If Christmas is for families then Boxing Day reflects the spirit of giving to those that are needy and in service positions. In a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, Boxing Day has been celebrated as a time to give gifts to those outside the family. In the modern world, Boxing Day now represents a time for many businesses to take advantage of the shutdown and perform asset maintenance.

Boxing Day Snapshot

During the 19th century, in some countries such as England, tradesmen used this day to collect boxes of gifts in return for good service the following year. In modern times this is known as tipping your service providers, such as domestic help, garbage collector, hairdressers and so on. I remember as a boy in England with a paper route, I would send out Boxing Day greeting cards and collect my reward just after Christmas.

Boxing Day has been a national holiday in England since 1871. Once a day of worship and giving thanks it has now been commercialized to be a huge shopping day as well as marking the beginning of winter holidays, derby football (soccer). In fact, according to U.K. retailers, Boxing Day 2009 saw 12 million shoppers hit the stores for huge sales promotions.

Boxing Day and Maintenance Management

Although retailers enjoy a boom in sales many industrial operations now shutdown operations for the holidays. This has developed over time as a result of the number of holidays (Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years) that have many people or businesses simply taking a week or two off. This has enabled industry to schedule major maintenance on assets without really effecting production.

The scheduled maintenance and shutdowns are designed to prepare assets for the winter as well as give facilities managers the ability to:

5 Reasons to Perform Boxing Day Asset Maintenance

  1. Maximize uptime when production resumes. Accomplished with scheduled inspections, preventive maintenance and a review of the past years work flow.
  2. Give asset managers better control of consumables (inspect efficiency of assets and balance power needs).
  3. Lower ongoing operating costs through better maintained assets.
  4. Improve safety by reviewing standard operating procedures, problem areas.
  5. Determine Capital Funding requirements for the New Year.

Industries making use of a CMMS will have a much easier time through the holiday period as they can use CMMS tools to review the years maintenance history, set standard operating procedures as well as have the management reports needed to justify the new year capital expenditures.

The Impact of Weather on Boxing Day Preventive Maintenance

As previously mentioned, the holiday period is ideal for performing preventive maintenance on assets especially getting them ready for a harsh winter. For 2010 a series of paralyzing winter storms has left mountains of snow and ice throughout Europe. The harsh winter weather has resulted in travel chaos with canceled flights, stopped trains and school cancellations.

With temperatures only expected to range from -9 to 4 Celsius (10 F – 39 F) across much of Europe this week, it is possible some industries will have an extended shutdown or be forced to postpone preventive maintenance.

Facilities postponing maintenance as a result of weather related absenteeism are likely to face higher costs upon the restart of operations if they have not been using a CMMS solution to schedule and perform maintenance during the course of the year. This is because assets subject exposed or subject to freezing damage will not have been prepared and be damaged.

Snow and Ice Damage for Retailers, Hotels and Public Areas

The heavy snowfall and ice can have another effect particularly on retailers, hotels or public areas. Bitter cold temperatures can cause pipes to burst or force water into buildings should ice form at drainage locations.

This holiday season, hotels and retailers need to make sure that they are inspecting any area a customer or the public may have access to in order to prevent accidents and liability claims. Most ice related accidents occur when people step onto a different level surface (such as sidewalk to step).

Lastly, hotels as well as other facilities should make sure that ice is not building up under roof shingles, gutters and windows using their hotel CMMS software. Ice can turn a small crack into a larger hole in which water can find entrance into a building.

We hope that everyone has a safe holiday and can find a way home if the rail system is still stopped.

Share with us your experiences this Boxing Day and if the cold impacted you. If you liked this article you may also enjoy reading: