Predictive maintenance: part of the solution to labour shortages has nothing to do with employees  

According to Statistics Canada, nearly 900,000 jobs were vacant in August 2021. In other words, this is a problem that concerns the majority of businesses and all areas. It is important to look into this since it is estimated that the situation will peak between 2030 and 2035.

If you thought the pandemic was the worst thing for your business, you’ve greatly underestimated the labour shortage problem… And even for businesses that fully realize the consequences, they are probably considering non-viable long-term solutions to fix it.

Indeed, to counter the labor shortage, the first reflex of many management teams is to try to find employees in other ways: either via immigration, interns or other types of workers, or by offering better conditions and higher salaries to attract people currently employed elsewhere.

But these are only temporary solutions. It's high time to think about solving this problem for good. It's time to embrace innovation, automation and artificial intelligence through Maintenance 4.0.

The Right Way To Fill Positions With Technology

First of all, we have to stop being afraid of technology. The aim is not to put 500 employees out of work, but to stop limiting the growth of our companies because of staff shortages, and to stop being afraid that our employees will leave for the competition who, out of desperation, offer the three-day week, or to stop considering overtime as a healthy measure to meet customer orders.

La technologie est un allié pour la prospérité et la croissance de nos entreprises, et d’ici 2035, elle sera probablement ce qui fera la différence entre ceux qui passeront à travers cette pénurie et ceux qui devront rendre les clés.La bonne façon de combler des postes avec la technologie, et donc d’avoir besoin de moins d’employés, est d’automatiser les tâches répétitives et de laisser celles à valeur ajoutée à l’humain. Ainsi :

Putting exactly 150 screws in a box, 2000 times a day = automation

Judgment, creativity, decision making, empathy, etc. = human. With this approach, you'll find that your current team is more than sufficient, and that you no longer need to worry about employee retention.

How can predictive maintenance help a company with labour shortages?  

There are a multitude of technologies that can help you counter this shortage. In this article, we will focus more specifically on predictive maintenance.

Attraction and retention of staff 

It's a well-known fact that any kind of innovation attracts and retains skilled personnel. In the case of predictive maintenance, all teams that have anything to do with operations are positively affected. The working environment will be healthier, with less stress, less overtime and much less pressure on the maintenance team.

An employee does not leave a company for the list of tasks for which he/she is responsible since it is a safe bet that he/she will perform substantially the same in his/her new job. By changing employers, an employee leaves a work environment, working conditions, unhealthy pressure, a heavy workload, etc.

Predictive maintenance allows you to offer a productive but relaxed work atmosphere, to reduce the frustration of the different teams during unplanned shutdowns, to have smaller but more efficient teams.

Your current team is probably already enough 

If your operations are running smoothly, if you're able to predict any production and/or machine stoppages in advance, if your maintenance team's visual inspection time is greatly reduced, chances are your current team is already quite adequate, and you don't need to hire any new staff.

I understand the benefits of predictive maintenance, but it's not for my company because... 

The “false excuses” need to stop now! The most frequent are the lack of money and the lack of time… but in fact, they hide only one thing: fear.

Today, refusing to embrace innovation and technology is the equivalent of refusing to learn how to use a computer 20 years ago. If your company becomes the "new illiterates" of technology, do you think you can prosper and grow in the long term? These words may seem rather harsh, but ask any expert: our company, markets, customers and suppliers have reached this point.

Why are lack of money and time just excuses? Because there are a multitude of resources available to all managers, whatever their field of activity:

The lack of money

What is the real cost of your current maintenance? If you're not doing predictive maintenance, chances are that the hidden costs (loss of raw materials, overtime, lost production, etc.) associated with your maintenance represent an additional 10% to 15% on top of your "known" costs.

Innovate without initial investment. Several companies, such as Soralink, now offer monthly subscription solutions that require no capital on your part to get started. In this way, they make innovation accessible to all.

    The lack of time

    You're already wasting this time. How much time would you save by eliminating breakdowns and unplanned downtime? How much overtime does your production team have to work to meet delivery deadlines following a breakdown? Knowing that innovation creates a phenomenon of attraction and retention of competent employees, how much time do you currently devote to hiring?

    To learn more about all the gains and benefits that predictive maintenance can bring to your business, we suggest this other article of Soralink.

    The labor shortage is such a huge problem that it can't be solved by hiring and finding new employees alone. We need to explore all the possibilities offered by innovation, automation and artificial intelligence.

    While you hesitate and wait, your competitors dare and get ahead of you. You don’t want to be tomorrow’s illiterates!

    If you want to know how predictive maintenance can apply to your business, write to us, we will be happy to help you with your project!