Consulting

Blog articles categorized as consulting are related to activities an organization can undertake to improve performance in any of our subject domains.

Pay $3k to keep out of trouble, or more to get out of jail

Pay $3k now to keep out of trouble or more to get out of jail later. Your plant asset performance is down and you know it. It’s only a matter of time before there is an accident. You need to improve but funds are limited. 

The expert consultants will want to begin with some sort of an assessment. They will identify problems and offer solutions, for a price (likely $50k or more). You can’t afford it. Some consultants might even be former employees. Ask yourself, “if they worked here before, then why didn’t she/he fix what was wrong when they were here?” Consider getting a different consultant but you will still struggle with a big inconvenient truth! (more…)

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Asset Prioritization and Criticality

Asset Prioritization and criticality are used to provide a structured approach to determining the relative organizational risks and failure consequences associated with assets.  This provides a means for the organization to focus on critical risks to the business.

Do you understand where your asset risks are, and their potential consequence?

Risks are categorized by the nature of the risk that the organization needs to manage.  Risk categories can include: (more…)

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Uptime Insights – 10 – Process optimization

Business processes are often talked about, yet not well understood. The big problem with them is that too few people know what the whole process actually should be. Whenever you are following a set of steps to achieve some goal you are following a process. Sometimes various people follow different steps to achieve the same goal. You rely on processes in order to deliver results.  If they are ill-conceived or inefficient, then things move slowly and results are more expensive to obtain than they need to be. Well designed, efficient, and consistent processes that integrate with other related business processes keep things running smoothly, costs down, and help to keep people motivated.

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Uptime Insights – 5- Materials Management for Maintenance

Materials management for maintenance purposes is often a big mess. When I visit operations (doesn’t matter what industry) I often hear complaints from maintainers that they cannot get the parts they need, when they need them. Sometimes, their supply chain (warehouse, inventory, and purchasing management) are indeed a mess, but more often than not maintenance planning is also a mess, and there is usually (almost always) a lack of integration between planning and supply chain.

Without parts and timely provision of materials to meet maintenance schedules, many jobs can’t be done and certainly not on time, when needed. (more…)

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Uptime Insights – 4 – Basic Care

Like the human body, our plant and mobile equipment will break down if it’s not looked after. If we exercise and push ourselves harder, we gain strength. Unlike our biological bodies that can self-repair, our physical plants and mobile equipment do NOT strengthen if we overload them.  Yes, they will tolerate some abuse but not for long. Machinery, unlike biological organisms, can not recover from damage on its own. It needs a bit of basic care. (more…)

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Uptime Insights – 1 – Improvement Strategy

Reliable operations are far less expensive to maintain and operate and they produce more consistently. Yet most industrial operations are far from achieving high reliability. Getting there will require effort and that effort goes well beyond the maintenance department alone. They will need to change from reactive, break it then fix it thinking and un-informed cost-cutting measures that undermine reliability. They will need leadership, not management. (more…)

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Asset Management in Public and Private Sectors

Asset Management in Public and Private Sectors have some similarities and some contrasts. Most of our clients are in the private sector but occasionally we do some public sector work so we see both sides. Often, we notice distinct differences in practices and in what motivates those practices. Both have strengths and weaknesses. Both can learn a lot from each other.

Here is a useful table comparing and contrasting the two sectors. After it, you’ll find an idea for learning from each other. (more…)

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Why do you let your budgets hold you back?

The “no brainer” opportunity

Let’s say that you run your own business. You have an opportunity to invest some money and get a payback that is more than your total investment within the first year (payback is more than 100% in the first year). Moreover, that payback will continue for many years. Would you invest? (more…)Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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Increase Productivity and Competitiveness

Contributed by: David A DeCastro (Salvador, Brazil).

In traveling the world in search of excellence in MRO Materials Management (indirect materials / spare parts), I noticed two curious facts. First, even in developed countries, both the industrial companies and providers of ERPs (enterprise management systems) are often technologically quite backwards outside the realm of their product specialization. Secondly, those typically smaller companies or subject matter experts who have developed differentiated technology, tend to keep it as a safe and guarded trade secret, failing to commercialize their brilliance. (more…)Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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Trick question: Do you want value or low costs?

If you can’t sell all you can produce, then reducing costs is often the only way to improve margins, but that simplistic accounting perspective is not always the case. Cost control is often thought to be key to attaining profitability but it the case of maintenance it can get you into trouble. Cost control can have a big opportunity cost if you don’t take advantage of the opportunities you have. Consider that what you might really want is greater value – more for less, no just less. (more…)Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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