No, you cannot borrow my truck

Joe's Dope Sheet #1

Before I go headfirst into my first blog post, I wanted to stop and give a little credit to the images that I plan on using to illustrate how good maintenance practices never go out of style. In 1951, the US Army began publishing PS Magazine. The idea was to publish a magazine about Preventive Maintenance that soldiers would actually want to read. They found an artist named Will Eisner and his company began creating artwork for the magazine. Eisner believed that comics had teaching potential and convinced many talented artists to help him. Each month contained an item called “Joe’s Dope Sheet” and each month followed the same story: a soldier who ignores preventive maintenance learns of its importance in the end.

This being the first post in my new blog, it’s somewhat appropriate that the topic addressed in the very first issue of PS Magazine was something as basic as treating your equipment with care. The image says it all from the long trail of boxes that fell out of Joe’s truck when he hit every bump, to the utter destruction of his truck at the bottom of the mountain. Basic care of the assets that are in our control is one of the easiest ways to assure that they are useful and productive for as long as possible.

Here are a couple of ways that I feel maintenance and reliability professionals can help create a culture of basic asset care and avoid instances of equipment being treated like Joe’s truck.

  • Create a feeling of ownership. Those that are responsible for the care of your company assets (craftworkers, engineers, managers, etc.) need to feel as if the equipment is their own. One way of creating this culture is to get everyone involved in decisions about new initiatives or changes to the maintenance plan.
  • Ask for advice from the workers that operate and maintain the equipment on a daily basis. Let them know that they are the experts on the machines and that others value their opinions.
  • Consider assigning specific equipment tasks to the same individuals all of the time. The level of familiarity that comes with being around one or two assets could create a feeling of ownership.

Does anyone have any other ideas for creating a culture of basic asset care? Does anyone agree or disagree with the examples that I gave above? I’d love to hear some feedback. Thanks.


14 Responses

  1. cliff williams

    The challenge of ownership and assigning pieces of equipment to owners is the differing level that this can lead to. You constantly have to showcase the ‘good’ or the ‘bad’ just wallow in the mire. This requires a fairly mature culture and should be done with careful consideration.

    05/30/2012 at 08:08

    • bbarto

      Thanks, Cliff. I appreciate the comment. You make a good point about being careful with assigning equipment. My experience is with a maintenance group that constantly rotates the workers to give them “experience”. I know that this leads to apathy concerning the equipment they are responsible for. They tend to feel that they’ll be somewhere else by the time things start going bad due to their lack of attention. Thanks again for visiting.

      05/30/2012 at 09:21

  2. Bill,
    Welcome to the blogosphere!
    You have a great start here and I look forward to reading your blog on a regular basis.
    I like to talk about the fun in maintenance and how to share it with others and it looks like I will be adding your blog to the things I share.
    Shon Isenhour

    05/30/2012 at 08:26

    • bbarto

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. I also like to think of the fun aspects of what we get to do on a daily basis. There’s certainly no shame in loving your job. Thanks for visiting and I’ll try to keep it entertaining.

      05/30/2012 at 09:24

  3. I think I am going to enjoy this blog! Definitely enjoyed the start. Any issue if I share it?

    05/30/2012 at 10:51

    • bbarto

      Thanks for the comment, Howard. I hope to keep it entertaining and informative. By all means feel free to share this with whomever you want. I appreciate the publicity.

      05/30/2012 at 11:43

      • Larry Hoing

        Great start to your blog adventure. I believe you hit the nail on the head with the involvement with people in supervision and management actually performing a task on the line to gain some ownership in the equipment. I think this does two things. It helps the management level learn about the equipment, gain ownership and connect with the plant floor. Secondly i believe it helps the line level people understand the importance of asset basic care. Heck management is helping out it must be important.
        Looking forward to the next blog.

        05/30/2012 at 12:41

        • bbarto

          Thanks Larry. I like your emphasis on getting out there and seeing how things are working. That’s a great point. Feeling ownership is not something just for the workers; it’s for everyone from the floor to the boardroom. Thanks again.

          05/30/2012 at 14:18

  4. Bill,

    Glad to see you putting your ideas out into the world in this format.

    I am also glad to join this group of “usual suspects” commenting here:

    What about leadership creating a culture and an environment that supports asset care, reliability, performance etc…?

    Think of it like a garden: the soil must be prepared, cultivated and fed to produce a harvest. The farmer makes that happen, not the plants.

    Otherwise we are simply scavengers – collecting whatever bits of food we can find in nature.

    Does your company have a Farmer or a Scavenger culture?

    05/30/2012 at 13:39

    • bbarto

      Great analogy, Terry. Like Larry’s comment, you point out the importance of leadership involvement. That really seems to be at the root of many solutions; getting involvement or being involved yourself.

      05/30/2012 at 14:29

  5. Bill,
    what a terrific way to share your knowledge and I find the use of nostalgic imagery refreshing and even patriotic. I will help in any way I can to share it. Terry and the others had great ideas for subject matter and something tells me you have a lot more to share. Keep ’em comin’!

    06/04/2012 at 13:17

    • bbarto

      Thanks Amy. I appreciate the comment. Thanks for sharing with your connections also.

      06/04/2012 at 18:43

  6. Bob Call

    Great stuff, Bill. Sign me up!! I look forward to following your blog. Well done!

    06/04/2012 at 13:56

    • bbarto

      Thanks, Bob. I’m looking forward to seeing you come back.

      06/04/2012 at 18:44

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