A Guiding Principle is defined as 'any principle or precept that guides an organization in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or personnel'.  I often share the idea of “In = Out” to clients as one such principle. It can be related to almost all aspects of maintenance improvement that require resources (money, labor, material, etc.). I most often share it in the context of Storeroom Inventory control and Preventive Maintenance strategies. Here is how the principle is applied in these two areas:

1. If there is a request that $10,000 worth of new inventory be added to the storeroom, an attempt must be made to identify and remove $10,000 worth of inventory (obsolescence, min/max adjustments, slow moving inventory, etc.)

2. If new PM’s are added that require 2 hours of labor, an attempt must be made to make an improvement that removes the same amount of required labor (non-value added PM, more effective job plan, kitting, etc.)

When we get to a point where it is impossible to remove non-value added parts or labor because everything we have and do is valuable, we’ve made it.

- Steve Gowan, Director of Manufacturing Services, Marshall Institute

There are 3 key partnerships that must be formed in order to make the Planning & Scheduling improvement efforts more effective. These partnerships are leveraged by good working relations and communication between Operations, Parts, and Maintenance. These three departments are the cornerstones of a successful planning and scheduling process.One effective tactic to build better relationships and communication is to include your production partner in the weekly maintenance scheduling meetings. They can provide assistance in work prioritization and scheduling machine downtime so maintenance work can be performed.Build relationships, ask for people's professional opinion, and communicate openly about what you want to achieve. If you make people feel valuable, more often than not, they will help offer more support than you asked for.  - Tracy Strawn, Marshall Institute Inc.

"What are critical spares and how should we determine them? Critical spares in stores are the security blankets we have to satisfy our need to cover our backsides. Ask a Maintenance or Operations Manager what they want kept in stores and they'll say they want one of everything. That's not reasonable or feasible especially if the goal of the Purchasing Manager is to reduce inventories by 10%! Determining critical spares inventory is a methodology of using scientific analysis and making a cross-functional non-emotional business decision. Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA) or Simplified FMEA's are a good place to start the analysis. A cross-functional team should consist of members from Operations, Maintenance, Purchasing, and Engineering. Only when the proper people and tools are utilized can we then make the right choice on what to stock and what not to." - Marshall Institute

"Is your PM/PdM system dynamic? It is critical that you review your system on a regular basis, reviewing needed changes to tasks, frequency, etc. To help in the review process, start by reviewing your equipment histories, looking for repairs and breakdowns that repeat often. Then look at your PM and determine if there is a task that should find and prevent this problem. You may need to add or edit the tasks, or change your frequency, to identify the problem sooner to enable you to plan and schedule the repair." - Marshall Institute

"Equipment Improvement teams (EIT) can be critical to increasing the performance of a line or machine. To achieve significant results from your EITs, they must be properly chartered, practice good meeting principles, and be commissioned with a specific goal and timeframe. EITs fail when the goals are too big, unclear, and proper meetings are not run. Avoid these pitfalls and you will see a marked improvement in reliability and performance." - Greg Folts, President/ CEO, Marshall Institute