Is your maintenance department ready for another economic slide?

September will mark four years since the greatest economic slide since the great depression. With the volatility, divisiveness, uncertainty of another election year and pendulum shift of between left and right, is your business ready for another economic plunge. Why is this issue important to the Maintenance and Reliability profession? Because as we all know when times get tight companies often cut two major areas, advertizing and maintenance which also includes training programs. So my question to you is are you ready? If the economy drops again, do you have the resources and capabilities to help support your company's transition to even more cost containment and severe operational cuts. Here are some suggestions, before something disastrous occurs I encourage to you develop some strategies and approaches to be ready for the worst possible outcomes. Work down your deferred maintenance backlog. Identify your most critical equipment and make sure that those items work at optimal levels. Train your personnel. States, regions, cities and community colleges have training dollars available and resources to help incumbent workers do their jobs better, more efficient thus saving company enormous amounts of downtime and other costs. Work with your local economic development retention managers and keep them apprised of your status. They often can help you uncover grants, training dollars and other programs designed to keep jobs in their area. Become an ally of your CFO, if he see value in your function, your team will be spared. Sell off equipment and parts that you no longer need. Use those funds to have as a rainy day fund in case your company cuts future budgets. As people in Washington call election year the silly season, but for maintenance departments, it is crunch time. We must get ready or risk getting crunched out of a job! Do you have suggestions on other things we can do to be prepared add below. But please don't add partisan diatribes as there is already plenty of that in other places just focus on business needs.