Top 5 Benefits of Outsourcing Maintenance of your Material Handling Equipment
Facility maintenance staff are trained to service the utilities of that facility. These are the in-house workers that can tackle projects that relate to HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.
However, there is a different kind of worker who should be servicing equipment at the loading dock and other specialized equipment inside the facility. Expert service technicians who have been specially trained to maintain and fix vehicle restraints, loading dock levelers, and high-speed doors (to name a few) should be brought in to make sure these essential pieces of equipment are continuously running smoothly.
The outside cost to contract this work can have a strong ROI, despite what many might think. Regularly serviced equipment runs more efficiently and has less chance of breaking down, helping avoid unscheduled downtime that can cause large financial repercussions.
In fact, there are a variety of reasons why outsourcing maintenance is a good idea.
1. Expert Technicians Know Loading Dock Equipment
Much like facility maintenance staff are trained to work on utilities, the expert technicians are hired to work on equipment such as loading dock levelers and high-speed doors and are professionally trained to service and fix those types of products. Given their training and extensive in-the-field knowledge, that means their problem-solving skills translate into a high first-time fix rate.
Working on this equipment every single day gives expert technicians the competency to handle everything from basic maintenance to emergency repairs. And because these technicians encounter virtually every type of scenario with a wide variety of material handling equipment, they know when it’s appropriate to do a repair, an upgrade, or a replacement.
2. Planned Maintenance Programs Spot Machine Problems Before They Become Breakdowns
One of the nice things about expert technicians is they are often available as part of a Planned Maintenance Program (PMP). A PMP can be set up quarterly, semi-annually, or whatever period is deemed a proper length of time for each unique facility.
A trained technician begins to understand how equipment is used at a particular facility after several PMP visits and can bring knowledge from other facilities to ensure the best service possible. This also allows technicians to monitor or catch any small signs of wear and tear that might be caused by advanced age or improper equipment use. Spotting a seemingly insignificant problem early is much better than an experiencing an emergency shutdown due to a complete equipment breakdown.
3. Certified Technicians Are Trained for Your Warehouse Safety and Liability
Outsourcing work, like loading dock leveler maintenance, not only directly protects facility workers from a potentially dangerous job, it also protects the company from a liability standpoint. Technicians understand the risks and are properly trained in the safety aspects of maintenance and repair associated with material handling equipment. They are also equipped with safety equipment to ensure everyone is free from harm while the service is being performed. For example, a Safe-T-Strut will be used by technicians while servicing under a loading dock leveler plate along with cones and PPE to help avoid any injuries.
The best service technicians also have the knowledge to survey entire systems of equipment. For example, a technician maintaining a loading dock leveler will also analyze the vehicle restraint, control boxes, loading dock bumpers, and all pieces of equipment at that loading dock, to make sure they are working safely together and won’t expose material handling workers to undue risk.
4. Service Technicians are Efficient, Fully-Stocked, and Ready for Anything
You can expect service technicians to arrive prepared with the tools and equipment necessary to complete work efficiently. Technicians travel in fully stocked service trucks that include cranes, welders, test equipment, ladders, light bulbs, safety equipment, and more. Technicians also travel with the most common equipment parts. If you enacted a PMP, service technicians can know exactly what parts to have on hand for the job that day. This means even more efficient visits.
5. Working With Service Technicians to Save Money and Time in the Long Run
Outsourcing maintenance and repair work on material handling equipment will free up in-house facility personnel to work on the jobs they were hired to perform, like building HVAC maintenance. This way facility staff isn’t bogged down with tasks they aren’t fully qualified to do.
Service technicians who see repeat fixes being done on the same equipment, say an industrial door, go beyond fixing the door again and get to the root of the problem to find out why the door keeps breaking. Expert service technicians can then offer an actionable plan to prevent the same issue from occurring repeatedly. In some situations, a replacement or upgrade can solve the problem and save time and money in the long run.
One of the top reasons for outsourcing maintenance to an expert service technician is so they can identify small problems before they grow into expensive and sometimes fatal catastrophes. Losing a loading dock position for a day or longer can delay shipping orders in the short-term and potentially ruin customer relationships in the long-term. Also, equipment malfunctions can put employees in dangerous situations.
Get the Right Experts for the Job
In-house facility maintenance staff are appropriate for maintaining building utilities, but they should consider outsourcing equipment maintenance to the expert technicians to make sure the material handling equipment receives the proper attention it needs to stay up and running all year round. Service technicians who maintain and fix various loading dock equipment and high-speed doors daily are going to offer the most efficient, safe, and cost-effective service.