News & Events


SDMyers' VP of Reliability Alan Ross discusses the benefits of a chief reliability officer

Tallmadge, Ohio

It is a common practice in organizations to spend money on the maintenance of equipment. They bring a lot of people on board to fix the machines, and every time a failure occurs, the maintenance guys do a temporary fix, and on and on it goes. In this process of fixing machines, if the organizations paid as much attention to the reliability of the assets rather than divert their resources toward the maintenance side of things, they might finally have a sustainable maintenance and reliability program. Maintenance and reliability go hand in hand. You can’t just focus on maintenance alone.

Every organization has some chief-level personnel in every department who is the leader for that particular field. There are chiefs for finance, marketing, operations, and so on. There should be a champion for maintenance, as well, who will connect all of these departments to ensure sustainable production and growth. He or she will introduce an approach that will be based on reliability rather than on maintenance. That leader of reliability can be called CRO or Chief Reliability Officer. This would be someone who would have access to the CEO level.

The person will be in communication with every department, including the technicians. He will make sure that everyone is in coordination with each other. Reliability is not just for the maintenance department alone. Everyone is responsible for ensuring reliability of the assets, or the assets will fail as they always do. That’s why there is a serious need for someone who would change the thinking of our managers and decision makers. Most of the times, some issue comes to the attention of executives when it has done the damage. That is what a CRO can help with. His job will be to ensure that an issue doesn’t occur in the first place.

The CRO will be on the preventive side of the failures. The first skill a CRO should possess is the ability to bring a change in the current practices of the organization. The person would have to come up with a plan and then sell it to all the related people. The CRO would be addressing and convincing people based on financial growth, risk management, asset management, and safety of people. The next thing the individual will have to do is come up with an awareness language that everyone should be able to understand and make the corporate level understand of the value of change.

This is the person who will make everyone aware of the benefits of a cultural change toward achieving organizations goals. This individual should be able to present it in such a way that every leader would see the added value. The plan is to enhance the maintenance process and introduce reliability best practices. The CRO must address the risks of change on the individual and organizational level. The CRO must be able to show everyone the benefits of reliability on a customer and a corporate level. A CRO would be the change agent for the organization and lead everyone toward improvement.

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March 01, 2019
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