Preventing downtime

The effect of downtime at a mining site, factory floor, or an airport can cost a company substantial turnover. The more crucial a required part is, the larger the impact on the downstream when it is not available for repair. Although planned maintenance helps to keep the equipment in an acceptable running condition, a problem emerges when something goes wrong unexpectedly. Carrying the right spares in stock can allow maintenance to perform immediate action and minimise the loss to earnings.

What is loadshedding?

South Africans have been faced with an ever-growing energy crisis. During the later months of 2007, South Africa began to experience rolling blackouts. This was because the national electrical supply was no longer able to keep up with the electrical demand. To manage this, the country began to schedule planned blackouts across the regions of South Africa. By doing so, the total electrical load on the grid could be kept at a manageable capacity. These blackouts became known as “loadshedding”.

Minimise your own downtime

More South Africans are pursuing careers where they are able to work in the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately, this has become rather challenging with the gradual increase in loadshedding instances. Loadshedding schedules can cause you to go 2 – 5 hours without electricity during any working day. This labour downtime can be very straining on employees and project managers.

Let us assume that you earn R150 per hour. Consider one month of Stage 2 loadshedding and assume that at least once during each working day you will experience 2.5 hours without power (50 hours per month). This means that R7500 of your monthly worth (50h x R150/h) is impeded to some degree by loadshedding. Once you factor in the other household members, the cost of installing any backup power becomes justifiable.

It is all about balance

Any downtime in major industry is extremely costly. When operations come to a standstill, spares are critical to restoring productivity in a timely fashion and minimising the loss. Critical parts are often incredibly expensive. Spares may only be issued (requested) once a year, or even less. Carry such items can tie-up valuable floorspace and even see expensive materials kept in unfit holding conditions. However, it is still necessary to eliminate costly downtime. A balance is required between the capital invested into stock value and the resulting stock availability. Gordian Logistic Experts specialises in finding this balance. We provide transparency for all the complex questions, giving inventory planners the power to make more meaningful, comprehensive decisions on where to spend their money and how to maximise availability to reduce downtime.

How to survive loadshedding

Gordian is a logistics technology and consultancy company. It does not specialise in power delivery. However, I personally had to learn how to overcome loadshedding while working from home. Reducing my own downtime to maximise my productivity is invaluable. In order to share what I have learnt, I have put together a white paper (how-to guide) to help anyone determine their own backup power requirements and how to use it. Please feel free to take a look at my paper entitled ‘Loadshedding who?

Click on the picture!

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