Experts lay out a case for ROI of maintenance

Maintenance has always been a cost center in manufacturing, but experts at the July 19 Webcast presented by PLANT ENGINEERING and sponsored by UNICCO Service Company made a compelling case that a proper maintenance program can drive profits and a return on investment. “All manufacturers have to get to operational excellence,” said Tim Goshert, worldwide reliability and maintenance m...

08/15/2007


Maintenance has always been a cost center in manufacturing, but experts at the July 19 Webcast presented by PLANT ENGINEERING and sponsored by UNICCO Service Company made a compelling case that a proper maintenance program can drive profits and a return on investment.

“All manufacturers have to get to operational excellence,” said Tim Goshert, worldwide reliability and maintenance manager for Cargill Inc., one of the presenters of the Webcast. “Customers are getting more demanding. The assets that make our products must be very reliable.”

Even so, Goshert noted, most manufacturers fail to embrace preventive maintenance in any form. “Maintenance as a culture is highly reactive,” Goshert said.

The result, said Don Reed, director of operations for UNICCO, is a cycle of short-term savings followed by sharp increases in costs. “We’re talking about a culture change,” Reed told the Webcast audience. “You’ve got to create a vision for maintenance. Your company’s leadership has to share the vision, and you have to get the buy-in of everyone involved.”

One of the first things needed is a Gap Analysis of the current maintenance operations. The other is to involve not just senior management, but line maintenance workers as well. “When they buy into the process,” Reed said, “the maintenance staff becomes energized.”

Viewing maintenance costs as something that can be managed and reduced changes the way it is perceived. “If it is indeed a cost center, then it can be categorized differently as a profit center,” he said.

The Webcast is available for review at here .





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