Focus on Reliability

Focus on Reliability | Reactive Maintenance | The Human Cost

In the industrial world, the corporate and site leadership is focused on creating shareholder value and profit. They accomplish this by managing people, the human capital within the organization. These concepts are by-products of the MBA curriculum  taught at many business schools. But are we missing something?

In my travels, I have been to a number of sites recently where most were very reactive in their Maintenance and Operations practices. Clearly, the shareholder value and profit were not being realized. But it went deeper than that. There were the human factors, the human costs if you will.


I constantly witness operators and technicians who jump in when assets fail to return them to service as quickly as possible. Sometimes, this can take days or even weeks of 12 to 16 hour or more days. I wish I could say it was a rare occurrence. For many, it's not. As soon as they repair an item and return it to service, within a week or two; another failure requires they pull the overtime again. Sure, some can argue the overtime hounds crave the rush. Yes, there is a sense of satisfaction when the asset is restored. But at what costs to the families or significant others?

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Unfortunately, reactivity breeds reactivity. It's a vicious cycle. Children grow up missing one or sometimes, both parents attending flag football or baseball games. Dance recitals get missed too. The whole family loses. Before those parents realize it, the children are grown. Company ownership may change over the years but often the reactive cycle stays the same or gets worse. Before those same parents know it, the grandson or granddaughter is 14 years old. Those games and recitals got missed too. Sometimes, families split up since one spouse manages the family with an absent partner. Ever consider the divorce rate in reactive environments? Temporary problems that have lasting effects.

As reliability drives safety, sometimes the consequences are far more serious. Way too often, the spouse or significant other never comes home again or is disabled for life.It may surprise you to know that maintenance jobs are six times more fatal than that of a firefighter.

It doesn't have to be this way. Together, we can change the statistics. The journey to reliability is not overnight nor is it easy but it is doable. So many have succeeded before today. Many are on the journey as we speak. Others have yet to start.  

For those yet to start, what is the issue? Lack of management support? Self-doubt on your part?  If the later, I'm reminded of a video that was recently shared with me.  It was of Steve Harvey during the set change on the TV game show, Family Feud.  I shared the link below for your enjoyment. Simply click on the picture or click here.  On starting the journey or becoming educated to start the journey, you have to JUMP!

Together, we can make a difference.  The journey of a thousnd miles begins with a single step. 

Be brilliant,





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Topics: Maintenance Management