VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Engineering & Energy POSTED ON: 6/13/2010
"The necessary evil" conversation comes from the simple fact that maintenance doesn't contribute directly to the manufacture or delivery of anything. In modern parlance we do not add value to the product. Modern organizations also agree that we are necessary. So the conversation "necessary evil" gets created.
BY JOEL LEVITT, PRESIDENT, SPRINGFIELD RESOURCES MANAGEMENT Joel Levitt has trained over 6,000 maintenance leaders from over 3,000 organizations. Since 1980, he has been the president of “Capacity Assurance” Springfield Resources, a management consulting firm that services Maybe it’s time for a new name for a variety of clients maintenance on a wide range of maintenance issues. THERE ARE ALL KINDS of conver- are significantly harder to change. ance.” We can prove that good sations within organizations just as They include personal concerns maintenance practices actually there are all kinds of conversations about who you can trust or who produce additional manufacturing among people. Most obvious are is incompetent. They also include capacity. The value of this added the out-front or visible conversa- corporate-wide assessments such capacity usually dwarfs the cost of tions on everyone’s lips which are as “Management speaks with a delivering maintenance services. part of the entire structure of the forked tongue.” These behind-the- Like my friend Mark Gold- organization. These may be about scenes conversations have tre- stein told me, “More customers the industry, profit levels, who has mendous impact on the conduct are being lost to businesses like moved up or down: visible conver- of maintenance and how mainte- yours due to equipment reliabil- sations are all the things about the nance personnel are treated. ity problems, than quality issues. company that people say out loud One example of a conversation Today, too many companies are to each other. is, “Maintenance is a necessary losing valued customers because There are also behind-the-scenes evil.” in their rush to service increas- conversations. When someone is ing customer demand, their man- hired on, they hear the visible con- agement overlooked the fact that versation when everyone is hang- Just-In-Time delivery depends on ing out. They hear the more invis- One new viewpoint is full plant throughput, and full plant ible conversations only when they to call maintenance equipment throughput is depen- are really considered one of the dent on companies maintaining “Capacity Assurance.” team. full plant equipment capacity! Too The invisible conversations are many senior company executives just as powerful (sometimes more overlooked their responsibility to so) as the visible ones, but they strengthen their maintenance oper- Let’s deconstruct this. What ations and their continuing invest- impact does such a conversation ment in plant maintenance. The have? Ho
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