A feature of good business planning is the ability to ascertain when equipment has outlived its useful life. There is a triple balance of efficiency and effectiveness, safety and cost of reinvestment to buy new, up to date equipment.
You may be reluctant to spend money on new equipment to replace tools and machinery that you’ve had for a long time, it might be faithful, or, you may just have got used to its foibles and idiosyncrasies. If the chief operator of a particular asset were to retire, would their replacement be able to effectively take over with more than the basic manufacturers’ instruction manual? I f the answer is ‘no’ then it’s time to upgrade.
Vintage Vs. State of the Art
In the right hands it might be fine to keep hold of older utilities but if staff need ‘special’ instructions on how to use it then it is clearly on its way out. Putting up with unpredictable operation also means that it is very likely that it isn’t working as efficiently as it should. Routine maintenance (and health and safety audits) will keep the equipment running at its optimum for as long as possible, but as with all things, any tool will simply need retiring one day.
Depending on your field of enterprise, local and international rules and regulations will have an impact on the effectiveness of your tools. If your business is making windows routers that could be used to produce traditional wooden sash windows would be utterly redundant in the manufacture of uPVC triple glazed windows, notwithstanding the end product is still a window.
Safety First, Safety Last, Safety Always
Coming on to safety, if a piece of machinery, fixture or fitting become unsafe they should be replaced immediately, without exception. “Obviously” you will say to yourself, but many companies operate machinery illegally that has had safety devices disabled, guards and barriers removed and safety instructions ignored. Often the devices can be operated faster and more easily if the failsafes have been bypassed, notwithstanding that the increased speed of production poses a considerable risk to the health, even life of the operator.
If accidents are more likely it affects your bottom line as well as the morale of your staff. If they are being worked too fast and perceive that there are risks, then your employees will not feel that their safety is being prioritised. No matter that you didn’t remove the regulators and governors yourself, if someone on the shop floor thought it would be quicker and more efficient to do so it’s still you who’s committing an offence. If it’s your company, it’s your responsibility under the law and in the eyes of your workers to ensure that a culture of corner cutting and dangerous practice doesn’t take hold. Poor safety standards affect your bottom line because it’s you who has to pay the fines, makes the compensation and if the worst comes to the worst, goes to prison if recognised health and safety procedures aren’t enforced.
Costs, Hidden and Actual
Finally, the cost of reinvestment has to be addressed. If your assets are old but safe and effective then there’s no reason to invest in new unless your business is expanding. When it comes to the repair of old equipment, is it more cost effective to repair and replace worn parts or install new items that will come with warrantees? Storing or ordering in replacement parts and unexpected stoppages in production that mean you get behind with orders and lose business all mean costs, costs which can be avoided if your machinery is all running smoothly.
But what has this to do with Prestige Doors’ industry? Well, steel shutters and security grilles are subject to wear and superannuation, just like any other piece of equipment that has multiple moving parts. They need attention, maintenance and repairs. A worn, rusty, poorly maintained door produces a bad impression on staff and visitors, if it breaks down and can’t be opened or securely closed it will affect production and it has been known for roller shutters to fall from their mountings, injuring people who were walking through the door at the time. And that’s all without even looking at the primary purpose of a shutter – to keep your product in and intruders out.
When you replace your security shutters you expect them to last for years and that’s what Prestige Doors gives you. With 24 hour call out and a regular inspection and maintenance on all the screens and doors we build and fit, we ensure that replacing entry security won’t be a consideration for many years.