Some of the common measures – besides outsourcing – taken when an organization decides they need to improve maintenance performance include moving all maintenance resources to area operations managers. I often get calls from organizations that are contemplating to take this step towards improvements. I always ask why they would do that, what are the perceived benefits?
Operations & Maintenance
In best practices, a closeout review or critique meeting gathers all the information from the last event and uses it to prepare for the next event. It is the ammunition your organization can use to either support the current Shutdown/Turnaround/Outage process as cost and safety effective or to challenge how the process is currently performed. Unfortunately, many organizations either don’t do the review or have the meeting and do not use the information to impact the next shutdown cycle.
If you’re getting comments like these, you’re not alone. For those in the reliability field with a technical background, it can be frustrating. Your response might be, “The numbers in the spreadsheets are clear. Why is it so hard to get support from the executive team?” Although your work is backed by hard science and a solid body of work, the fact is many others in the company may not have a good picture of what maintenance reliability professionals do to contribute to its success.
A first impression is a lasting one. The folks at H&R Screw Machine Products (Reed City, Mich.) understand the impact of this axiom when their parts are delivered to customers. If oil is soaking through the box or parts are dirty, the customers are going to be much more skeptical about what they are paying for. The company produces millions of parts a year and sends a majority of them through its aqueous cleaning system to ensure that the customers like what they see.
Proactive organizations recognize that one of the critical success factors in achieving a best practices reliability program is developing a sound maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) spare parts program. That notion is quickly followed by the realization that there are potentially hundreds of improvement opportunities that typically could be associated with a materials management effort. As such, it becomes overwhelming to determine where to start.
Many companies are beginning to search for and implement sophisticated maintenance and reliability (M&R) tools and technologies in hopes of finding the next best thing to help achieve operational excellence (OE). Terms, such as asset performance management (APM), predictive analytics, machine learning, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the Cloud, connected plant, etc., are making their way into everything M&R. As game changing as these concepts can be, adopting advanced technologies without first addressing the basic fundamentals of M&R is like building the world’s finest home on a crumbling foundation.
So, it’s a manager’s job to keep an organization energized. To keep everyone moving onward and upward out of the ruts. To maintain that sense of urgency. To build a culture where people are concerned when things are just not happening the way they should be, or could be, and they go ahead and systematically do something about it. Energizing an organization is not an easy thing to do and crises, real or fabricated, and a push for immediate fixes are one way to do this.
OMC (Operations Maintenance Coordinator)…now this is a person that really reports up through the operations group…the production group. But they’re that liaison, they work hand in hand with the maintenance folks and they’re the representative for the production side to come in and see… What do we have coming up in maintenance? How do we coordinate that with our operating plan? I’ve seen this where somebody really didn’t have this title of OMC but they did that work but some places have a person that their title, that’s their job, that’s what their going to do.
Organizations that are predominantly reactive typically do not believe it is possible to perform work any other way. Overall, they are frustrated, which in turn impacts morale. Maybe it is a training issue or maybe it is a leadership issue. Either way, it is affecting worker productivity due to the majority of work being unplanned. Unscheduled work also affects job safety. When workers feel rushed, bad things happen. Lastly, those organizations with poor reliability typically waste 10 percent of their revenue.