Leaving more than over $250 billion in damage in its wake, this year’s hurricane season was an unmitigated disaster — both in the U.S. and on neighboring shores. The rebuilding efforts will likely be some of the most comprehensive and complex we’ve ever seen, ramping up demand on manufacturers on both the new product side and after-sales service.

Over the last two months, there’s been more expansion in U.S. manufacturing than in the past 13 years. And as some of the hardest hit communities begin their rebuilding efforts, manufacturers will have to make sure they have the proper technologies and strategies in place to minimize service disruptions and ensure reconstruction is completed as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Downtime can be detrimental on a construction site. An inactive piece of equipment means lost revenue and lost time, so to cope with the increased demand from rebuilding post-hurricanes, manufacturers must focus on maximizing product uptime. Uptime places more emphasis on predictive maintenance, and shifts away from a break-fix model of service.

Check out the tips below to succeed in the uptime era and meet the demands of today’s customers:

Embrace the Uptime Model

With so much attention on reconstruction, manufacturers need to make sure their equipment is always up-and-running, and producing at the optimal capacity. This is where the uptime model comes into play. Manufacturing businesses have long adhered to a break-fix model of service – where they perform reactive maintenance to fix or replace a part after it has already failed. However, with the growth in IoT — which will be worth an estimated $3.7 billion by 2020 — as well as smart parts equipped with sensor technology, companies can use sophisticated after-sales service technology that triggers the need for a replacement part before the equipment is out of service. This allows manufacturers to mitigate any potential service disruptions and take a proactive approach to preventive maintenance.

Recognize the Advanced Age of Machinery

Construction equipment is built to be durable. But, as with any type of equipment, it’s prone to breakdowns and requires maintenance as it ages. And since it’s oftentimes more cost-effective to fix an existing piece of machinery than to purchase a new replacement altogether, the average age of heavy equipment used today continues to climb.

As machines age and construction demands increase, manufacturers must be more vigilant about maintenance and performance. In addition to a focus on uptime, companies need to ensure service parts inventory is available when and where it is most needed to make repairs quickly and effectively. Fifty percent of service calls fail due to lack of part availability, which means that manufacturers must adapt business practices and technologies that automate and optimize service parts inventory – ensuring critical equipment is always up and running.

Help Service Teams Get Up to Speed

Even with an uptime-centric model, replacements can only be completed as fast as service tech teams can diagnose issues and execute repairs. Service teams should have access to the best resources and training possible, especially as the baby boomer generation retires in droves. Technicians that have been with the same brand for 20 to 30 years are leaving the workforce (along with their skills and knowledge), and manufacturers must ensure new techs have the skills and resources they need to succeed. Fortunately, as this younger generation enters the workforce, they are more inclined to adopt emerging technologies and an uptime-centered focus. This is a pivotal area that cannot be overlooked, especially given the long-term timeframe that reconstruction teams are facing.

Rebuilding in the wake of this year’s hurricane season will undoubtedly be challenging. However, by remaining as efficient as possible and keeping production moving, manufacturers can cope with the increased demand they’ll face, and will prove to be a pivotal positive force — as opposed to a hindrance — in reconstruction.