Five Steps to Ensure Reliability in Your Facility
Reliable equipment, personnel and practices are critical to the success of a business, and the plant setting is certainly no exception. Reliability in your plant should be a top priority. While establishing reliability both in practices and machinery requires a bit of front-loaded work in the form of a well-designed plan, the effort will quickly pay off and provide a number of benefits to your company.
Reliable equipment, personnel and practices are critical to the success of a business, and the plant setting is certainly no exception. Reliability in your plant should be a top priority. While establishing reliability both in practices and machinery requires a bit of front-loaded work in the form of a well-designed plan, the effort will quickly pay off and provide a number of benefits to your company. In this post, we will explore some of the key steps facilities should take to ensure reliability efforts start on the right foot and provide a solid foundation for success.
1. Involve Your Team
As with most initiatives, a successful plan for reliability requires buy-in from all of the key stakeholders. In fact, the team assembled to lead the improvement effort is the most important part of the process. Below are some key considerations when forming your team:
- Success - Leadership needs to be "in the know" with a seat at the table.
- Involve the people who ensure reliability each day - This includes operations, engineering and maintenance staff and management.
- Bigger is better - A large team means a greater amount of organizational buy-in. Nothing is worse than investing time and developing what you feel is a great process, only to go back to square one or make significant changes after individuals or departments within the organization express concerns. A large team and multiple, varied perspectives help to prevent such delays and setbacks. However, a large team also typically equates to a lengthier process, so plan accordingly.
- Choose the right leader - Every team needs a leader or facilitator. In order to raise the profile of reliability within the organization and help spread awareness, the leader you choose must have a plan and concept for the process. While it may seem obvious, it is also important that he or she is well-respected within the company and has good rapport with colleagues. After all, you’ll be asking your employees to trust and follow this individual into a new endeavor.
2. Start with a Mission
All good initiatives begin with both a mission and vision statement. The vision statement describes the ultimate goal and what your organization wishes to achieve. The mission statement outlines how the plant will reach this goal. Both should be clear, yet simple. Remember, this will serve as the guide for your team and process, so long, convoluted statements will only confuse team members and dilute the process.
3. Create a Checklist
A checklist of best practices is a simple and impactful tool. The list should be developed with the goal of improving equipment reliability in order to reduce costs. Consider categorizing the best practices in a logical, yet simple format. For example, work processes may be grouped under categories such as “implementation” and “follow-up.”
4. Prioritize Actions
Once the checklist is developed, you’re ready to prioritize the actions you’ve put in it and create a plan. To determine priority, compare your plant’s current operations and performance against the best practices defined in the checklist.
5. Create and Implement Your Plan
With your priorities established and a baseline for comparison to best practices, it is time to create a detailed plan for implementing each action. The implementation of the plan should not only focus on executing the improvement process, it should also be forward-looking in establishing the scoring criteria and system to evaluate the success of the initiative. Again, the system used to gauge success should be based on the checklist of best practices, which provide effective benchmarks.
6. Time to take the reins
Equipped with these five practical strategies, you’re ready to tackle reliability in your plant. Assemble your team, examine your current processes, create a list of best practices and develop a plan. A few simple steps with the potential to improve both efficiency and your bottom line.
For more industry news and insights, be sure to visit our website at www.pfmainc.com.