Unfortunately, Maintenance is still seen by many companies today as a necessary evil and therefore a waste of time and money.
This is indeed the case when the company does not choose to control its Maintenance and remains on schemes such as: “We have been operating this way for 30 years” – (cf. https://internationaldrb.com/2015/10/15/the-7-most-expensive-words-in-business/ ). OK, but does it work well? Couldn’t this way of working be optimised, updated?
What if maintenance was seen more as an investment?
To have this reasoning, you need to be able to take a step back, to ask yourself questions and above all to question yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone. This is certainly a complicated step for many of us, but it is so necessary if we want to make our company part of a process of continuous improvement. The status quo does not allow for it.
Whatever processes are in place, or need to be put in place, they rely on men and women. From their thoughts and choices, strategies will emerge to optimise the functioning of the company. In a company, each employee can contribute to the proper maintenance of the work tool by simple daily gestures. These gestures are acquired through training courses that enable individuals to adopt this way of thinking and these habits that they will also be able to apply at home, in their own environment. The time of the “poorly shod shoemaker” is over! Indeed, it is important to be consistent. The environmental question no longer even arises nowadays. Our planet does not need human beings to be protected, it does and always has done so itself. On the other hand, it needs to be respected and it is through education and training in a more general way that human beings can be made aware of this. From the earliest age is of course the ideal, but there is no age for learning.
More and more companies want to be part of a Sustainable Development process, but they don’t always know where to start. All sectors of the company must be taken into account in this type of approach in order to establish a certain coherence and you have to start somewhere. By proceeding in stages with short-term objectives, it is generally simpler to move forward than with a very heavy and complex project from the outset. The advantages of starting with the implementation of Sustainable Maintenance are multiple. Maintenance cuts across all areas of the company, with each employee having to carry out Maintenance tasks on a regular basis without even knowing it. From cleaning the coffee machine after use to the maintenance of production equipment to choosing the next photocopier.
But what is Sustainable Maintenance, you may ask. To put it simply, Maintenance consists of taking care of an asset, an object so that it can continue to do, for as long as possible, what it was designed to do. Durable, the Larousse definition gives us this: “Of a nature to last a long time, which presents a certain stability, a certain resistance”. By taking these two words we realise that their definition includes a common notion which is duration in time. Thus, Sustainable Maintenance consists in setting up a philosophy or strategy for the Maintenance of the company’s assets which is itself long-term. In concrete terms, this involves choosing the materials and equipment necessary for the company’s operation. For example, preference should be given to good manufacturing equipment that is simple and inexpensive to maintain. By adopting a Sustainable Development approach, the company also recognises its responsibility outside its walls through its employees, its products, its services and its image. As Waste Management is at the heart of actions in favour of the environment, Maintenance is no exception, as it is one of the main levers for reducing this waste. By choosing robust and truly adapted equipment and maintaining it correctly, breakdowns will be reduced and the replacement of parts, or even the equipment itself, will be reduced, thus limiting waste.
“The best waste is the waste you don’t produce”
Cleaning a machine after use seems to be a trivial action, but it can make all the difference when it is done correctly and regularly. It’s like your car, if you clean it regularly it will not get damaged as quickly. Training in Sustainable Maintenance really makes sense nowadays, especially as more and more of us are becoming aware that it is essential to take care of our environment and everything that makes it up. Our material assets are no exception, as they are part of our immediate environment and have a direct influence on the Environment with a capital “E”.
Training in Sustainable Maintenance is therefore not only an asset for the company but also for the entire community. This training thus complements what can be learned at an individual level to add a little extra, a contribution in terms of respect for the Environment. Sustainable Maintenance is much more than just a fashion to be followed because it is “cool”. Adopting Sustainable Maintenance means adopting new ways of doing things and seeing things, it means adopting a new philosophy of life both in the company and at home. What happiness after a hard day’s work to return home to one’s family and to have the satisfaction of having contributed, even on a small scale, to the well-being of our planet!