Maintaining uptime has always been a priority in manufacturing, but it may become even more important as companies adopt outcome-based operational principles.
A recent report from the Harvard Business Review explained that some manufacturers are taking on a cultural shift to become outcome-based organizations instead of focusing on products. As this shift continues to evolve, manufacturers may need to adjust their operations to ensure they constantly meet client expectations.
Looking at a future built on outcomes
According to the news source, building a manufacturing business about outcomes isn’t that crazy of an idea. In some ways, it is just a mental shift. A company purchasing an airplane engine, for example, would look for an engine met to meet specific performance benchmarks for reliability and efficiency instead of a product that features certain specifications. However, this change in perspective also leads to new ways of getting the job done.
Within an outcome-based manufacturing model, organizations would need to measure the performance of their products on an ongoing basis and achieve success with customers by living up to service level agreements, the report said. Effectively, manufacturing is being delivered as a service instead of focusing on building up to deliver a product.
Adapting to outcome-based operations
Manufacturing processes built on the outcome for customers make day-to-day maintenance activities especially important. An unplanned outage could lead to service level agreement breaches instead of small product delivery delays, and the need to ensure clients have a positive impression of the manufacturer’s capabilities becomes incredibly important.
Good manufacturing practices training is especially important in this operational climate because any skills gaps on your staff will make it exponentially more difficult to maintain equipment. If your customers are expecting you to deliver a certain product by a certain date, you may be able to have some room for error. If an equipment outage delays the project, for example, you can rush ship the final product.
This same wiggle room doesn’t exist in clearly defined ways in an outcome-based manufacturing environment. If a customer expecting a specific type of solution ends up with less-than-ideal results because of production problems, that service disruption will be an issue. Maintenance teams must be trained in preventative maintenance practices and have the equipment-specific skills needed to ensure near-constant uptime if you want to sell an outcome, not just a product. Such a methodology depends on trust, making reliability more important than ever.