By James Reyes-Picknell
In our isolated world of maintenance and asset management, we often struggle to make a solid case for improvements we know will be of value to our organizations. Our managers and executives often don’t “get it,” and our best arguments just don’t hit the mark. Communicating what we know to be true is our responsibility; we cannot expect our audience to understand our knowledge domain as we do. We need to send clear, unambiguous messages that will be understood by the listener.
This presentation will focus on ways to communicate the value that arises with good maintenance, and operational and asset management practices, throughout the lifecycle of physical assets. “Value” is often misinterpreted to mean “low cost,” especially in the accounting community. To them, value comes from minimizing any and all costs. Operations managers often interpret “value” as the ability to deliver more and avoid any downtime on any machine involved in production. To them, denying downtime for maintenance is a good thing to do. Maintainers tend to interpret value to mean fewer failures. Yet the avoidance of all failures may actually expend needless resources where there’s no need.
Engineers often think of value deriving from the delivery of projects on time and on budget—even better if delivered earlier or at lower-than-estimated costs. Spending less upfront, however, can lead to high operating and maintenance costs for years to come. To an extent, they’re all correct, but they’re all missing the true meaning. We’ll speak to value, what it is, how our organizations can ensure it’s delivered, and how we can make a case to our managers and executives so they’ll understand. This presentation is based on Paying Your Way (2020).