Modern businesses face the dilemma of what should be kept in-house and what can be outsourced.
While outsourcing of activities is common in some areas such as Information Technology or Facilities Management, it is catching up in many others. The general trend is to outsource activities that are non-core to your business. Can maintenance of valves be counted as non-core?
Valve maintenance is a critical aspect of ensuring the proper functioning of valves in various industrial processes. It encompasses several valve repair and servicing activities to maintain optimal performance and prevent downtime. While considering valve maintenance you should consider regularly inspecting valves to identify issues. Conducting maintenance to prevent problems. Diagnosing valve issues accurately. Identifying and addressing valve leaks. Removing dirt and debris to prevent clogs. Checking valve seat integrity and many more.
Let us explore…
Should valve maintenance be outsourced?
There is no right answer here.
Case 1: Yes!
Imagine a relatively old site that is remotely located and difficult to service from your nearest modern and new facility. The cost of monitoring and maintaining valves in such a location could be costly. If expertise and capable vendors are available, the site can save costs, resources and valuable management time in valve maintenance and related activities.
Case 2: No!
Now consider a relatively new site with latest valves and automation. This site might need very less maintenance in the first place. Secondly, there could be a situation that not many capable vendors are available for conducting maintenance of the site on an end-to-end basis. Outsourcing could be risky here and may not bring the required cost savings and results.
However, if there is a case where a vendor is given the contract for maintenance of an entire plant or systems, including valves, the cost-benefit ratio could be different.
Watch out for these valve maintenance outsourcing indicators
So, here are a few indicators for you to consider outsourcing of valve maintenance:
- High costs – Valve maintenance costs are a significant part of the maintenance budget
- Lack of in-house team – Lack of expertise or resources with the in-house team to maintain general or specialized valves
- Focus of in-house team – If the resources are limited and the in-house team needs to focus on maintenance of other critical systems
- Frequent problems in valves – If your site experiences frequent problems in operation of valves, high costs of spares etc. outsourcing can help to optimize and save costs
- Compliance and safety issues – While compliance and safety are better managed when controlled in-house, with expert vendors these factors can also be addressed effectively
Before you outsource maintenance of valves
- Be sure to set clear financial goals and ROI
- Ensure the processes are properly documented along with responsibilities
- Outsource only if the scope can be clearly documented
- Keep allowance for scope adjustment, and contingencies
- Allocate resources for monitoring the quality of maintenance by outsourced serviced agency
The trend for maintenance and outsourcing of valve analysis (predictive maintenance), maintenance operations and optimization of performance is on the rise. Look inside, analyze and cash-in your cost savings opportunity at the right time!