Maintenance as a strategic factor in business

  • Würmseher H
  • Fleck H
  • Wiegel B
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Abstract

For the production of its goods a commercial production business needs machines and other equipment. This equipment is getting more and more complex and more and more expensive. The maintenance of this equipment is, on the other hand, regarded in general merely as a department in the firm which creates costs and not as a provider of know-how and the engine of new value creation. However, in maintenance, a potential for optimisation can also be seen. In this way : Availability of production plants can be improved by 35% Productivity can be increased by 25% Maintenance costs can be reduced by 30%. For a cement works with a production capacity of around 500,000 tonnes/year, cost savings of several million Euros per year should be attainable. This reality, which ought to keep every manager awake at night, is documented often enough in the technical literature. Our ISOware experiences show that even better results in optimisation are possible. It is amazing that, although this immense potential is increasingly recognised in commercial production businesses, it is only hesitantly put into practice. Why this is so and how the obstacles can be overcome is the subject of our discourse. Maintenance used to be the unplanned solving of problems, and in many firms it is unfortunately still that way. Maintenance can, however, be carried out in a preventive, planned and strategic manner, together with the unplanned variety. Maintenance is, nevertheless, often understood as an unloved expense account, as a necessary, but unproductive department, even as a disturbing link in the value creation chain. Intelligent, strategic maintenance is, however, an important factor in production, a part of the core competence of the firm and therefore a not yet exhausted reservoir for new value creation. Today it is recognised that maintenance is closely allied to the manufacturing process, the core competency of every manufacturer. Its penetrating effect lies in securing a high availability of machines and other equipment. In this area enormous reserves of potential lie dormant. Availability as a global competitive factor; this concept transforms maintenance into a strategic factor in business. Maintenance

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Authors

  • Herbert Würmseher

  • Hellmut Fleck

  • Bert Wiegel

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