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Assess Your R&M Status

Klaus M. Blache | August 1, 2023

A Reliability & Maintenance assessment can be accomplished in three days and will result in a roadmap that will guide your operation to improved performance.

Many companies have a percentage year-to-year improvement goal, based on historical results and current needs.

The weakness of this approach is that “you don’t know what you don’t know.” You may have an 8% improvement goal, but in reality (based on competitive best practices), you need a 50% improvement. In addition, your current business model/practices may be limiting your ability to make the necessary adjustments.

I’ve been involved in hundreds of Reliability & Maintenance (R&M) assessments and audits. They typically result in a score that indicates a level of compliance perfection and improvement recommendations. The time required to perform one of these assessments is usually too much of a burden on day-to-day operations. Plant leaders who simply want to identify their weaknesses should have an action plan/timed roadmap.

Assessment findings should build on what has already been started/implemented by plant teams. It’s not about pointing out who did what wrong. Assessors need to be tuned into the plant culture as they talk to employees, perform metrics gap analyses, attend/observe meetings, and so on. The process should be highly supportive and done in partnership with the plant teams to attain plant floor and leadership buy-in/ownership of the prioritized needs. When performing an assessment, it’s important to take a systems approach, since it’s all related. 

We use our Competitive Excellence Model:

• Create a culture

• Organizational culture (engaged workforce & leadership)
Reliability plan/roadmap
Goals and metrics
Reliability network
Document control and data integrity

Standardize work processes

Preventive maintenance
Condition-based maintenance
Work management/planning and scheduling/CMMS
Materials management

Optimize and sustain

Life-cycle procurement
• Root-cause analysis (includes all techniques, such as FMEA and Fishbone)
R&M equipment and process design

Reliability & Maintenance Life Cycle Asset Management

Best-practice management (RCM/TPM/Lean)
Continuous improvement.

This can be accomplished, in-plant, in three days. Information review and benchmarking/data compilation, planning for interviews, and other related tasks can all be done in advance. High-level feedback is provided at the end of day three, followed by a detailed report a few weeks later.  

The assessment is simply step three of a longer journey toward instilling best practices. From a big-picture perspective, you need to:

• Acknowledge the need for change.
• Recognize it’s a journey.
Assess your current status.
Understand how it’s all related.
Decide if your current business model enables your needed changes and goals.
Develop roadmap/action plans.
Establish principles/absolutes for process behavior.
Set targets.
Develop a facility full of problem solvers for ongoing improvement.

A good R&M assessment provides understanding of the current status and direction for how to get to the next level of improvement. It results in an involved workforce with prioritized, doable, and relevant action plans. EP



Klaus M. Blache

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