Three priorities for 1999

There's a lot of talk these days about a downturn next year. And that kind of talk always gets us thinking about such things as cutbacks, downsizing, and outsourcing.

12/01/1998


There's a lot of talk these days about a downturn next year. And that kind of talk always gets us thinking about such things as cutbacks, downsizing, and outsourcing.

Fortunately, there is a growing awareness by forward-thinking companies that their physical assets -- their plant and equipment -- are an important strategic advantage, not just a financial drain. But the strategic positioning of plant engineering and maintenance (that is, asset productivity, asset effectiveness, or asset management) is still far from clear in most companies. And the prospect of a downturn always renews evaluation of that positioning. Since your job is directly related to this strategy, you should put a high priority on how you can influence it. Here are three ideas that we think could help you.

- Foster the recognition of a chief plant officer. An individual who is expert in plant engineering and maintenance should be a member of every plant's top management team right along with representatives of finance, human resources, production, product development, sales/marketing, information services, and other essential functions. Top plants today recognize the impact of the plant engineering and maintenance function on their ability to produce and compete.

- Begin benchmarking or increase your current benchmarking efforts. Build an arsenal of measurable performance indicators you can use to show your effectiveness in business and finance terms that other members of management can easily understand and identify with. Learn how top plants use plant engineering and maintenance as strategic advantages and adapt those principles and processes to your plant.

- Develop your knowledge and expertise concerning outsourcing. To one extent or another, outsourcing is a factor in just about every plant's strategic plan these days. You should be part of the discussion and decision making on any outsourcing that affects your responsibilities. And when outsourcing of any of your operations is necessary or desirable, you should be the person to manage that outsourcing.

In the months ahead, we'll be providing information to help you pursue these objectives. In January, we'll discuss maintenance benchmarking and provide an exclusive table of benchmark metrics to help you begin evaluating your own plant's performance. In March, we'll talk about outsourcing. And in every issue, we'll try to be your problem-solving resource.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me