Industrial change requires from maintenance greater flexibility at higher productivity, the use of new technologies, and the implementation of industry 4.0. Outsourcing maintenance can be a solution.
Industrial change is forcing companies to change their production strategy. This has implications for maintenance. It must be flexible, at the same time more productive, and has to apply new knowledge. For example, occasional, short-term, rapid conversions of chemical apparatuses are required. Downtime of bottleneck equipment of a foundry is to be reduced to much lower levels. In a mechanical production unforeseen repairs dominate and must be largely eliminated by data-based failure prediction and condition monitoring. Assembly and packaging are to be converted to industry 4.0. Outsourcing maintenance to flexible, cost-effective contracted service providers with appropriate skills may be a strategic solution.
First, maintenance services are to be defined as well as core business of maintenance that is not allowed to be outsourced. From the defined maintenance services we subtract the core business and the current contracted services. So we get the additional outsourcing potential.
The additional outsourcing potential is now to be reduced by the cost-potential. So we obtain a transparent and binding basis for contractual service levels, costs, and productivity gains. Transparency of them is not achieved easily, because on closer inspection the additional outsourcing potential and its causes vary considerably. To determine the full cost potential based on few root causes, in addition to averages also ranges and distribution forms must be analyzed. This requires expertise in maintenance, management, and statistical engineering.
Knowing the contractual basis the supply market is taken into account now. Many suppliers of various sizes offer services: equipment suppliers, employment agencies, assembly companies, cleaning companies, and maintenance companies. This opens up various solution options. A small selection of them:
- single orders
- blanket orders
- service level agreements
- joint ventures
- better average hourly rate of the supplier than own direct hourly rate
- better average hourly rate of the supplier than own outsourcing hourly rate
- neighboring countries with better costs
The decision will be made in a controlled process, the solution then implemented.