Did you hire a roustabout to care for your sheep?

In the maintenance and reliability (M&R) companies hire managers or superintendents to care for and safeguard their valuable physical assets. Are your people Roustabouts or Shepherds?  Is their focus on fixing fences and calling the vet to treat diseases or injuries as they occur? Or do they plan ahead, rotating pastures for optimal grass growth and grazing, exploring new feed options and proactive health protocols that ensure the herd’s optimum health and longevity?

And how does sheep farming relate to the sort of M&R Manager your business needs?

What does the condition and function of your physical assets reflect?

Yes, maintainers fix things that break. But effective maintainers primarily focus on proactive work that prevents breakdowns. How much of your maintainers’ time (and your money) is spent on the following proactive work?
· preventing failures
· predicting the occurrence of failures that can’t be prevented
· detecting failures in protective devices (e.g.: alarms)
· proactively repairing problems at times when they minimize the consequences of downtime.

Proactive work should take up 70% of your Maintainers’ effort. The other 30% is required to repair failed equipment at times when taking that equipment offline has minimal business impact.

All systems fail; they are completely natural in any system. Failures won’t go away, but they can be contained. This is best achieved by minimizing their consequences, not by fixing them after the fact. The failures themselves are not what harm the business, it’s the consequences that arise as a result.

Excessive maintenance costs, frequent failures, excessive downtime and inability to produce at capacity
are symptoms of Reactive Maintenance Practices.

Like livestock, the condition and behavior of equipment and systems reflects how they are treated. Our approach to their treatment is driven by the attitudes and beliefs of those maintaining the equipment.

Fresh thinking is required to overcome the systemic barriers to correcting problems. Managers are seldom able to solve multi-functional problems on their own, and may not realize that the problem impacting their area of focus extends into other functional areas.

As an executive you can accept the situation and:

  1. Resign yourself to the performance you are getting
  2. Delegate, and expect your managers to solve problems with their existing skills and knowledge
  3. Apply solutions that go beyond their abilities and knowledge.

If you aren’t happy with 1. and have your doubts about 2, then click here.