Pro Tip: Inspect and validate every important maintenance task to confirm it has been executed correctly the first time and ensure the department’s success for years to come.

I’ve been involved in maintenance for more than 40 years. As one can imagine, I’ve developed a core set of beliefs and principles for how I place importance upon certain practices. Don’t get me wrong. There are many elements to old-fashioned maintenance and lots of great new ideas for the future (which, by the way, is the topic for a presentation I’ll be making at this year’s IBIEducate), but they all rely on things two critical factors.

So let me save you 40 years and a fair bit of blood, sweat and tears.

All tasks, work, programs and projects you expect others to complete will only be as good as the effectiveness of the person doing the work. You can spend all the money in the world on fancy programs, tablets, slogans and posters, but the results will not deliver to the bottom line unless the work is executed properly. It’s that straightforward.

Waste and unplanned downtime directly correlate to the effectiveness of your department. Think of it this way: if every preventive maintenance task, inspection or corrective maintenance routine was performed perfectly and as you expect, then wouldn’t your job be much easier and staff meetings more palatable? It doesn’t always work that way, does it? So, what’s to be done?

This leads me to my second point, and it hits squarely on the only way you’ll ever get the most effectiveness, and that is by following up. Verify — everything!

If you expect it, then inspect it. The more you do it, the faster you’ll see the results. If I had to credit any one particular trait that has been key to the success I’ve enjoyed both personally and professionally, it would be relentlessly following up on every detail, no matter how small.

It’s literally that simple.

Rowdy Brixey is founder and president of Brixey Engineering Inc.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn.