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The title of this column is a serious, common-sense recommendation, and for good reason. Sadly, we have migrated to an environment with a “fog index” that is greater than ever before. So, while my recommendation isn’t intended as a commentary on managers who might practice wishful thinking instead of providing leadership, it is a no-nonsense call to action.

In the weeks and, perhaps, even months to come, businesses will have to adjust to situations they have never experienced. For reasons that are glaringly obvious to the well informed, many members of the RAM (reliability, availability, maintenance) community may have to work productively from home. With some degree of luck, these individuals report to the type of enlightened supervisor, manager, or decision-maker who outlines how personnel will have to add value from home.

A specific assignment must be selected, and I could think of 20 or more ways how I would craft these assignments. A good manager can probably think of 100 more.

I would spend money on the purchase of a few good books from Amazon.com, and have them drop-shipped to employees A, B. C, and D. If I knew what books were of greatest importance to my RAM employees, or what books I knew to be worth considering, I would order them now. (If not, I would suggest that employees A, B, C, and D pick one from the booklist appended to this column.) I would then ask those employees to report, via email, which device, component, work procedure, or lubrication method the company uses that differs from what the selected books describe as practices carried out by Best-in-Class competitors.

Click Here For A List Of Heinz Bloch’s 22 Books

A good manager or decision-maker ensure that this assignment is taken seriously; that worthwhile practices are listed and prioritized; and that the value of implementing what others have successfully done is calculated. The point is for working-from-home employees to spend some of their time reading books on how other organizations have done things and why they have prospered. Those readers will then be able to demonstrate how their own companies can use the rule-of-thumb calculations going forward.TRR

For More Tips On Weathering The  COVID-19 Crisis, Click  On The Following Article Titles:

“8 Asset-Management Strategies to Help Survive the Recessions”
y Drew Troyer

“Maintaining in A State of Emergency”
By Ken Bannister

Heinz Bloch’s long professional career included assignments as Exxon Chemical’s Regional Machinery Specialist for the United States. A recognized subject-matter-expert on plant equipment and failure avoidance, he is the author of numerous books and articles, and continues to present at technical conferences around the world. Bloch holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and is an ASME Life Fellow. These days, he’s based near Houston, TX. Email him directly at heinzpbloch@gmail.com.

Tags: reliability, availability, maintenance, work processes, disaster preparedness