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Preparing for equipment breakdown

Preparing for equipment breakdown

In a hectic business, you can't afford the delays that come with equipment malfunctions or breakdowns. Just one incident – such as a power fluctuation that damages office equipment, or a refrigeration failure that causes food to spoil – can affect production as well as loss of income and customer goodwill. Here's how to ensure you always have a backup plan in place – just in case.

Do a risk assessment

As a business owner, it’s virtually guaranteed that you are exposed to some kind of equipment breakdown risk, which will vary according to your industry. In construction, you probably depend on reliable power tools and earthmoving equipment, whereas if you own a manufacturing business, your equipment might also require a reliable supply of water or natural gas. Meanwhile, power and computer network outages affect just about everyone, from accountants to restaurant owners and retailers.

It can be a good idea to create a ‘risk matrix’ that identifies the business impact of each breakdown. As well as factoring in the cost of repairing or replacing the equipment itself, you should also account for associated losses, such as reduced sales revenue or the cost of replacing perishable items.

Plan ahead

Nobody likes to be stuck in a sweltering office during a heat wave, which could happen if your air conditioner’s compressor suddenly experiences a mechanical failure. Desk fans might work for a short while, but heat build-up in the server room could damage delicate computer equipment, leaving you no option but to send everyone home.

It’s important to remember that, sooner or later, an important piece of equipment will break down, so it makes sense to have backup plans in place, which should include making sure the business has access to enough cash reserves to survive a temporary halt in trading.

Take out appropriate cover

Regular maintenance can help reduce the number of breakdowns. Installing an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) system can protect sensitive electrical equipment during a power interruption. Backing up data to a cloud service can also ensure important customer information isn’t lost.

But equipment can still fail unexpectedly, and when it does, time is of the essence. Equipment-breakdown insurance can cover the cost of replacement parts and labour so you can get your business up and running again quickly. It can also compensate you for related losses, such as replacing spoilt food and drink, and loss of business income. Getting insight from a trusted Adviser can ensure you have the right cover when you need it and help give you peace of mind so you can focus on growing your business.

Equipment breakdown is an unwelcome disruption for any business. But with proper planning and the right coverage, it doesn’t have to be a disaster.

Ensuring your equipment is properly maintained is one way to safeguard against breakdown. Find out how to decide on a maintenance program for your business equipment.

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