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The demand for workers with specific skill sets in the maintenance and reliability industry continues to grow, leaving many organizations challenged with finding top talent to fit their needs. Technology advances, increasingly complicated maintenance needs and an overall shortage of qualified resources are all factors contributing to the need for contract experts to fill the gaps. Finding people you can count on, who are consistent in showing up to work, ready-to-go can be challenging. Today, we are going to look at some benefits of hiring contract experts for maintenance & reliability needs.

1. Contract Experts Are…Experts

When you hire a contract expert for your maintenance and reliability program, you are getting the best of the best in the industry. If your organization does not have resources with skills that are unique and specific to certain equipment, it becomes necessary to contract an expert that can handle the workload efficiently. Bringing in a contract expert allows you to hire someone who has the expertise to efficiently maintain your equipment at the highest standard. Because they are accustomed to working at multiple sites/companies, they have invaluable knowledge that can be transferred to your organization. Buying their hours allows your team to capture information about the work they have done in the past.

The expert will be able to identify service-type actions needed to detect potential failures before they create unscheduled downtime, also known as failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA). They will examine an asset, process or design to determine potential ways it can fail (and the potential effects), and subsequently identify appropriate mitigation tasks for highest priority risks. This level of expertise will allow you to remain efficient, ultimately saving you money.

2. An Outsiders Perspective

Having an outsider is not always a bad thing. When you bring in a contract expert, you are getting a new perspective. They can tell you “the baby is ugly.” Contractors are able tell it like it is without being subject to cultural norms or worrying about stepping on toes. Unlike an FTE, they can come in and get to the root of issues you are experiencing and bluntly share their opinion with leadership without worrying about losing their job.

Because they come with less internal assumptions, they can ask questions that may not have been asked before. By reevaluating and disrupting internal assumptions that have become “this is just how we do things,” you will get a fresh perspective that may be desperately needed. This person will be able to quickly assimilate to your company’s culture, which is important, but they will also be able to see things differently. They might notice things that you do not, providing a balance that is needed to identify productivity issues and address them quickly.

3. Instant Impact

Instant impact is expected when you bring in a contract expert. There is little room for “getting up to speed” from an experienced contractor because their job depends on the most immediate results. The impact that you will experience by hiring contract experts is undeniable. Generally, these resources will only be with your organization for short periods of time. Combine this with their level of expertise that may not be readily accessible in your location and you can see results immediately. You will not have to spend weeks familiarizing them with the work environment, training them on a multitude of systems or introducing them to every member of staff. Rather, they will arrive and get to work immediately and leave your organization (and equipment) in a better place than when they arrived.

4. Flexibility & Speed

The flexibility that comes with hiring a contract expert is a huge advantage. Unlike full time employees, using contract labor allows you to address your needs and demands, as they happen. These resources can work efficiently to complete the specific project(s) for which they are assigned, eliminating the possibility of wasted hours that a full-time resource may create. Most importantly, the location flexibility of a contractor allows you to access skills & knowledge that may not readily be available in your area.  Another advantage is the speed with which you can onboard a contract expert. Outsourcing the search and hiring process to a recruiting firm allows you focus on your day-to-day work, instead of wasting time searching for qualified expertise. If economics or dynamics change, contractors are far easier than a full time employee to rotate, change or let go.

5. Money Savings

This is probably the most important reason! Bringing in a contract expert may seem like an added expense, but in the long run, it will buy years of experience on merely days of wages!  One way an expert can save you money is through preventative maintenance evaluation and optimization. They will evaluate your asset health, current performance and cost structure and project outcomes for the future (without assumptions). This proactive approach focuses on measures that decrease the likelihood of equipment downtime, which can be devasting to the bottom line.

Another way that contractors can save you money is through the development of an efficient maintenance plan. With proper maintenance, the capacity of an asset can be realized at the designed level. For example, the designed capacity of a production equipment of 10 units per hour could be realized only if the equipment is operated without considerable downtime for repairs.  Reliability fills the gap where maintenance & engineering differ!

At first, the cost of brining in a contractor may seem expensive. The sticker shock of their hourly rate may make it seem like you are overpaying, when compared to your Full Time staff. This is far from the truth. You are paying for someone who is at the top of their field, with expertise that you don’t have on your full time team, someone that will ultimately improve processes and save you money in the long term with the speed & flexibility of adding or removing as you see fit.

From money savings to flexibility, speed and instant impact, the benefits of hiring contract experts for maintenance and reliability are undeniable. If you are looking for hard-to-find talent or need subject matter experts, Progressive Reliability can help. Visit today to learn more.

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