Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Jan Feb 2013

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Lubrication Programs FROM THE FIELD JEREMY WRIGHT | NORIA CORPORATION Lubrication for HIRE: Is Contractor-Based LUBRICATION Right FOR YOU? In my trips to various plants over the last year or so, I've noticed a silent movement toward contractor-based lubrication. Although not many people are talking about it, I would venture to say that every facility I've visited in the last six months has had some form of outsourced labor performing maintenance and lubrication tasks. The motivation behind this movement is somewhat difficult to understand, but perhaps this article will help you determine if the strategy is viable for your organization. Outsourcing refers to the practice of a business contracting a third-party provider to deliver services that otherwise could be performed by in-house employees. Outsourcing is not new. It has been around for as long as there have been businesses needing specialized work performed. It has just taken a while for lubrication and reliability-centered tasks to be considered "specialized." I believe this is the reason more and more companies are adopting outsourced lubrication specialists. They are just now realizing the importance of these skilled workers and the value they can bring to an organization. At first glance, the most appealing thing for companies that are considering outsourcing is the cost. It is the answer I hear most often when asking these companies why they have decided Key Takeaway: The consequences of a poorly developed and deployed lubrication program will dwarf any savings from outsourcing. to use an outsourced workforce. Outsourcing typically provides a lower apparent operational and labor cost, but at what price? I say apparent because I believe this small upfront savings may be 8| January - February 2013 | costing more in the long term. The consequences of a poorly developed and deployed lubrication program will dwarf any savings from outsourcing. If cost was the driving factor to determine the use of outsourced labor, then it would be safe to say that the job went to bid, and the lowest bid was the one that was accepted. Now think about the life blood of your machines, the foundation of your machine reliability and the ultimate key to your livelihood all resting on the tasks that are now being performed by the lowest bidder. What compromises have been made? Are these technicians highly skilled individuals? Do they really care about and "own" the equipment on which they are working? 40% of machinerylubrication. com visitors say their plant outsources lubrication or maintenance tasks to contract-based laborers If you are considering outsourcing lubrication tasks, make absolutely certain that you are speaking to the right organizations. You want to be working with companies that specialize in lubrication, not those that just provide warm bodies to do the work. You need a firm that can guarantee its laborers have had specific training and hold certifications demonstrating that they possess the skills and knowledge required to perform the tasks at hand. Another reason frequently given for outsourcing is that the facility recognizes that it is not currently doing a good job with lubrication or reliability and thinks that outsourcing will remedy these shortcomings. However, the reality is that if your program is flawed from the beginning, the workers will fail, no matter how skilled they are. A typical scenario would be that a company begins to experience significant reductions in asset availability due to mechanical

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