Avoiding Best Practice Implementation Pitfalls—A view from the Plant Manager

Organizations struggle with equipment reliability despite readily available knowledge of best practices. At the same time, leaders, engineers and technicians keep searching for the new technology they can purchase to advance their results and culture by decades. Leaders are stuck in a reliability improvement loop of start, stop, and restart. Sound familiar? What is the missing ingredient(s) to realizing a reliability culture? A primary pitfall is taking action based on opinion and biased KPIs. After 32 years as a leader in capital intensive organizations, I have refined and repeatedly implemented a process for creating a reliability culture that provides rapid results, is scalable, is rooted in best practices and can cost zero dollars to implement. The key is knowing three things? 1) Every reliability and best practice is designed to remove waste from the system; 2) Knowing what waste actually looks like in a manufacturing plant; and 3) “Go and see” the waste using intense observation. From this knowledge, the next impactful steps in your journey to a reliability culture will become obvious.

Joe Kuhn

Joe Kuhn worked at Alcoa Corporation for 32 years. He was an operations leader for 29 years, a plant manager three times, and the global director for reliability and maintenance serving 31 locations in eight countries. Joe retired as the plant manager of Alcoa’s Massive Warrick Operations in 2019. Presently Joe is passionate about changing how reliability and maintenance is deployed in plants. He is a reliability and maintenance speaker, produces a YouTube Channel, serves as a magazine contributor and author, and has been featured on podcasts. He consults, coaches, and mentors leaders, technicians, and engineers. He has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and is a CMRP. Joe is married to Lisa for 34 years and has 4 adult children—all Purdue Engineers.

Joe Kuhn’s book, “Zero to Hero: How to Jumpstart Your Reliability Journey Given Today’s Business Challenges,” can be downloaded here.

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Original session held on November 30, 2022

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