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”
The original edition of Uptime had “process re-engineering” as a 4th level at its pinnacle. It reflected what was then widely regarded as an approach to obtain beneficial change quickly. But, since the 1990’s that approach, was abused and used as a smoke-screen for downsizing or right-sizing as many would prefer to call it. That was never intended by the originators of “Business Process Re-engineering”, but it is what happened. It was lopped off the top of the pyramid in the 2nd edition – process re-design belongs as a result of strategy, not as a panacea for poorly designed and executed process. Processes should be revisited BEFORE implementation of IT / IM and occasionally it should all be reviewed as part of good governance, just like audits. Read more “Uptime: Choosing Excellence”
In the first edition, the second tier of the pyramid was called “control”. Of course the harder we try to control something, the more complex we make things, and the more likely they will go awry. If you have teenage children you can see that very clearly! You want them to learn and mature, but if you try to control how they do it, you will have trouble. Less control, while providing guidelines and advice, and letting them make their choices will work far better. In “Uptime” the emphasis is on successful practice, not control. Read more “Uptime – Essentials: you need these”
This is the base of the pyramid – its foundation, comprising Strategy, People and Teams. It includes a few topics: Strategy and People and Teams.
Older editions of the book spoke to strategy development but lacked advice on how to deploy that strategy once it was created. Project management wasn’t enough. Change management was dealt with in the chapter on People, but even with that, strategy deployment needs more. Hoshin Kanri, a Japanese term for “strategy deployment”, known largely in the lean manufacturing circles is now included. Read more “Leadership – Uptime, 3rd edition”
These are challenging economic times and opportunities abound with many of our customers to add new business value. They are turning to us and asking: “You’ve brought great value to our Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM-R) program through knowledge capture, personnel education, laying the foundation for a ‘living’ maintenance program and so on. However, what additional value can you provide us beyond what you have already done?” One answer: “Focus on writing high-value, asset maintenance tasks. i.e. Tactical PM Program Implementations”. Read more “The Link Between RCM Facilitation and Effective Maintenance”
In traveling the world in search of excellence in MRO Materials Management (indirect materials / spare parts), I noticed two curious facts. First, even in developed countries, both the industrial companies and providers of ERPs (enterprise management systems) are often technologically quite backwards outside the realm of their product specialization. Secondly, those typically smaller companies or subject matter experts who have developed differentiated technology, tend to keep it as a safe and guarded trade secret, failing to commercialize their brilliance. Read more “Increase Productivity and Competitiveness”
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?”
There are two things you must do in a successful maintenance program: be good at doing your work, and only do the right work. Both are needed to deliver asset reliability – the cornerstone of sustainable, safe and quality production levels. In chasing reliability many turn to programs for defining the right work, yet many of those efforts will fail. Why? Poor or ineffective planning. The greatest benefits come from defining the right maintenance program using RCM and then implementing with quality work and on schedule. Read more “Planning for Results”