Deciding to outsource critical functions is difficult for any business. It involves handing over work that was previously done in-house to total strangers. It is not a decision taken lightly, as initially it diverts already stretched staff resources into managing the transition. Often, however, it is necessary to remain profitable.
Its success also depends on forming a strong relationship with the external supplier. When our team at Reay Services Group start working with a new client, they understand this and expect a short adjustment period before everything runs smoothly. Most of the time, however, there is very little disruption from either side because of the preparation work we do. Our professional staff start building a solid working relationship right from the initial contact.
Outsourcing – is it Cost Effective?
When a mining company starts thinking seriously about outsourcing, there are a few things they need to consider. One is the cost of maintaining a dedicated maintenance section. Machinery taken off the job for maintenance incurs the costs associated with the work being done, and also for hiring replacement equipment.
When the in-house costs exceed the cost of outsourcing, it is time to consider using a mining services company. In the initial stages this can be difficult, especially if it involves the retrenchment of long-serving personnel who could not be reassigned. This also deserves consideration, as it can take a toll on morale, not only of the wider workforce, but also on the managers and supervisors who have to perform this thankless task.
Do You Trust Another Company with Your Maintenance?
Another consideration is one of trust. Outsourcing means that the people performing the work are not under the direct control of the mining company management. They cannot drop into the maintenance shop unexpectedly to see how the job is going. They must have confidence in their chosen supplier and trust that their people have the skills and experience to do the work. We have ISO accreditation for our management and HSE systems, which gives our clients confidence in the quality of our work.
Management Support is Critical to Success
It is also important that the mining company management actively supports the process of outsourcing and explains its purpose to their workforce. It is difficult for an external supplier to deliver quality customer service when they are being discussed in negative terms throughout the client company.
At the Reay Services Group we work very hard at building strong and mutually beneficial relationships with our clients but this is a two-way street. If this could also be considered when deciding to outsource, the change will be seen as a positive move to ensure the future of everyone.