MRO Magazine

Consult, plan and schedule: Partners in Training, Burlington 2014

“Consultants are the bane in life in some instances but they are saviours in others,” said Carlo Odoardi, at Partners in Training in Burlington on October 7.


October 10, 2014
By PEM Magazine

Given that Odoardi is a consultant, most maintenance professionals would consider that an odd thing to say. But the business reliability professional, who represented Conscious Asset Management at the educational event, was illustrating that plants don’t always need a consultant to help develop asset management and maintenance regimes.

When it comes to hiring consultants, plants should be aware that there is a continuum in maintenance and asset management consultation that runs between being prescriptive and facilitative, said Odoardi, adding that it helps to know what your plant’s needs.

Odardi’s presentation, “Starting your Improvement Initiative with a Positive Approach,” included a breakout session in which attendees worked through a case study to solve maintenance and reliability issues. The exercise demonstrated a facilitative approach to maintenance consultation.

Odoardi’s presentation was one of seven presentations built around the theme of Asset Management and Reliability. The one-day event offered solution-based presentations designed for maintenance and reliability professionals.


Presentations covered topics such as preventative maintenance through laser technology for misaligned rotating equipment, airborne-  or structure-born ultrasound, asset efficiency optimization, electrical preventative maintenance, maintenance management of cost-intensive machinery and equipment, and planning and scheduling.

Doc Palmer, who is the author of the bestselling Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook (McGraw-Hill Professional, 2012), delivered the final presentation of the day.

“The purpose of planning is not to create a perfect job plan, and the purpose of scheduling is not to pull of the perfect schedule,” said Palmer, adding that these were common misperceptions. Instead, the purpose of planning and scheduling ought to be about getting more work done. While Palmer’s presentation on planning and scheduling used real-world examples of success, his methodology hinges on the idea of continuous improvement, which was first advocated by W. Edwards Deming in the 1950s through a continuous feedback loop (Plan, Do, Check, Act).

Partners in Training is organized by PEM and REM magazines. The Burlington event was sponsored by SKF, UE Systems, Fixturelaser Canada, Toromont CAT, and SEW Eurodrive.

For more information on Partners in Training, visit