Understanding the mean time between failures is helpful in numerous industries. However, you need more than a quality MTBF prediction and calculation system to do the job. You will also need to put each MTB prediction into action, and here are five ways to do it.
Manuals, planning documents, and tables should all reflect the MTBF calculation for the systems in question. A trucking fleet operator, for example, might publish a table explaining when to bring vehicles in for maintenance even if they haven't experienced failures. This will make it easier for team members to understand and apply the insights in their daily work.
Any business that relies on even one MTBF prediction should train its staff to understand the importance of the insight. In training, you should familiarize your team with the underlying logic of MTBF methods and how people in the field will put predictions into action. Standardize your process for maintaining equipment so you can build your training program around it.
A company applying MTBF calculation to problems should discuss its use with their insurance provider. In many instances, the insurer may offer reduced rates for employing best practices. Even if they don't offer these adjustments upfront, you should inquire each year based on the improvements you're seeing. MTBF prediction saves both you and the insurer money in the long run so ask for a reduced rate. If that doesn't work, consider finding an insurance company that recognizes the benefits.
Once you have excellent data and applicable predictions, you should factor those into your purchasing programs. Suppose a property owner determines that a specific elevator system has markedly worse performance in multiple buildings. When that organization purchases systems for new buildings or upgrades existing ones, they might pivot to the ones favored by the MTBF prediction.
Similarly, you can plan your purchasing cycle around the MTBF calculation. A data services provider with a larger server farm might base its upgrade cycle on an MTBF figure. Rather than waiting for systems to fail or upgrading needlessly early, they can plan the upgrade cycle around when they expect the MTBF level to become unacceptable.
The MTBF calculation can also inform your long-term cost projections. If you're assembling a business plan for a hardware-intensive operation, for example, you can base much of your cost projections on the MTBF. While the number will never be perfect, it can make a huge difference compared to simply guessing.
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