Preventive maintenance vital for cash-strapped firms

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Some visionary companies understood the need to invest in preventive maintenance, said Gagg
Some visionary companies understood the need to invest in preventive maintenance, said Gagg

Related tags: Food industry, Industry, Investment

Food firms are targeting asset care as a way to ease pressure on profits, but lack of properly trained staff is proving a hindrance, according to Peter Gagg, md of MCP management consultants.

Gagg said MCP, which works with manufacturers across a range of industries to improve performance and profits, referred to major food industry projects aimed at improving asset care and overall equipment effectiveness.

The initiatives reflected a revival in interest in such things in the food industry, he added. “The focus is again on the production line and maintenance staff, but ​[firms] don’t have the dedicated staff around.”

No guaranteed returns

In addition, senior management tended to concern themselves with concrete, quantifiable returns and preventive maintenance offered no guaranteed returns, said Gagg.

However, he said: “We can predict over any given period how many hours of availability ​[of equipment] you are going to get and can then put a value on that.”

Visionary companies were willing to finance that, but many managers remained reluctant to pursue that line and a cultural transformation was needed to motivate leaders to invest proactively rather than just reactively, he claimed.

“That change is not just about how you optimise your spend, but about how you treat people on the shop floor,”​ he added. “The guys at the top often don’t like to go on the shop floor, so they don’t know what’s going on.”

Prospects not good

But change in the food industry was likely to be slow and prospects were therefore not good in the short term, said Gagg. “More companies will go out of business and there will be a move to importing food made elsewhere and shipped over.”

With so many companies concentrating on cutting costs and holding back on investment, equipment risked being driven into the ground, he warned.

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