Business Continuity in Manufacturing: Protecting People and Profits
Business continuity is essential in the manufacturing industry. For manufacturing companies, production drives profit. And downtime (planned or unplanned) can result in millions of dollars of lost revenue. Financial losses from unplanned downtime can be especially severe if manufacturers don’t maintain consistent communication with their employees and customers.
When a weather event, violent attack, fire or equipment malfunction impacts production, it’s imperative for manufacturing companies to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible. The longer production is stalled, the more money is lost.
Ineffective emergency response procedures also have a human cost. Employees may be endangered by malfunctioning equipment, natural disasters or active assailants. Manufacturing companies must have comprehensive plans to mitigate, respond to and recover from crises.
Emergencies are expensive: the importance of business continuity in manufacturing
According to one report, the average large manufacturing company loses 323 production hours annually. That might not seem like a lot overall, but every single one of those lost hours has a significant financial cost.
For a large manufacturer, the average cost of an hour of downtime is $532,000 when you factor in employee idle time, lost revenue, financial penalties and the cost of restarting production lines. That means the average large manufacturing plant loses $172 million annually due to equipment failures and other common causes of downtime.
Together, the industrial and manufacturing companies in the Fortune Global 500 lost an estimated 3.3 million hours per year to unplanned downtime. That equates to a total financial loss of $864 billion, which is approximately 8% of total annual revenue.
No matter how big or small your manufacturing company is, 8% is a significant portion of annual revenue. Losing that much money to unplanned downtime can damage profits and also impact your company’s reputation in the eyes of your customers and shareholders.
Top threats to manufacturing companies
Many different emergencies can halt production and impact manufacturing operations:
- Falls and other accidents
- Equipment malfunctions
- Severe weather
- Electrical and network outages
- Hazardous chemical spills
- Illness outbreaks
- Supply chain disruptions
- Mental health crises
- Active shooter events
Any of these events can shut down all or part of the production line, resulting in lost revenue and missed deadlines. Additionally, if managers are unable to modify shift schedules, the company may have to pay workers who are unable to work, resulting in additional financial consequences.
Communication solutions for employee safety
Communication is crucial for manufacturing companies. Providing employees with comprehensive, accurate safety training and resources can help mitigate the potential risks of a workplace accident. Additionally, managers must be able to report malfunctions, accidents or other emergencies immediately to initiate a fast response.
Rave Mobile Safety’s mass communications system allows managers to send emergency alerts to employees (both on- and off-site) via multiple channels, ensuring that recipients get the message even if they are away from their phones or desks. Our system includes integrated tracking and reporting, so shift managers can monitor the receipt of emergency alerts.
Additionally, we offer personal safety apps that help protect employees on the job. Anonymous text-to-tip technology encourages employees to report suspicious behavior and compliance issues, allowing managers to address potential problems early. Polling and two-way messaging features help managers check on their people during emergencies and simplify shift scheduling during and following an unplanned event.
Finally, our internal messaging capabilities help companies support their employees, mitigating the financial and operational impacts of high turnover. HR representatives can provide employees with crucial resources and give them a quick, secure way to ask questions and report concerns.
Improving emergency response and recovery
Even the best safety protocols can’t prevent all outages and crises. As such, companies must develop effective response and recovery procedures to keep personnel safe and minimize downtime.
Communication plays a critical role in response and recovery. With our incident management platform, crisis managers can immediately connect with 9-1-1 and first responders and share essential information, including floor plans, egress routes and employee contact information.
Our platform also includes an automated task management system. This tool features prebuilt and customizable task lists for any type of crisis and allows incident managers to automatically assign and track tasks, eliminating redundancies and ensuring that no steps are missed.
Rave Mobile Safety helps manufacturers keep employees and operations safe
Manufacturing companies are particularly vulnerable to emergencies that result in unplanned downtime. Severe weather, local law enforcement activity, supply chain disruptions and equipment malfunctions are just a few of the issues that can result in severe financial and human consequences. Improving safety and creating comprehensive emergency response plans are two ways to mitigate the risks of unplanned downtime.
However, it’s also essential to consider business continuity in these situations. Developing effective response and recovery protocols can allow situations to be resolved quickly, hastening a return to normal operations. Companies that can handle crises quickly and effectively can protect their employees and retain the trust of their customers and shareholders.
Rave Mobile Safety, a Motorola Solutions company, offers corporations in all industries critical communication solutions that support safety and business continuity. Our mass notification system, incident management platform and personal safety apps include crucial features to protect manufacturing employees and speed up recovery following an emergency or disruption.
Communications systems from Rave Mobile Safety help manufacturing companies prepare for and recover from all types of crises. To get more information about our prebuilt systems or customizable solutions, contact our team.