This article was originally published in The Business News.
As the end of the year quickly approaches, it’s important for manufacturers to take a few preparatory steps to ensure a smooth transition into the new year. One of the best ways to keep your machines running properly now and into the new year is to schedule preventive maintenance.
Start with a maintenance routine before the year ends, and then plan to set aside time regularly in 2023 to clean, lubricate and inspect your machines.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Check fluid levels
Before you do anything else, it’s important to check the fluid levels in your equipment. Low fluid levels can cause several problems, including reduced performance and shortened component life.
Next, look closely at all the hoses in your system for signs of wear or damage. Cracks, leaks and kinks can all lead to big problems down the road. If you notice any damage, replace the affected hose as soon as possible.
Once you’ve inspected all the hoses, it’s time to check for leaks in the system. Even a small leak can cause serious problems, so it’s important to identify a leak in a timeline manner.
It’s also important to perform general maintenance tasks, such as greasing moving parts, checking for loose bolts and visually inspecting all components for damage or wear.
A professional inspection can also give you a fresh perspective on your machine and help you plan for future needs.
Get parts on order
It’s a surprise to no one at this point that supply chain issues have affected inventory, lead times and general availability of parts and equipment. It is more important now than ever to check your supply of replacement parts and order anything you may need in advance. To help, one of the best things you can do is to keep an open dialogue with your suppliers to discuss what issues they may be facing. This way, you’ll be able to stay up to date on any changes in the availability of parts and components.
You may also want to consider working with a partner who provides vendor-managed inventory services to ensure parts are available to you as needed.
Winter also typically bridges the fiscal year, making strategic budgeting even more important.
You can work with your partners to determine how to spend remaining 2022 budget dollars on equipment and materials orders for maximum efficiency that will continue to benefit you for years to come.
Consider allocating additional dollars in spring to replace worn parts, replace equipment (remember that ordering sooner is important) and plan for upgrades that will make you even more efficient next season.