The majority have companies have experienced at least one unplanned downtime outage over the past three years, lasting an average of four hours, according to new research.
Unplanned downtime costs $260,000 an hour across all businesses, with two episodes of downtime lasting four hours each equates to more than $2m.
The issue is being compounded by the more than two-thirds (70%) of companies which lack full awareness of when their equipment is due for maintenance, upgrade or replacement.
The costs, causes and repercussions of unplanned downtime are triggering investment in digital tools and field service management, according to the new Vanson Bourne global study, sponsored by ServiceMax, from GE Digital, a leading provider of field service management solutions.
After The Fall: Cost, Causes and Consequences of Unplanned Downtime surveyed 450 field service and IT decision makers in the UK, US, France and Germany across the manufacturing, medical, oil and gas, energy and utilities, telecoms, distribution, logistics and transport sectors, among others.
The study finds that production and productivity, IT, and customer service are hit hardest by unplanned downtime, with damaging repercussions for businesses as a whole.
The study further reveals the extent to which businesses are investing in digital tools and field service management solutions:
- 8 in 10 companies recognise that digital tools can eliminate unplanned downtime, and zero unplanned downtime is now the number one or high priority for 72% of organisations surveyed.
- 60% of businesses confirm that digital transformation is a high or number one board level priority, and 56% report the same for innovation.
Almost half (44%) of respondents say that a digital twin with predictive maintenance would help prevent major failures, and 54% are planning to invest in a digital twin by 2020.
Likewise, field service management is expected to become a primary revenue driver within the next two years, on average.
Mark Homer, vice president Global Customer Transformation for ServiceMax, explained: “As the world has become more reliant on machines, we’ve seen a widening gap in asset efficiency awareness that’s historically gone largely unnoticed.
“This fractured insight is unnecessarily lengthening recovery time, but the research hints at a tipping point in recognition of the problem and planned investment to address it. In the same way field service management solutions moved from being reactive to proactive to preventative, we are seeing a similar shift in attitudes to unplanned downtime from recovery to protection to pre-emptive.
“Over time, zero tolerance and zero unplanned downtime will become the norm as companies develop and invest in their industrial digital strategies.”