OMNIA Partners Blog

How to Decrease Equipment Downtime for Increased Profits

Posted by Lawson Products on August 12, 2021


Nothing is more frustrating for manufacturing, production and maintenance managers than watching equipment sit idle.

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For most manufacturers, downtime is the largest source of lost production time. Whether a plant is producing injection-molded parts, castings, stamped parts or finished assemblies, the manufacturer is unable to make money if machines are idle.

The key to maximizing equipment and time utilization is two-fold: optimized inventory management and highly engineered products made for maintenance mechanics.


Discover Lawson Products' tips and tricks to ensure members of OMNIA Partners are increasing profits and decreasing equipment downtime efficiently.


Never Out, Never Over, Just Right

Optimized inventory management is an approach to insuring part availability at the instant the part is needed, without the loss of production unavoidable with next day parts delivery. While this sounds a lot like vendor managed inventory (VMI), optimized inventory management takes immediate part availability into account and ensures the perfect amount of inventory, minimizing costs associated with "just-incase inventory."

So, who is responsible for knowing each facility’s usage patterns in order to maintain appropriate inventory levels? How is the consultative product selection process delivered on-site? Representatives who effectively deliver optimized inventory management by:

  • Making sure the right product is stocked at the right levels, in the right place, at the right time, reducing downtime and capital outlay.
  • Designing and installing the most efficient system of clearly labeled bins and cabinets, minimizing time spent looking for products.
  • Continually managing product inventory on-site, eliminating time spent taking inventory and re-ordering small parts.
  • Proactively providing consulting and innovations to maintenance and engineering teams.


Maintenance Designed Products vs. OEM Products

Maintenance mechanics’ repairs usually involve fixing a point of failure or the weakest link in the system using a wide variety of components and products in small quantities. Unfortunately, design engineers sometimes optimize for component standardization and general performance, because the finished product may use thousands of bolts. Fastener failure is the number one cause of loss of production, therefore maintenance mechanics may choose to upgrade to prevent a future failure.

Given the problems maintenance mechanics experience due to production grade product reliability, including liability issues, it’s not unusual for mechanics to seek out maintenance engineered fastening systems. A maintenance engineered, matched strength system, with durable components, provides better consistency, and greater clamp loads and safety margins than production grade products. In addition, manufacturers will achieve a lower cost overall, due to greater uptime.

The combination of optimized inventory management and maintenance-designed products is often overlooked until it is too late.

Industry Example:

The construction equipment rental industry consisting of thousands of rental branches is well over a $50 billion industry. Rental equipment branch managers are highly focused on fleet utilization (time utilization or time on rent). A large piece of equipment can rent for several thousand dollars per day and each branch might have several hundred pieces of equipment in the local fleet. A $5.00 hydraulic fitting can prevent the piece of equipment from being rented and waiting until tomorrow will cost $2000, $3000 or $4000/day in lost revenue.


How Lawson Products and OMNIA Partners Can Help

Availability, reliability, maintainability, and capability are necessary components in manufacturing performance measurement. Unplanned outages leave manufacturing companies idle and products unassembled, affecting the bottom line. Lawson Products offers members of OMNIA Partners experienced reps to provide optimized inventory management along with highly engineered products designed to compress cycle time, maximize the productivity of mechanics, reduce inventory and provide innovation. The net result: maximum machine time utilization and increased profits for members of OMNIA Partners. Learn more about OMNIA Partners Contract Portfolio today.

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Topics: Group Purchasing Organization, Supply Chain Management, Procurement, gpo, Industrial Supplies & MRO