Choosing to combine industrial maintenance and CSR takes on its full meaning when an organization intends to adopt an approach more respectful of the environment and make social and societal commitments.
In this article, you will learn:
- what exactly CSR is and what it implies for a company;
- what are the advantages for manufacturers to turn to CSR;
- why all levels of the industrial sector are affected;
- how to combine industrial maintenance and CSR thanks to your CMMS, a real performance lever.
Find out how manufacturers can benefit from this approach and how they can achieve it.
What is CSR?
Still too little known 10 years ago, corporate social responsibility (or CSR) refers to the approach that companies can choose to adopt to take ethical and social issues into account in their activities (whether internal or external). This implies that they make a commitment towards their employees, shareholders, customers and other third parties. This approach is intended to be transparent and contributes to the sustainable development effort.
As set out by the French Chambers of Commerce and Industry, it is reflected in an organization’s goal to:
- to guarantee the well-being of and within the company;
- to comply with the legal framework in force as well as the international standards that apply (e.g. those of the International Labour Organization);
- to take into account the interests of the various stakeholders, who may have a role to play in the structure's decisions;
- to align all its decisions and act in accordance with the commitments made.
There is a normative framework for this CSR approach since companies can rely on the ISO 26000 standard, which sets out the ways in which a business should be organized to be consistent with this approach. In addition to the above-mentioned guidelines, a company can also, within the limits of its resources, contribute to sustainable development and more generally to the awareness of the social and environmental impacts of its activities.
This desire to move towards a “greener” society in all fields and in every corner of the world first arose during the 1970s in the United-States, which were a turning point in the consideration of the environment. For example, it was in 1971, at the end of the Vietnam war, that the Greenpeace association was founded. A shift in mindset that was made possible thanks, in particular, to personalities such as René Dubos who founded the United Nations Environment Programme (in 1972) and first formulated the idea "Think global, act locally".
Toward a greener industry: what it matters
The French Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) indicates that no less than 45% of companies with more than 20 employees claim to have implemented CSR actions. This was confirmed by a study carried out in 2019 by L'Usine Nouvelle and Dyson among 229 decision-makers of the industrial sector, which shows that they are becoming increasingly aware of CSR issues and attach growing importance to them.
Implementing such an approach not only enables collaboration between businesses (large groups, SMEs, start-ups, etc.) to create new markets but also gives a new impetus to the changes that are already taking place in these companies, particularly those that needed to bridge the gap.
Increasing overall performance
The company that turns to CSR protects the interest of its stakeholders. Performance, whether social or financial, is improved through smoother cooperation between the various players.
If an organization adopts a more global approach to capture all the aspects of its performance, it is more likely to assess the risks and opportunities inherent in its activity. This is a significant competitive advantage: more aware of its environment, stakeholders' interests and market fluctuations, it becomes more efficient.
In this context, the structure may need to invest in innovation, whether at the product, organizational or management level, in order to find new ways to stand out from the competition and to establish synergies to move towards a more ethical operation.
Leveraging high-quality sectors
When a company is aware of these CSR issues, it is more likely to reconsider its processes and question its work methods. It is therefore also an opportunity for it to ensure its supply of raw materials from companies that are more involved in the same environment-friendly approach in order to ensure its commitment at all levels.
This way, it becomes more involved in the local industrial base and enhances the value of nearby industries.
Building brand image
It comes to no surprise that the company's image is improved. Today, these approaches are increasingly valued and emerge as key indicators that customers or employees can take into account.
If the company commits to moving in this direction, it will be easier for it to attract new talent to enrich its teams and will be sure to motivate and retain its employees. It will improve its image with its customers as its process is valued. Complying with an ISO standard can be a significant first step and a good indicator, given that more than half of the companies that have turned to CSR have done so.
Industrial maintenance and CSR: achieving your goal thanks to a CMMS
While there are plenty of areas of action of this approach, the ISO 26000 standard defines guidelines and allows companies unfamiliar with this approach to gradually change their habits. One of the areas on which the structure can act is the management of its industrial maintenance.
This is precisely where CMMS (computerized maintenance management software), and especially next-gen solutions, come into play. Designed to ease your daily maintenance processes, these solutions help you digitize your plants and ensure continuous improvement.
Reduce downtime thanks to your CMMS
Industrial maintenance and CSR can be combined thanks to your CMMS software. Once all the data of your equipment has been entered into the software, you can monitor the level of performance of your machines.
The Mobility Work community-based maintenance management platform, for example, is equipped with an analytical tool, which automatically gathers and aggregates all the data linked to equipment. You will find the list of the ones that have undergone the most interventions, the technicians with the most interventions, the most recurring tasks, among others.
Mobility Work is a mobile CMMS available in SaaS (in Android and iOS) which allows technicians to work on machines and to inform their activities directly in their application. All this guarantees optimal information sharing within the factory or the entire industrial group to ensure transparency of interventions and, above all, to guarantee a clear follow-up of everything that is carried out.
These solutions can help you reduce the downtime of your machines. Indeed, technical teams can communicate via the chat of their application and notify each other of the interventions carried out. Thanks to this ease of communication and features such as our analytics tool, the plant can choose to adapt its maintenance strategy and opt for preventive rather than corrective maintenance.
Combating equipment obsolescence
By implementing such changes and deploying a CMMS software to rationalize its industrial maintenance, the plant will fight against the obsolescence of its machines more efficiently. As we mentioned earlier, decision-makers are then able to adapt their maintenance strategy according to their actual needs and performance to improve it.
If maintenance teams adopt a CMMS solution, they can more easily monitor equipment and, through their actions, extend its lifespan. This encourages the company to behave more responsibly and to take advantage of its equipment: not only does it keep it for longer and make the bet to maintain it rather than replace it, but it also consequently makes significant savings.
Reducing industrial waste
One of the major advantages of choosing to combine industrial maintenance and CSR is obviously to reduce waste and improve waste processing. It is by becoming more conscious of its environment and of the interests it has in opting for environmentally friendly processes that a company can take concrete action.
Considering the previous arguments, which prove to what extent industrial maintenance and CSR are related issues, maintenance teams, through their work, reduce unnecessary industrial waste. But to go even further, the company can turn to industrial ecology and find effective ways of recovering its waste at the local level, by collaborating with the local companies.
As you can see, industrial maintenance and CSR are therefore very good allies. The first can allow you to move towards the second, while implementing certain practices and adopting simple tools, such as a next-gen CMMS software. You also have the opportunity to carry out an initial self-diagnosis of your company to find out if you are already committed to this CSR approach.