A Framework for Achieving World Class Maintenance | Part 1 of 5

The MicroMain Blog is pleased to announce our new guest blogger series. We are reaching out to third party industry experts for their take on maintenance management and how it can complement a quality CMMS system. Dale R. Blann, Principal/CEO of Marshall Institute, an asset management consulting and training company, is our first guest blogger. In this blog, the first in his “world class maintenance” series, he covers the three steps to achieving maintenance excellence.

Guest Blogger: Dale R. Blann, Principal/CEO, Marshall Institute Inc.
dblann@marshallinstitute.com | www.marshallinstitute.com | 919-834-3722

Marshall Institute Logo

The benefits associated with improved maintenance management have been identified and documented for years. Studies I’ve seen, and projects I’ve worked on have identified benefits:

✔ Equipment downtime reduction: 20-50%

✔ Reduced materials costs: ~20%

✔ Maintenance productivity improvement: 30-50%

✔ Inventory reduction: 15-20%

Other benefits include reduced spare part obsolescence, reduced maintenance overtime, and improved quality. Balance sheet ratios are improved commensurately, as well, adding value to stockholders and stakeholders.

Clearly, with benefits like these, maintenance can play a major role in increasing production capacity and throughput, and improving overall plant productivity and profitability, not as an “also ran”, but as a primary contributor.

Three Steps to World Class Maintenance

World Class Maintenance is not just a concept; it has measurable attributes, knowable characteristics, and achievable criteria. We know from benchmark studies such as A.T. Kearney and the now-institutionalized NAME (North American Maintenance Excellence) Award derived from it (and others like it) all we need to know about what World Class Maintenance looks like. We don’t have to figure it out by ourselves; we don’t have to “reinvent the wheel.” It’s been done already, by mortals just like you and me. All we need to do is figure out how to get there.

So how do you get there? I like to think of it in terms of three steps:

1. Getting Your Act Together—Maintenance Excellence
Getting the Internal Systems in Place as the Foundation for Improvement. Establish Good Maintenance Management Practices

2. Getting Beyond the Boundaries—Operator Excellence
Sharing the Mission, Creating the Partnership Between Maintenance and Production, Making Maintenance an Integral Part of the Overall Plant Strategy.

3. Fixing the Process, Not Just the Problems—Strategic Excellence
Establishing the “Zero Breakdown Mentality”; Improved Precision Through TPM, RCM/PMO, RCA and Reliability Management.

Nothing, of course, is as simple as one, two, three; it would be naive to think so. But in looking at how maintenance can be improved, integrated into the overall organizational mission, optimizing its contribution (rather than minimizing its cost), these three steps are at least a useful framework for constructing the ‘vision’ of what could/should be and organizing the effort. It is a useful paradigm for making the journey to World Class Maintenance. It is a journey; a journey of three steps! I wouldn’t say it is going to easy, but it’s not complicated. It’s 1-2-3: (1) get your act together, (2) get operators engaged, and (3) keep improving!

Stay tuned. We’ll be discussing each of the steps in turn over the next few blogs—what they mean, how to achieve them, and what the benefits are. We’ll top it all off with some advice on successful organizational change.