Webinar Q&A | How Reliability Excellence Can Help You Reduce Costs and Eliminate Waste

By on July 21st, 2016 in Technical & Engineering

Organizations today are under constant pressure to reduce costs and eliminate waste. It’s estimated that U.S. industries needlessly waste in excess of $200 to $500 billion each year because of unreliability due to lost opportunities, poor product quality, scrap, and ineffective maintenance practices.

However, there are practical approaches that companies can take to close gaps in these areas. During this 30-minute webinar, Doug Robey, Vice President, Maintenance Training and Reliability, discussed a proven approach to eliminate excess waste and reduce costs by establishing an effective Maintenance and Reliability strategy.

Unfortunately, many organizations insist they have a clear strategy when, in reality, they have a collection of tactics. This collection of tactics often lacks clear goals, timelines, and doesn’t effectively document activities to the extent that’s required.

If you missed the webinar, a recording is now available along with a downloadable copy of the presentation slides.

Here is a quick look at some of the key takeaways offered.

The following graphic represents key components of an effective strategy:

MaintReliabilityExcellence 6.09.16-300dpi

A strategy is only as good as the key performance indicators (KPIs) it improves. It is a good idea to focus on five or six KPIs to improve, starting with “low-hanging fruit” or quick wins, followed up by long-term goals. Quick wins offer immediate rewards and demonstrate that the strategy works, which helps to gain the approval, confidence, and momentum for the rest of the strategy, targeting long-term goals.

Reliability Excellence KPIs

Q: What percentage of maintenance work should be planned out?

A: The short answer is that everything should be planned. Whether it’s a reactive or predictive task, it should all follow a plan and all work should be proactive. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case but you should have less than 5% of your work that’s planned less than two weeks before it is scheduled to be performed to accommodate emergency work. You ultimately want to have close to 100% of work planned when the right process is in place. That goes even for inspection for operators which is all work that should be in the CMMS, meaning that a work order comes out and is completed so that, if something’s found, you can go back through that work order and see what was included which gives you a complete history of what’s happened.

The moral of the story—the more information you put in the system, the better off you will be down the road.

Q: How can we find an immediate return on investment?

A: If you’re a small manufacturing plant, defect elimination is huge. Examples such as bearings going bad or lots of vibrating – it can be something related to incorrect installation and replacement processes, and finding out what those failures are and turning them around with a training solution.

Q: How important is leadership buy in and sponsorship to a Maintenance & Reliability strategy and throughout the whole process of change?

A: It is incredibly important since leadership will clear the hurdles throughout the whole process. That executive support is essential and it is their job to bring the departments together and sponsor the adoption of each program element and its strategy. Without that, things will fall through the cracks, they will not change, and you’ll find yourself back at square one.

Q: Doug, what are your tips on communicating the vision and strategy effectively?

A: Communicating the strategy to everyone is essential but having a focused team to start the process and ensure success is an excellent place to start. Once that happens, communications can go out internally and eventually lead to larger communications of successes where you’ve tried something and have demonstrated it works through results. This, in turn, provides additional motivation to continue the improvement.

This can be as informal as having a pizza party for your employees or as formal as an internal or even external press release. Demonstrate the success, make sure people are engaged, and show that you are improving down the line and you’ll end up getting more out of your people.

Kayla Ratz

Kayla Ratz is the Collaborative Marketing Manager for GP Strategies and the editor of the GP Strategies Blog.Her focus is on sharing thought leadership and insights across social media networks, and through collaboration efforts to support initiative success and enable knowledge sharing in the Learning Industry.

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