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Top Three Concerns for Manufacturers


Last month, we conducted a customer survey to those who outsource services. Participants answered questions based on their preferences and qualities they look for in a vendor. Our audience consisted of mostly plant/facilities/project managers, followed by engineers. We asked what concerns they have for their company and to prioritize the topics from highest importance to lowest.

3. Safety Procedures

Our third important concern is safety procedures and standards, with a majority of 19% of the participants answers. Safety, without question, should always be a priority for a manufacturer. The high temperature furnaces, if not properly handled and monitored, can be very dangerous for staff in the facility. The explosion that occurred at a plant in Russia should serve as a reminder to employees to be observant of their surroundings. Employers and managers must ensure employees are properly trained on the safe operation of furnaces. External service providers can provide training on site using the equipment employees work on daily. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are produced for the required operation maintenance and shutdown of equipment. Unfortunately, maintenance crews don’t always have the knowledge or equipment it takes to fix problems.

2. Cost Saving

Cost savings was the second most important concern for our participants, with slightly over 20% of the vote. Due to the importance to stay competitive in the market, lean manufacturing has become a popular buzzword since the Toyota way was written. Manufacturers are continuously improving their processes to spend less, and produce more. Knowledge is empowerment. Know what you are spending, do a little research to see if you can spot a better deal somewhere else, then ask for a lower cost. Hidden costs can be anywhere. Let Professional Procurement and Material Sales team of Onex guide you in conducting Plant Workshop events (mini- Kaizens), Spend Analysis, and targeted negotiations to help reduce costs for your combustion and refractory needs.

1. Decreased Downtime

Decreased downtime is the most popular/important with 31.5%. This is almost a no brainer—as more downtime=less productivity. Outsourcing labor is a critical need for manufacturers, especially when decreasing downtime is such a high priority. Outsourcing services allow their company to focus on their core proficiencies to drive the business, without the worry of training, purchasing equipment, and hiring personnel to complete the ad hoc projects. Performing the jobs in-house can be costly, time consuming, and risky. Decreased downtime was the number one answer for our participants, and scheduling regular maintenance inspections will reduce the chance of extended downtime. By acting on any defects manufacturers will be improving reliability, lowering operational costs and decreasing startup times, which will then extend the equipment life.

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