Planning for business resilience is more important than ever before, given the increasingly complex environment in which manufacturing businesses operate today. The right plans for risk management, preparedness and prevention can build a true competitive advantage and ensure that organizations sustain growth and stability for the long term.

Understanding Risk
No matter how good the project or idea, there will always be risks that must be addressed up front. Understanding these risks can mean the difference between reaching your business goals and losing your bearings in terms of corporate vision, financial success and reputation. Improper risk management can result in:

  • Budget overruns.
  • Delivery delays.
  • Customer service failures.
  • Environmental damages.
  • Injuries or fatalities, in worst-case scenarios.

Risk analysis incorporates your company’s attempts to identify and quantify potential outcomes from risk events by asking:

  • What could go wrong?
  • How likely is that to happen?
  • What are the consequences?

The engineer assigned to a project is the gatekeeper, responsible for checking and fully analyzing risks. This involves a thorough review of how the finished product will operate, with a focus on any possible ways a user might cause failures through accidental for unintentional misuse.

About Preventive Maintenance
Maintenance is a key component of comprehensive risk analysis. A plan for periodic surveillance practices should be built into routine product operations as a means of alerting users when repair or replacement is needed.

  • Simple PM surveillance measures can significantly lower the likelihood of component loss that could lead to more serious failures. If a product doesn’t show obvious signs of wear before failure, statistical data can trigger an alert for replacement before the workings of the entire system are compromised.
  • To be completely thorough, include the possibility of human error occurring during PM. For instance, a part could be incorrectly installed.

Be Aware of “Upset Conditions”
Risk may occur no matter what an engineer or manager does to lower it. Known as “upset conditions,” external factors including damages and accidents triggered by a natural act or random human events outside the scope of a system, are a factor.

  • By pushing the model of a system in a steady state with external events, you can analyze how a system would react in the event of an upset condition. Then, you have all the data you need to effectively manage risk.

Supply Chain Disruptions
Just-in-time delivery is the new normal in an increasing number of industries. From a risk perspective, supply chain disruption is a very real possibility – bringing with it immediate and severe consequences in the absence of the right risk management protocol.

  • Make sure risk minimization policies and practices are extended across the supply chain. In one disastrous case, a major supplier suffered a fire that resulted in the loss of hundreds of critical machines and tools. The manufacturer provided 90 percent of an automaker’s brake proportioning valves. The incident halted production across 18 of the customer’s plants within hours. The impact was felt up and down the supply chain. It ultimately caused an estimated $195 million loss.

To learn more about risk management and related hot topics in manufacturing, read our related posts or contact the specialized workforce experts at Premium Staffing today.


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