Property shutdown is a reality that many businesses have to face at some point in time, whether it be a small business or a large corporation. It’s one thing to deal with a power outage, but it’s another thing entirely when you need to shut a plant down. This challenge can become doubly hard when the shutdown is unexpected, even when maintenance priority is the foundation of your decommissioning process.
It’s normal to feel confused but you must take some necessary steps to reduce risk, increase safety, and maximize returns for your assets. To help your company move forward from this setback, here are some tips to help address the impact of unexpected property shutdowns.
Involve safety and plant managers
When properties close, most companies lose faith in the operation and production numbers become less of a priority. Instead, many will shift their focus toward solutions related to their employees, real estate, electrical safety procedures, and in some cases, transfer of operations. Ideally, you should allocate ample resources toward facility shutdown to give your team more leeway to avoid costly mistakes due to a short timeline and failure to adhere to proper safety procedures. Certainly, prioritizing electrical maintenance and other matters that shutdowns related to are necessary, but you also need to look at other critical matters at hand.
First, create a team that will oversee the facility shutdown. This team will create and implement plans to decrease property risks, proactive maintenance, and guarantee equipment’s reliability. In most cases, you will need the help of the plant maintenance manager and floor employees, a security team, environmental experts, a team of accountants, and property experts. It’s also beneficial to enlist the help of experts that offer invaluable services in critical areas like asset recovery, equipment recycling, and data destruction. This will allow your team to focus on their areas of expertise and minimize mistakes. It should go without saying that regular communications can help guarantee success, boost safety, and encourage employee engagement.
Establish a timeline
How long will it take to shut down the plant completely? The answer will depend on a host of factors, including local building codes, environmental laws on proper waste disposal, and the acquisition of permits. Typically, a complete shutdown can take anywhere between three to six months, although it is possible for a complete closure within a 30 to 60-day timeframe. However, this might lead to safety and compliance issues. This is particularly important when management wants to get the highest possible returns for your company’s assets.
Start an inventory of business assets
To ensure that you maximize your company’s returns for its assets, you need to create an inventory of the plant’s content, even new equipment. But knowing the content of the company plant is just one part of the equation. You’ll also need to know the worth of your assets. This is a difficult task considering the fact that there are no clear guidelines on how to appraise the value of assets. Even worse, you may not have enough workers to help you conduct a thorough inventory.
To overcome the challenge of determining the value of your assets, you may want to check secondary markets. Hiring experts in inventory management and asset liquidation, on the other hand, can provide you with assistance in listing your business’s assets.
Redeploy assets with caution
Redeploying assets from one plant to another is a solution that’s well-worth considering, especially if these have undergone regular maintenance and are validated by your safety managers or workers with the right knowledge and skills. Plus, redeployment saves you from the hassle of finding buyers for your properly maintained equipment. However, be aware that redeployment translates to additional costs, including shipping.
Adhere to company safety protocols
Months or even years after shuttering a plant, the last thing that you’d want is for your company to figure in a scandal. For example, your business can become embroiled in an improper e-waste disposal mess if the necessary steps for discarding critical equipment and risk management are ignored. Make sure that you adhere to pertinent standards and create an audit trail. Don’t let your past actions haunt you after an extended period of time. It is also prudent to invest in the services of professionals with a service program related to data destruction to prevent customers’ data and valuable assets from falling into the wrong hands.
Maximize returns for your assets
Liquidating assets from a facility is a must in order to end up on top of the financial hill when a business shuts down. There are best practices to follow starting with an inventory of all furniture, tools, vehicles and even the electrical infrastructure. Each piece of equipment requires identification, and eventually an appraisal.
One way to do this is to assign more employees to operate together to gather up, and log all valuable inventory that has positively affected the business in some way. Either way you go, you can manually sell everything yourself, or look to one of the many dedicated liquidation companies out there.
With due diligence and patience, it is possible to recover your losses and take the next vital steps in the best interest of your business to maintain job security and employee confidence.