Assess Your R&M Status
Klaus M. Blache | August 1, 2023
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