In part 1 I introduced a simple 3 legged stool model: design, maintenance and operations being it’s 3 legs. It can deliver high performance at low cost and risk – i.e.: high productivity. It is important to keep the legs balanced and indeed intact! Doing so requires a bit of investment. In thermodynamic terms we need to put some energy into the system to keep the entropy from growing. That energy is an investment in maintenance and the payoff comes in the form of steady, predictable revenues with a high margin for profit. Those words should be music to accountants’ ears. Read more “Entropy Part 2 – Economics”
Engineers are familiar with the concept of “entropy” and the laws of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time. It can remain constant in ideal cases where the system is at a steady-state or undergoing a reversible process. So what does that mean for us in the world of asset management and maintenance? Read more “Entropy Part 1 – Fundamentals”
Most of my firm’s clients are in the private sector but occasionally we do some public sector work. We usually notice a number of distinct differences in practices and in what motivates those practices. It would be nice to say that one can learn a lot from the other, but in truth, both can learn a lot from each other.
I thought it might be useful to compare and contrast the two sectors (based on personal observations) and then propose an idea for learning from each other. Read more “Asset Management in Public and Private Sectors”
When it comes to information, entertainment, finding your way around and communications we more or less have it all at our fingertips. It’s also available to us just about anywhere. We can even order and pay for coffee to pick up on our way from the commuter train to the office – no line ups for delays. We can book houses, rooms, hotels, airlines, vacations and rental cars at the touch of our fingers with apps that show us the cheapest options. Read more “I want it now and I want it cheap”
Benjamin Franklin’s axiom, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, has been used most commonly when referring to health care. It is also highly appropriate in reliability and maintenance circles.
Of course, we complicate it in business by wanting to know what the prevention will cost and what we save by avoiding the cost of the cure. Read more “Show me the money!”
The “no brainer” opportunity
Let’s say that you run your own business. You have an opportunity to invest some money and get a payback that is more than your total investment within the first year (payback is more than 100% in the first year). Moreover, that payback will continue for many years. Would you invest? Read more “Why do you let your budgets hold you back?”
If you can’t sell all you can produce, then reducing costs is often the only way to improve margins, but that simplistic accounting perspective is not always the case. Cost control is often thought to be key to attaining profitability but it the case of maintenance it can get you into trouble. Cost control can have a big opportunity cost if you don’t take advantage of the opportunities you have. Consider that what you might really want is greater value – more for less, no just less. Read more “Trick question: Do you want value or low costs?”
Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is without doubt the most effective method to determine your failure management policies, yet it is sometimes seen as an expensive and time consuming endeavor used to produce what some (mistakenly) believe they can get from manufacturer recommendations and other sources. The naysayers see it as a “gold plated” approach to a relatively simple challenge – produce a decent maintenance program. Read more “Do you need Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)?”
Reliability Centered Maintenance – Re-engineered (RCM-R®)…
… is the world’s leading method for identifying maintenance and other activities required to sustain reliable performance of physical assets. Previously I discussed the various maintenance approaches you can use. This method (RCM-R®) is a structured approach to making those choices. If you want a proactive maintenance program that really works, then Reliability Centered Maintenance is the most thorough approach you can take to get there. Read more “Do you want a PM program that really works”
Organizations and Culture
Some organizations are poor or marginal performers, some high, and some truly great. Jim Collins, in “Good to Great” (2001) describes the differences among the latter two. Much of the difference boils down to people and the culture that is fostered within the organization. They foster learning in all forms, including learning from mistakes. They are typically “humble” and accept helpful input from outside, admitting when and where they need to improve. Read more “Corporate counter-dependency”