MRO Magazine

Maintenance and Reliability in a Changed World Virtual Summit

MRO Magazine recently held its first-ever Maintenance and Reliability in a Changed World Virtual Summit, which allowed maintenance, reliability, and operations professionals to learn techniques to optimize their day-to-day maintenance activities.

August 20, 2020 | By Mario Cywinski

The summit brought together professionals from across the MRO world, and attendees were very engaged throughout. Industry experts and sponsor representatives gave a series of presentations and discussions that left attendees with a plethora of information to digest.

Suzane Greeman from Greeman Asset Management Solutions Inc. led a session on Executive Leadership in Asset Management: What The C-Suite Needs to Know. She summarized her presentations as follows.

“Many asset-dependent firms have assets that are important to national life, such as powerplants, water treatment plants, airports, railways, sea ports and manufacturers. Many of these are at significant risks. They have been weakened internally by aging assets, inappropriate business systems, and human factors. They have also been threatened externally by global socio-economic and geo-political factors.


“Top management is ultimately responsible to the stakeholders for value creation, and therefore need to protect the organization from value erosion. This level of management is also the only level vested with the authority to build the culture, sustain it, enact policy, and make structural changes. This means that senior leadership have a special responsibility to build internal resilience to protect the organization from external threats.

“Senior management also has specific responsibilities as it relates to the asset management system. They need to: provide clarity around the strategic direction of the organization; establish the asset management office, the related governance and provide specific approvals; champion asset management philosophies; create cohesion, disruption and collaboration at the middle management level; align financial and non-financial Information; create financial literacy; manage competences; continually evaluate roles and responsibilities; promote the integration of asset management processes into the organization’s other business processes; educate themselves in asset management; and don’t circumvent the organization’s asset management processes. Asset management requires top management oversight, participation and active support. Asset management is a top management job.”

James Reyes-Picknell from Conscious Asset led a session on The New Normal for Continual Improvement, which proved very engaging, and included a lively Q&A session. He summarized his presentation as follows.

“The “new normal” remains largely ill-defined, although we continue to learn what is working and what is not working when it comes to handling COVID-19, and its impacts in our daily lives at home and at work. What we do know is that the “old normal” is gone, and that one thing remains constant, change. In the world of MRO, many companies were already struggling with high maintenance costs, and low availability of productive assets leading to less than the best business performance. Few had improvement initiatives underway and even they put those on hold when COVID-19 measures hit.

“With fewer numbers at work, many working in new ways, and little change to old business processes, we can expect less efficiency from those processes. There was simply no time to consider re-engineering before sending people home. We are coping, some better than others, and we know that what we are doing now is not going to be sustainable. Where MRO performance was low, it is still low and likely even suffering more. Funding for maintenance and parts has been cut by some 28 per cent of companies and another 41 per cent have suspended capital work and new acquisitions.

“We know that reduced maintenance now will come back to haunt us. Reduced parts spending is hurting now and will only get worse. The need to improve efficiency and effectiveness of our maintenance and reliability programs has not changed, and may be even more critical now. Leadership is not even looking at it, 42 per cent of those attending the summit responded that lack of leadership foresight is a barrier to improvements as their companies emerge from COVID-19. Another 38 per cent are somewhat distracted by current measures. That’s a whopping 80 per cent who have taken their eyes of the ball. That is a leading indicator that our industrial recovery from COVID-19 is likely to be marked with setbacks in performance and competitiveness, unless we make some course corrections, and make them soon.”

Finally, an open discussion featuring speakers and sponsor representatives; including: Chris Beaton, eMotors Direct; Kayvan Alavi, SEW-EURODRIVE Canada; Roger Seucharan, Henkel Canada Corporation; Luis Torres, Sullair; Suzane Greeman; and James Reyes-Picknell, took place. The session saw all participants partake in a lively debate on a variety of MRO related topics, aided by a variety of questions from attendees.

Those who missed the live presentation, can now view the sessions on-demand. The session are available here:


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