Letter to the editor

RE your editorial [December 2002] concerning critical "Tactical and Strategic" issues for the plant maintenance profession. The most pivotal of tactical issues include the current market value of plant maintenance's certification programs. They do not incorporate enough of today's business disciplines, nor do they include many of tomorrow's branches of learning to be of unequivocal value.


RE your editorial [December 2002] concerning critical "Tactical and Strategic" issues for the plant maintenance profession. The most pivotal of tactical issues include the current market value of plant maintenance's certification programs. They do not incorporate enough of today's business disciplines, nor do they include many of tomorrow's branches of learning to be of unequivocal value. No one can seriously make a statement comparing plant maintenance professional certificates with the likes of the CPA for accounting, the CPIM for production, and the CPM for purchasing, and yet that is exactly what we should be able to do. If those certificates are of value, who in the corporate world even knows of their existence? Satisfying tactical requirements means delivering the substance, significance, and the value of the body of knowledge behind professional maintenance certificates, licensing, and certificate programming. Do that, and you attain unequivocal value for the profession!

Satisfying strategic requirements means going out into the marketplace and "Shaking many shoulders." It means letting corporate executives know that during this millennium's first two decades, declining equipment reliability — the ability to deliver goods on time — will replace declining quality as the leading cause of customer loss! Educating corporate executives is defining what they throw away by not having smart, certified people on board, doing smart things to make their company the most geometrically competitive one. From where do these smart, certified maintenance people appear? They're not coming from maintenance certificate factories, whose graduates couldn't last on the production & process floor. That is the tactical failure. The strategic failure: the absence of corporate operating executive coaching, decades late, to make corporate people recognize that plant maintenance management involves managing plant equipment capacity on the plant floor.

That it was a totally professional discipline, allowing smart, certified people with the body of knowledge required to do competitive things — kind of what the CPAs, CPIMs, and the CPMs do.

Yet many in the profession were too fixed to an imagined enemies list to enable strategic corporate executive contact. Real plant floor certification was sarcastically referred to as "Maintenance 101." The inescapable result: How often does any corporation include the prerequisite of maintenance certification in a job order for any maintenance professional search? For want of the recognition of, and failure in, creating a demand for smart, certified people, many aspects, ranging from publication advertising to suppliers' order volume to professionals' job collateral has surely suffered. What's next . . . . . . . ?

— Mark R. Goldstein, Ph. D., Manufacturing and Maintenance InfoSource

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