5 Money-Saving Tips for Plant Managers
When employees use chemicals in any industry, the risk of injury grows. Companies have OSHA regulations to follow, and once an employee removes a lid, hidden costs begin to accumulate.
The process of using chemicals begins to resemble that of an iceberg, and even more so for a chemical plant. At the surface, the costs include buying the chemicals and what is needed to use them. But, under the surface lies so much more: logistics, inventory control, safety, training, and management.
Managers, like you, have to consider costs, along with managing in effective and creative ways. If you are looking for ways to reduce costs and optimize your resources, these five ways might work for you.
Where You Should Start
For some managers running a plant, the struggle is knowing where to begin. If you are only looking at the surface of the iceberg, then you are missing the entire picture. You’ve got to look at the hidden costs, which often involve environment, health, and safety (EHS) regulations.
There are a few questions you should ask as you dive into the frigid waters to find where the iceberg ends:
- How much time are your employees devoting to EHS regulations?
- Are rush orders increasing your chemical purchasing costs?
- Is your inventory too large so products end up expiring?
- Do your employees need costly training to use certain chemicals?
- Are your employees tasked with time-consuming maintenance or clean-up activities?
Once you recognize the questions that need to be answered, you will be able to find the answers that will help you optimize your budget.
Don’t Forget Preventative Maintenance
Managers can save money by following a preventative maintenance schedule. To maximize your budget, your equipment must run smoothly. Sounds simple right?
You don’t preemptively take care of your machinery, you could incur costly repair expenses down the line, and your plant might even be forced to shut down for those repairs.
In all businesses, time is money. Preventative maintenance is less expensive than repairing, so being proactive can reduce your budget.
Focus on Long-term Service Supplier Relations
Understanding what to expect and a consistent quality of service is a struggle that many businesses have. Instead of guessing each time, work with your supplier or service provider to develop a system that is beneficial for you.
Doing this involves long-term planning, so the supplies keep flowing. When you think in the short-term, you stop the flow of useful information. Your suppliers don’t know when you are ordering, and you don’t know when the supplies will arrive.
They also can let you know in advance if improvements have been made so you know you are getting the latest and best technology application each time you require service. Short-term planning costs more in the long run, especially if you have to shut down because an order hasn’t arrived or your supplier runs out.
When you plan for the long-term, you have regular shipments that arrive on time as you’ve established specific shipping and receiving guidelines. Your suppliers can meet your needs because they understand what those needs are.
Arranging mutually beneficial long-term relationships with service suppliers lets your staff focus on other tasks.
Ensure All Employees Understand and Follow Safe Practices
Another iceberg expense to consider is the cost of properly training employees. This isn’t an area you want to skimp on as you could run the risk of a major injury or even a death happening on your watch.
As the manager, your job includes reviewing the latest OSHA safety practices and procedures. Schedule a time each year to look at updated OSHA regulations. The safety of your employees should be the most important thing at all times.
Review and Simplify Maintenance Processes
Caring for the plant is one of the many ways you maintain safety and maximize costs. Maintenance procedures can be simplified by using the newest technology available. When technology handles repetitive or tedious tasks, employees can focus on core tasks that directly affect business success.
Managers should identify the most important maintenance steps, and only do what is needed to keep the plant functioning at the highest level. The new, efficient procedures save money because fewer man-hours are needed to complete tasks.
Use Robots for Tank Cleaning
When you are looking to save money, look no further than ecobots for tank cleaning. Maintenance Managers who use ecobots no longer need to use employees
for cleaning in dangerous and hazardous spaces.
Ecobots can enter confined spaces without the need for safety gear, bright lights, or lunch breaks. They also don’t require extra safety training and you don’t have to take the time to ensure this space meets safety regulations for human crews.
These robots use water and cleaning supplies more efficiently; saving you money and significantly reducing the impact to the environment. They are programmed to avoid errors and to do their jobs quickly.
Managers who are dedicated to saving money should look to the long-term. Living in the short-term increases costs and affects employee safety. When Managers look to the long term, they can better control expenses by building relationships with suppliers, using technology to save employee costs, and ensure that employees are properly trained.
Remaining diligent, observant, and staying up-to-date on new processes will make your plant the most efficient it can be.