Reliability Improvements Drive Down Maintenance Costs

by Christer Idhammar

An organization must focus on sustainable results, not just cutting costs. Three case studies illustrate.
Results-oriented organizations focus first on the quality and volume of production throughput, followed closely by the cost to produce the required quality and volume. This approach will improve reliability performance, which will drive manufacturing costs down.

Most organizations focus more on cutting maintenance costs, and, as a consequence, maintenance costs go down temporarily, only to increase much more than the initial savings. In addition, reliability goes down, paving the way for losses that can be substantial. This behavior and results have been proven many times, especially in economic downturns. The root cause of this phenomenon is often shortsightedness and what the late quality leader Dr. W. Edwards Deming described as one of the most serious diseases in American industry: “the mobility of top management.”  Continue reading →