Experts agree: the cost of unscheduled equipment downtime is costly to a manufacturing organization, as it results in lost product, as well as failure to meet production and shipping schedules. The result? Lost sales and profits.

When it comes to preventing unscheduled equipment downtime, focusing on preventive maintenance can transform your operations and virtually eliminate your unscheduled downtime. As part of this, you must implement standardized inspections across plants in order to experience the greatest benefit to your bottom line.

Check out these six tips to get you started on standardizing your inspections.

1. Review Current Inspections.

Many people jump right into standardization of inspections by rolling out completely new processes and procedures. However, before you get to that point, you need to take a step backwards and see where you currently stand with your inspections. After all, if you have several different plants, it is likely that they are conducting their plant inspections in different ways and probably not even on the same equipment.

2. Create a Plan

Outlining a plan helps you understand what you want to get out of the standardization. What are your goals and how will you measure them? Do you expect to see a reduction in unscheduled downtime? (Most likely.) Will you simplify the inspection process? (Yes.) Does it offer an opportunity to improve your team’s efficiency? (Without a doubt.)

3. Outline Key Standardized Inspections

Equipment manuals and industry best practices will guide you toward creating standardized inspections. These should be evaluated to ensure that the processes work with your organization and its goals. In addition, your inspections should also include details like essential equipment or tools, as well as who should be performing the inspections.

4. Focus on a Scaled Roll Out to Stakeholders

Communicating the new inspection process across the organization can help user adoption and gain excitement internally about the new standards. For those that will be conducting the inspections, conducting a scaled launch will help you identify areas for improvement and what you can do to improve future iterations.

5. Gauge Success

Once you’ve rolled out your inspections, benchmark your success. What is your unscheduled downtime on average per day? How much time is spent per inspection? Use this information to compare data down the road, such as one, three or even six months later. In doing so, you can understand where you can improve on the processes and further standardize inspections to streamline your team’s efficiency.

6. Revise and Continue Implementation

Focusing on continuous improvement to enhance your inspections and improve productivity for your team can result in gains across the organization. It’s best to do this on a regular basis, such as quarterly or semi-annually, in order to leverage the benchmark data that you’ve gathered with your decisions.

Learn more about developing world-class preventive maintenance within your organization: