It’s a fact. Sooner or later something will go wrong at your plant. Are you prepared for the downtime it will bring? Or eventually you’ll need to upgrade your facility to increase productivity. Do you want to redirect key personal from their day to day responsibilities to focus on a one time project? That decision alone might increase the chances of something unplanned going wrong. It’s a catch-22: Somehow you’ve got to keep everything running and figure out how to increase production without putting a monkey wrench into that well-oiled line. This is why you need a mechanical services contractor in your back pocket.
While your maintenance department might enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to increase efficiencies in your plant or taking on an expansion project, if you put them on those tasks, they won’t be available when, say, the mixer breaks down again.
A wise plant manager knows that it’s best to divide mechanical services into two different types: those that are addressed by staff, and those that are contracted out. Here’s the difference, and why the best time to think about the matter is right now.
When a Mechanical Services Contractor Makes Sense
Are you having a lot of unscheduled downtime? Is preventive maintenance not getting done because your staff is always dealing with breakdowns and surprises? This would be one reason to use a mechanical services contractor. We can handle the surprises and let your maintenance staff concentrate on say — the maintenance.
Contractors are also best when it comes to increasing capacity and handling new projects. While your maintenance staff knows your company’s existing systems—and their issues—very well, they aren’t always able to step back and take a look at the bigger picture.
That bigger picture is critical when you’re thinking about increasing capacity, because it’s not just a question of making sure, for instance, that a bigger, better mixer can fit into an existing space. You also need to think about whether you’ve got enough of a footprint for both the raw materials and finished goods, and an efficient way to move everything from one stage to another.
Mechanical contractors specialize in thinking through the entire process.
Signs That You Need Help Now
So do you need help with mechanical services? If your maintenance requests are piling up, the answer is likely yes. Also, if you want to increase production but can’t find trained, professional manpower, you might very well benefit from the fresh perspective of a contractor. A mechanical contractor is capable of taking an objective look at your line or system and helping you find ways to increase capacity without the need to hire more staff.
Plus, when you’ve got to take production to the next level, chances are you won’t already have a project team on staff to make it happen. We’ve noted the problems associated with pulling maintenance personnel off their jobs and giving them such a project—even if they would enjoy a break from their daily routine.
Maintenance will be even more critical during a project phase, because there will inevitably be downtime for commissioning. That means you need production running at peak level the rest of the time, and your maintenance staff is key to making that happen.
Develop the Relationship Ahead of the Need
Now, you could wait to call us until it’s time to increase production. Or you could hold off on interviewing mechanical contractors until you’re already in trouble. But that would be a mistake.
As you probably know from experience, not everyone is as good as they look on paper. Will the contractor really get back to you when they say they will? Can they give you an accurate estimate of how long commissioning will take? Do they factor in “best-case, worst-case” scenarios? Will they notify you right away when they begin to take the line apart and discover it’s three times as bad as they expected?
There’s much more to developing a contractor relationship than touring the plant and signing the contract. This is why we recommend that you call us now. Let’s start the conversation before the timeline is in place.
Call TMS today. Get to know us before you need us. We’re happy to be in your back pocket, ready to provide whatever mechanical services you need to keep everything humming along at peak capacity.