What would the cumulative value of one cent doubled every day for a month end up at? I’m sure a lot of you would have done this.

It’s quite astonishing. Grab an excel worksheet and work it out for yourself if you haven’t before. (or just use the button at the end of this blog for the answer.)

This example has been used many times to illustrate the ‘Compound Effect’, which Darren Hardy has written about in his book of the same name. While not exactly the same in context, it is useful to think about the Compound Effect of small improvements in operating conditions on component life or vice versa. In our field of data analytics for maintenance, we find that many of the outcomes our ECS produces are small, low-cost, scheduled maintenance tasks such as investigating dirt ingress, checking for wear, replacing fluids, or checking tensions. If these tasks are completed consistently as planned, they can have the effect of maximizing component life. If these small proactive tasks are ignored, then it will rapidly reduce component life and potentially end in major high-cost failures.

It’s taking early action on data highlighting a small change in condition that if left unattended may compound to a major failure. The more of these small tasks you do over time, the greater the impact on your maintenance budget and equipment reliability across the fleet.

Here are three ideas that may help your planning to take advantage the Compound Effect can have on your maintenance outcomes by making small changes every day that add up to a more reliable fleet.

1 - Be consistent – every day, every time.

Probably the most important piece of advice we can give you is to be consistent and get the work done. If you want to improve reliability and reduce unscheduled maintenance, you just have to complete the small fundamental tasks that prevent failure down the line. It’s a non-negotiable!

2 - Don’t try to achieve too much too quickly.

The concept of the Compound Effect is that changes are small and incremental over time. So, don’t take on too much too quickly which may inhibit your ability to get the tasks completed as planned and to a high quality. As your equipment health improves with the changes you are making, you will be able to take on more proactive condition-based maintenance tasks.

3 - Measure your progress.

Every site will have a different way of measuring success. It may be equipment availability, maintenance spend, workshop hours or component life as examples. We also suggest using your equipment data as an indicator or your success. If you have a reduction in dirt ingress, your oil viscosity is improving, less wear particles in your oil, or the number of alarms is reducing, then you can be confident that the actions you are taking are having their compound effect.

There’s no silver bullet to achieve a reliable fleet overnight. But what will work is taking action every day on the small things. Incremental increases will lead to success quicker than you might think.

Want to know how much you would save in a 31 day month by doubling $0.01 every day?

How Much Would I Save?