The Causes and Effects of Downtime and Why it Matters

businessDespite advancements in workflow infrastructures, systems, and methods, many businesses still experience the occasional downtime. Whether the interruptions are short or long, any stoppages will have massive effects on your organisation. Some companies, especially those that use a centralised system, even shut down their business for days.

This article explores the main causes of downtime, its repercussions and ways to deal with it.

The Top Causes of Downtime

The main causes of downtime are broadly categorised into three: human-related, system-failure and elements beyond control. Human-related causes include mishandling of the equipment or a given system. One example of it is the accidental deletion of an important file or using the wrong function of a machine.

System failures include the glitches of hardware and software, which may be caused by a worker’s or a manufacturer’s error. Uncontrollable elements like natural disasters may also be an issue that comes into play every now and then.

Its Repercussions

Project and asset management companies, such as Mainpac, say downtimes have a domino effect. This holds especially true for companies that make use of an assembly line or segmented processes, like car manufacturers, IT providers and logistics firms. If the equipment is compromised, the production will be affected. It will cause bottlenecks, which will hold the release of products and services in turn. Ultimately, sales will suffer. Downtimes also influence workforce overheads. More importantly, the time lost cannot be retrieved.

Ways to Deal with it

To deal with downtimes, the manager should have a contingency plan to ensure production does not end up in a complete standstill. Managers should make it clear to employees that downtimes have a direct relationship with profit. Doing this will encourage team members to be more careful when using equipment and carrying out procedures, thus preventing costly errors. Businesses should also invest in updated equipment. It is also advisable to study current practices and maybe reorganise the workflow system to ensure greater efficiency.

These are only some of the things business managers should know about downtimes. Whether it is a B2B or B2C company, managers should make sure that downtimes are kept to minimum, as they have an effect on reputation and customer loyalty.