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The unfolding events of the past year forced many individuals and businesses to become introspective about change. Although COVID-19 has brought about much disruption in our daily lives, it also has acted as a catalyst for positive and innovative action in the workplace.

The world now lives in a new normal. COVID-19 has forced us to challenge the values of the past and reframe our approach in how we communicate and perform work on a daily basis. Many of the pre-pandemic policies, practices, and procedures (PPP) have been challenged and rewritten, some on a weekly basis. However, we all understand this new normal is only an interim state. With vaccines being distributed on an ever-wider basis, the new sense of post-pandemic normality that will be emerging is likely to result in a tsunami of accelerated production demand. Are you and your team ready to change, adapt, and meet that demand?

When working with organizations to implement asset-management continuous-improvement programs, one of my first questions for those who will manage or be affected by the upcoming change is, “Have you ever come across a policy, procedure, or process that didn’t make sense or add value, yet is currently followed or enforced at your workplace?” Rarely is the answer no. In fact, these seemingly “unintelligent on purpose” policies, procedures, and processes (PPPs) force us to investigate the past and try to understand the decision-making behind their initial adoption and continued use. Once understood, the group can determine if the initial cause and/or resulting PPPs are of current value and relevant for today and in the near-future work environment. In their defense, attitudes, politics, and necessity make for strange bedfellows: They can dictate approaches at a certain period in time that later seem to make no sense.

Over this past year, COVID-19 has forced many companies to hit the reset button and examine the current value of their PPPs. This new knowledge and the fact that departments can self-reflect, build new value propositions, and work together as teams to effect paradigm shifts are what organizations should now be capitalizing on as the post pandemic-stage begins to take hold.

Production and maintenance departments must now collaborate once again with new goals in mind and draft out the demands of a post-pandemic, new “normality.” From this blueprint, a new value proposition can be built, underscored with a new set of value-based business policies, processes, and procedures.

Moreover, now is the time for an organization to design and implement a meaningful value-based program that includes lubrication management, precision maintenance, managed inventory, tool management, and a true planning and scheduling approach toward work management. These types of basic, yet hugely impactful “reframed” programs can be implemented with little capital outlay. But they do require a commitment to the future.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has had any thread of a silver lining, it must be in how it taught us to challenge our old ways and adapt. A once-in-a-career opportunity is about to open as we prepare for post-pandemic life. Now, not later, is the time to challenge and shed the old, and invent for the future based on an approach that adds value. Are you willing to act?TRR


Ken Bannister has 40+ years of experience in the RAM industry. For the past 30, he’s been a Managing Partner and Principal Asset Management Consultant with Engtech industries Inc., where he has specialized in helping clients implement best-practice asset-management programs worldwide. A founding member and past director of the Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada, he is the author of several books, including three on lubrication, one on predictive maintenance, and one on energy reduction strategies, and is currently writing one on planning and scheduling. Contact him directly at 519-469-9173 or kbannister@theramreview.com.

Tags: reliability, availability, maintenance, RAM, COVID-19, global pandemic, new normal, workforce issues, lubrication management, managed inventory, precision maintenance, tool management, planning and scheduling