This call to action is being driven by reductions in resources, increased desire to maximize capacity utilization, the need to optimize operational performance, and the need to ensure that we are in compliance with company goals, targets and corporate responsibilities. We are being asked to do more with less. Data management is an essential element of the solution to this challenge.
The new general manager at Doe Run’s South-east Missouri Mining and Milling Division determined that inaccurate and incomplete maintenance data was a major contributing factor preventing effective management of maintenance costs. Management then decided to obtain the necessary knowledge and tools which would allow implementation and operation of an effective maintenance management program. The company chose to pilot a program at one of the mines, and depending on its success, the program would be expanded to other areas within the division.
Energy utilities require optimization of asset management as never before. Maintenance personnel bear the burden of sustaining reliability and availability and are personally in the spotlight the instant an interruption or failure occurs. Yet without the right resources and tools at their disposal, one can argue that it is not the staff but the focus on maintenance that is broken. This article addresses some of the challenges faced by utilities today and reasons to recalibrate your maintenance priorities.
Management today is never the same what was yesterday. And India, undoubtedly, has been one place that has witnessed radical changes in Management – be it Man Management, Money or Material Management. And it goes without saying that concept of “Lean” in all fields is the name of the game. Lean Organization, Reduced Vendor base, Shorter Production Cycle, Market Micro-segmentation and Skinned Distribution Points are all globally accepted jargons of the present day cost conscious world.
Besides being the central hub for maintenance, the storeroom also provides functions that are absolutely critical to the maintenance operation. These functions are so important that when the storeroom is operating in a best practices mode, the rest of the maintenance operation can excel – the storeroom is the enabler. Put another way, if the storeroom is run improperly (such as poor inventory accuracy, parts unavailable when needed due to poor replenishment and procurement practices, etc), the rest of the maintenance operation has no chance of achieving high service levels of equipment availability and reliability.
The “Program of the Month” phenomena. I feel that there is somewhat of a misunderstanding of this issue. Mindsets such as these are often attributed to the fact that management are not fully behind the concept, or a coping mechanism for a workforce that has reached a saturation point in terms of the continual changes that they need to endure. While there is, of course, some validity in these arguments the prime reason, the reason that proven programs fail is generally due to the lack of adequate communication.
Virtually everyone has heard of and will express an opinion on outsourcing. There are clear global trends toward outsourcing and most are experiencing the joys in one form or another. In the maintenance world outsourcing extends from specialized services, contract labor and consigned spare parts all the way to a full, shared risk-reward, incentive-based partnership. There are many benefits in favor of outsourcing, but even with these benefits why would an operating company elect to form a maintenance partnership? What factors must be considered? What concerns? Most important – what are the results achieved and lessons learned after a full year of actual operation?
To compete in this adverse environment, companies switched mantras, from “do or die” to “do more with less or die.” Every year, the bar of acceptable performance is raised. Employees are challenged to achieve these objectives with fewer resources. According to the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 1981 and 1996, the total number of workers who lost jobs they held for three or more years because their plant or company closed or moved was nearly 18 million.
You can develop, document, and preach your improvement plans as much as you want, but if those plans do not result in better front line maintenance performance, you have just wasted money and time. Maintenance managers cannot produce expected results without the help of others, especially the frontline. Those organizations that have experimented with autonomous teams lacking front line leadership often fail to deliver sustainable results. If you believe this statement is wrong, I am very interested in hearing back from you.