18 Ways to Maximise Downtime in Your Business

Protrade UNite

18 Ways to Maximise Downtime in Your Business

When your business is impacted by hold ups such as weather, re-scheduled jobs, and more recently COVID-19 challenges and restrictions, this could be a perfect time to use your teams labour to assist in other areas of the business. It is costing your business $70+ per hour to employ that ‘on the tools’ person. This is their hourly pay rate, plus the overhead component to employ that person.  The cost of downtime can be calculated with the following equation:

Cost of Downtime = Number of Employees x (Hourly rate + Overhead cost + GP of lost income)

Example showing a business with 4 employees at a charge out of $110 per hour.
Cost of Downtime per hour = 4 x ($35 +$35 + $40)
Cost of Downtime per hour = $440 per hour

So, rather than sending them home early or allocating leave and RDO’s, you can use this time wisely. Below is a list of ideas that can ensure that lost production time, be transformed from a ‘perceived’ inconvenience into an opportunity.

Organisation & Productivity

  1. Clean up and organise your workshop/factory/office
  2. Clean the vans/trucks and machinery
  3. Complete a stocktake and inventory of materials in your vans/trucks or workshop
  4. Conduct preventative maintenance on equipment
  5. Have your team complete all small tasks


  • Review your existing jobs. Are they on/off track?
  • Pre-order materials


  • Write procedures for the most important production areas of your business. These could include:
  • Preparing for jobs
  • Stocking trucks/vans
  • Ordering materials
  • Communication with customers/Handling customer complaints
  • Completing job/time sheets
  • Job commencement/Job completion/handover
  • Brainstorm with your team, ways to improve productivity (Gross Profit) on-site, as well as reduce unnecessary overheads

Team Development

  • Create and implement a training and development program with your team
  • Train your team on technical skills required on-site
  • Provide training on job management software and processes
  • Learn how to use Zoom to run site meetings and communication with clients
  • Have 1-1 meetings with your team. Find more about them as individuals vs. just an employee
  • Conduct team reviews – even over Zoom

Marketing & Client Relationships

  1. Have your team deliver local area marketing flyers (mailbox drop)
  2. Have key team players call/connect with key customers/relationships/suppliers

Remember, this is your chance to turn an inconvenience into an opportunity.

Written by Jon Mailer

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