Reliable operations are far less expensive to maintain and operate and they produce more consistently. Getting to that state requires change in many companies where reactive, break then fix, maintenance is by far the norm. Making that change requires leadership, not just management. Leadership is all about making change and taking your organization in new directions. Leaders rock the boat, managers keep it stable. In choosing excellence you’ll be choosing a path of constant change and improvement – leadership is essential. Leadership is about strategy, effective execution and your people – without them you accomplish very little. If you want excellence you need leadership. Read more “Uptime Insights – 1 – Improvement Strategy”
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?”
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”
Outsourcing is a form of alternative service delivery where one company hires another to perform some of its functions. It’s fairly common in some fields, such as accounting, manufacturing, human resources, procurement and IT, but not as common when it comes to maintenance and asset management. It has it’s advantages and risks and must be approached carefully.
This article first appeared in PEM magazine, April / May 2014. PEM is now incorporated into MRO Magazine. I’ve updated it with the benefit of another 5 years experience dealing with this very problem.
In my client work I find myself helping many companies who have tried, yet failed to improve their performance in maintenance and reliability. For those that are making their second (or more) attempt there are many reasons for the failures, some technical, may related to company culture and, almost always, things were done on the cheap and rushed. Read more “Silver bullets can backfire!”
In 2014, at an IMEC conference organized by the University of Toronto, Art Rice of Maintenance Technology Magazine said that in many cases “Lean is a form of Anorexia”. He was right then, and he is still right today.
When I heard him, I realized that in many cases where I’ve seen attempts at “lean manufacturing” the lean really means “understaffed”. In those cases some of the lean manufacturing tools have been implemented, often with the help of outside expert help but lean results haven’t occurred. The introduction of “lean” in those companies was yet another attempt to cut costs without any deep thought as to what caused the high costs before introducing “lean”. Read more “Lean or Industrial Anorexia”