Why your organization should change from reactive to proactive culture

Most companies talk a good talk and say the right things when prompted, but in the end do not follow good basic principles of equipment and process reliability.


The word reliability is the buzzword in industries across the world. We often hear statements such as "our company is a reliability based organization" or "we are an RCM organization" or "we are a world class in reliability." Most companies talk a good talk and say the right things when prompted, but in the end do not follow good basic principles of equipment and process reliability. In other words, the basic fundamentals to implement and sustain all of the concepts above have never been established.

Most organizations today live in a reactive culture. They thrive on it and love the hero mentality and firefighting persona that goes along with it. Reacting to a failure or incident appears heroic. This type culture garners accolades, frequent pats on the back, awards and recognition.

So why would any organization want to change from a reactive to a proactive culture? The primary reason to progress into a proactive culture is employee and environmental safety. Reactive cultures are extremely dangerous. Have you ever neglected to replace the worn tires on your car and consequently suffered a blow-out on an interstate? Did you feel safe navigating your vehicle to the road side on three inflated tires? It would have been much safer to replace your tires based on the worn condition and avoided the incident altogether.

When equipment fails, it often fails at the most inopportune time and is dangerous in the process. Incidents of explosion, arc flash, contamination, spillage, chemical release and airborne projectiles are just a few of the results of equipment failure. When your technicians and mechanics rush in to save the day, they may be putting themselves, the plant and the environment at risk.

Dale B. Wilson is a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional and is currently the reliability engineer for Qualitest Pharmaceuticals. He has over 30 years of experience maintaining electrical and mechanical systems as a maintenance manager, planner/scheduler, senior consultant, preventive maintenance specialist and licensed journeyman electrician. He has been involved in numerous implementations of EAM/CMMS systems while introducing best practices for reliability and transforming companies from a reactive to proactive culture. Edited by Brittany Merchut, Project Manager, CFE Media, bmerchut(at)cfemedia.com 

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