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Q&A with 2 Industry Leaders that won the Best Presenter Award at the 28th International Maintena

part2Perhaps we could start with your career background. What are some of your past accomplishments and some information about your current role?

Originally, I was hired at Barber Foods/AdvancePierre Foods as a maintenance technician on the first shift. I was responsible for maintaining various types of food processing equipment and conveyors, and also fabricated any needed components. I was voted Employee of the Month in the first year of employment. I then participated in the total productive maintenance (TPM) and 5S summit. The training there resonated with all the plants and the managers. This led me to writing our single point lessons. So I got kidded for creating my own job. We were able to take downtime from 30 to 60 minutes per day due to poor setups to zero. I have now become the plant trainer and the 5S/TPM coordinator, running these events for the company. I am now behind the desk, but I still get to help the mechanics.

In reviewing your presentation: “How to Develop and Write a Repeatable Maintenance Procedure” at IMC-2013, why did you choose this topic? What value do you think it provided to the audience?

I value the common sense basics and try to convey this to the audience so they can take it back to their plants. Some maintenance technicians have much accumulated knowledge, but we take it for granted and don’t document it. When I go to other plants, I find they just don't know how to do the basics. I walk them through some equipment basics and work with them to develop single point lessons. Then, we take a series of single point lessons and combine them into procedures that improve the machines. For example, focusing on just the basics, we took one machine operating at 35 strokes per minute and increased it to 80 strokes per minute. This was done just by adjusting the setups in manufacturing. Just by applying common sense principles.

What qualities do you think it takes to be a good presenter?

You have to give attendees something they can use. The information can't be too specific or for a certain group. It has to be applied generally and have wide acceptance and application. Also, you have to speak to your audience as an equal. They need to relate to you. I read all comments, both pro and con. For example, some comments on my evaluations said my presentation was just common sense. I agree, but many people don’t understand common sense is very uncommon, so having them take a few minutes during the presentation to think about a common sense approach may help them. Also, I watch the audience to make sure my message is coming across clearly.

Those are good tips for any presenter. So finally, do you have any ideas for future presentations, either for yourself or something you would like someone else to address at the next IMC?

Documentation. We have many people enrolling in vocational schools, but they need to understand the real world outside of school. They may understand machines they’ve worked on in school, but not machines currently in use in plants. We will need to provide them good documentation for older, existing machines and know the optimum settings for the output. This is helpful for new people and it will keep the equipment running better. Much of the equipment has poorly written procedures and documentation; it must be better.

Any final advice that you would like to give our Uptime readers?

Yes, if I could give them any advice, it would be to go to the IMC conference and learn. You are never too old to learn. I am 60 and still learning.

part2Perhaps we could start with your career background. What are some of your past accomplishments and some information about your current role?

My background is mechanical, but I moved through a variety of positions within the maintenance organization at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) and eventually became a maintenance planner. My roles continued to grow to include regional and now global responsibilities. Aside from my duties at BMS, I have just completed my master’s degree in reliability engineering management from Monash University. I also teach for the University of Wisconsin’s maintenance management certificate program.

In reviewing your presentation: “Setting Your Organization Up for Success” at IMC-2013, why did you choose this topic? What value do you think it provided to the audience?

I partnered with Frank Wrath of the University of Wisconsin to put this together with an emphasis on the most common question I get from any class: “Where do I start?” This presentation was designed to give people an idea of where to start, regardless of where they are. Also, I wanted to show how to fill the gaps, regardless of available budget. You do not need money to attain skills in today’s world filled with free webinars and vendors who are willing to come on-site for “lunch and learns.”

What qualities do you think it takes to be a good presenter?

You need to be honest. Make sure you tell them the good and the bad that happened. Finally, no one is interested in what “you” did. People are interested in what you learned and how they can apply it. Give them that and you will do just fine.

Those are good tips for any presenter. So finally, do you have any ideas for future presentations, either for yourself or something you would like someone else to address at the next IMC?

Many folks have difficulty convincing their management team of the value a maintenance reliability organization can bring in terms of bottom line results. How to influence that level is something we as leaders need to bring to the conference. Not just, “you need a business case,” but how do you get the paradigm shift. There should be solid examples we as leaders need to pass down to the next set of leaders. It needs to be something tangible they can take back and put to use.

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