While the current economic downturn has caused facilities across all industries to experience significant financial strain, the downturn has also given facilities the unique opportunity to re-evaluate and better position their programs for success once the market begins to return. Facilities can take four steps to ensure their programs are equipped to navigate the current market and are prepared for long-term success:

Step 1: Embrace cultural change

The culture of a facility drives the processes and strategies of the facility. Some facility leaders may rely on the mindset of “that’s the way we’ve always done things” to drive the processes of their facility. Decision makers with this mindset can impede facility growth and long-term success because they are often reluctant to change. However, given the current economic climate, these decision makers may be forced to change how their facility operates if the changes will help the facility survive. To determine whether your facility needs to change its culture, ask yourself:

    • Does my facility have a clear vision and goals? Facilities need to have a clear vision and goals that roll up to that vision. All employees at the facility need to understand the company’s vision and goals to ensure all teams are aligned.
    • Is my facility value-driven or results-driven? While all facilities rely on specific results to measure the success of their program, a value-driven facility will prioritize tasks that add value to the facility, even if those tasks don’t create immediate results. If facilities focus on achieving certain results that aren’t necessarily tied to value, then achieving those results will not have a lasting impact on the facility.
    • Does my facility prioritize initiatives that provide immediate value? During this economic downturn, facilities need to prioritize initiatives that provide immediate value. While it’s important to invest in tasks that provide long-term value, facilities need the flexibility gained by investing in activities that provide immediate value.

Step 2: Build strong, data-driven processes to drive decision making.

All best-in-class facilities have a strong data foundation. While a complete overhaul of the data collection and analysis processes currently in place at your facility may not be feasible at this time, you can start by digitizing your existing work processes. Digitizing your existing work processes will help your facility establish a strong data foundation. For more information on how digitizing your work processes can help you reduce costs, read our blog, Reduce Cost By Digitizing Your Existing Work Processes.

Step 3: Focus on data collection activities that will drive immediate actions.

Prioritizing initiatives that result in a short-term return on investment will help facilities survive the immediate future. Examples of activities that provide a short-term return on investment include: Asset Reliability Assessments, corrosion monitoring location (CML) optimization, and spare parts optimization. To learn more about how these activities can help reduce costs, read our blogs, Reduce Cost With Spare Parts Optimization and Reduce Cost By Optimizing Corrosion Monitoring Locations (CMLs).

Step 4: Pursue excellence and focus on quantifiable value.

Finally, facilities need to continually pursue excellence and focus on quantifiable value. Continually evaluate whether initiatives provide immediate value, and if they do not, identify the tools or processes you need to implement to ensure they add value. Remember that there is not a single initiative that will create value across all facilities, so your facility may experience success from initiatives that other facilities may not.

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