintain the readiness and operational capability of major weapon systems, subsystems, and components,.
Services include but are not limited to materiel management, distribution, technical data management, maintenance, training, cataloging, configuration management, engineering support, repair parts management, failure reporting and analyses, and reliability growth tracking and the logistics elements e.g., support equipment, spares related to weapon systems readiness.
A contract, task order, or any type of other contractual arrangement, or any type of agreement or non-contractual arrangement with or within DoD, for the performance of sustainment or logistics support required for major weapon systems, subsystems, or components includes arrangements for performance-based logistics; sustainment support; contractor logistics support; life cycle product support; or weapon systems product support.
Site Visit Executive charged with integrating all sources of product support arrangement required to field and maintain the readiness and operational capability of major weapon systems, subsystems, and components, including all functions related to weapon system readiness, in support of life cycle management responsibilities.
What words come to mind when we think of a great customer service product support regime? Site Visit Executive with Patience, Positivity Performance and Strong work ethic perhaps. But what about metrics? While support is ultimately about people, metrics are how we measure our performance and inform improvements. To boost your customer support strategy, take a comprehensive approach by tracking essential support metrics.
Consider universal, best practices and time-tested metrics to measure the effectiveness of your customer support system and work hard at quickly identified the most important factors to your operation.
1. Better Response times have underpinned sweeping changes in customer expectations and support practices. By current standards, speed isn’t a bonus, it’s a necessity.
2. Consider alternatives to pushing your teams harder and harder to “have all tickets answered within X hours”. As support professionals, we’re well aware of the delicate balance in setting poor expectations and underdelivering. Speed is priority most of the time, but not without context.
3. High customer support ticket volume can feel good. It means your digital support network of collection forms, live chat, etc. are accessible and that customers are invested enough to get in touch instead of jump ship. But consider that support tickets are direct feedback for instances where your product fell short or was confusing, we should always aim to minimise the number of support tickets .
4. Take a page from marketing and use channel attribution i.e ,tying user actions or sources to outcomes to get more clarity on customer complaints.
5. Find patterns throughout your sources. Maybe inquiries from the knowledge base are more technical while live chat requests are simple onboarding questions. Use this info to deliver the right solutions at the right time.
6. Customer experience ratings are necessary to gauge your support team’s effectiveness but consumers generally hold binary oppositionswhen prompted for feedback, ie, for/against, like/dislike, etc.
7. Consider that for every customer who bothers to complain, many others remain silent. Customers don’t just make quick judgements about how they feel-- they tend to be more vocal when upset. Striving for higher support ratings is a given, but don’t dismiss the unhappy customers as a lost cause. Smooth out negative conversations and take them as learning opportunities, even if there’s no chance of winning a customer back.
8. Getting accurate knowledge base traffic counts require joint work with marketing to understand indicators like: bounce rate when a customer visits your site, then leaves it without navigating to other pages within it. Logically, we assume people who “read and leave” found a page to be ineffective and it can be a good indicator when customers get their answers and can move on.
9. Perform response sentiment assessments on your inquiries and responses. Take samplings of support transcripts for inquires/responses and assess actual language. Think of questions directed at improving your process like Can your team maintain effectiveness with shorter responses? How often are your support reps needing to make excuses? And How often are your customers left with “dead-end” responses?
10. Our final metric is not easily measured on dashboards. Seeing how many times your support team goes from “reactive” to “proactive” can be the difference between having a good vs great support team open to unique strategies so you can gain new perspectives to improve the quality of your customer support experience.
Top 10 Product Support Logistics Metrics Steps Matter Most to Track and Improve Performance
Why use product support metrics performance indicators when you are already doing the best job possible? Talk to any over-the-road product support agent that finds itself increasingly handcuffed by institutionalised product support services and fuel-related costs and it would likely tell you the "best job possible" doesn't cut it anymore.
Still, invariably, that product support agent may need to look outside its enterprise and consider outsourcing non-core logistics functions to a third party logistics company or delegating more responsibilities to its core carriers to squeeze out hidden costs and further streamline its supply chain.
Outsourcing product support functions can provide a more objective and relational context for understanding how logistics best practices can drive improvement elsewhere in the enterprise while simultaneously unbundling hidden efficiencies and costs in an otherwise tight market.
When the “best job possible” doesn’t feel like you are cutting it anymore, you can turn to digital data tools as a way to see how product support tactics and shipping activities create trends. Once a product support agent either tracks this data themselves or a provider puts out key product support metrics the shipper can then implement and understand logistics best practices.
Once understood, the providers, are able to create new strategies and tactics for the logistics side of the business which will drive value and savings to the bottom line.
However, a product support agent must first know the correct logistics metrics to track and understand. Using the correct set of metrics can lead you to realise if you have the proper balance between service and cost. Using the correct product support performance metrics will not only let you know your current performance, but will also lead you to change processes to become more efficient.
Product support measures of effectiveness should be considered critical to any improvement plan. Although metrics do vary, we give you a general overview of some common logistics metrics in use today below, but first you must understand how to go about using these metrics.
If you are not tracking logistics metrics today, we strongly encourage you to implement tracking these core metrics listed above today. It’s common knowledge that analyzing digital data combined with expertise can truly allow you to affect change in your organisation. This is not change for change sake, but rather change to improve your business and impact your bottom line.
If you are looking to track your logistics metrics better, please contact one of our Specialists so you can use product support metrics to Improve Your Logistics Operation by following these basic steps:
1. The first step is to identify the product support metrics that you want to use. Do not use every metric available. Rather, focus on the vital measurements that mean the most to your business. These can be considered your key performance indicators If you decide to include numerous measurements, you may get stuck.
2. Understand the Meaning: metrics. It is not enough for management to simply view these measurements, they must also understand the meaning behind them. That means leadership must know and be on the same page with product support terminology as well as the meaning of these metrics. Don’t take anything for granted.
3.The next step is to learn the mechanics behind the measurements. What drives them, both positive and negative? Try to understand the various factors that influence your results.
4. Using the insights gleaned from these core logisitics metrics, identify any weak areas or areas of improvement in your current product support processes.
5. Set aggressive but obtainable goals based on these improvement areas. The goals should be aggressive, but yet obtainable. Goals can be based on benchmarking against "like" companies or goals can be set to reflect a specific percentage improvement over past performance. As an example, improving your results by X% every year.
6. Put corrective action in place to improve your processes and make sure that these corrective actions do not negatively affect other areas. Also, check that all affected areas have a clear understanding of the changes.
7. Monitor your results: Did your corrective actions yield your desired results? If so, what is your next area for improvement? If you did not get the desired results, what went wrong? Try to identify the root cause of your undesired results, then brainstorm new corrective actions.
8. Track your product support metrics so you can view your performance over time and guides you on how to optimise your logistics and supply chain operations. Tracking these core metrics allows management to identify problem areas and fix them with digital data tools and experience. It also allows for comparison to other companies through like industry benchmarking.
9. Certain metrics, have a widely accepted definitions. Other metrics may need to be customised for your particular product support/logistics business model.
10. Measurements alone are not the solution to your weak areas! The solution lies in the corrective actions that you take to improve the measure. The solution comes from process or system improvements. The measurements should be used to track the results of your improvement efforts.