Author Archive | Rick Carter

7:21 pm
September 3, 2014
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Forward Observations: Add Customer Feedback to Your Big Data

By Rick Carter, Executive Editor Earlier this year, the American Customer Satisfaction Index ( released one of its survey-based reports on respondents’ consumer-related perceptions of 236 companies. It covered three main areas: perceived quality and value; general satisfaction; and “outcomes” of satisfaction, such as customer complaints and loyalty. What caught my eye was a related […]

2:22 pm
August 29, 2014
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EAM: On to the Next Level

Providers of Enterprise Asset Management systems explain how their solutions for today’s challenges set the stage for a more mobile, data-rich future. By Rick Carter, Executive Editor The day is coming when the still-too-common view of industrial maintenance as an isolated plant function of uncertain value is overtaken by the larger concept of its key […]

6:17 pm
August 1, 2014
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For On The Floor: Taking the Measure of Your Maintenance Team

Considering the many elements of a plant that are regularly measured by top maintenance crews, it’s interesting to learn from our Maintenance Technology Reader Panelists that measurement of the teams themselves is an inconsistent (sometimes even nonexistent) process. Similarly, recognition for superior team performance is minimal (and can be difficult to bestow upon a single […]

6:15 pm
August 1, 2014
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Forward Observations: Oil On the Tracks

By Rick Carter, Executive Editor If railroad tank cars carrying oil or volatile chemicals play a role in your operation—or even if they pass close to your plant—the time has come to view them as the potential safety hazards they are. A long-expected proposal from the Department of Transportation last month addresses the safety issue […]

11:00 pm
July 1, 2014
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The 2013 NAME Award Winner: Redefining Excellence at Emergent BioSolutions

The Lansing, MI-based maker of the anthrax vaccine BioThrax tells how careful refinements of its already sophisticated maintenance operation brought them the coveted win. By Rick Carter, Executive Editor References to “customer service” are frequent at the Lansing, MI, campus of Emergent BioSolutions (EBS), Inc., winner of the 2013 NAME (North American Maintenance Excellence) Award. […]

1:56 pm
July 1, 2014
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Forward Observations: What’s in a NAME?

By Rick Carter, Executive Editor In this award-happy society, it’s nice to know that in our industry, several awards still carry some weight. Among this elite group, perhaps the weightiest is the North American Maintenance Excellence Award, known simply as the NAME Award. This is not only because it recognizes the many great (and often […]

12:35 pm
June 19, 2014
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Forward Observations: ‘Strategy Act’ Not the Solution, But a Good Start

By Rick Carter, Contributing Editor The government’s reputation for solving big problems takes a lot of hits, but hope is renewed each time a new solution comes up for discussion. Encouragingly, one of these solutions involves the skills shortage in manufacturing. It’s called the Skills Gap Strategy Act of 2013/2014—a dual, bipartisan bill introduced in […]

8:03 pm
June 16, 2014
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CMMS Makers Drive and Serve Demand for Mobile, Flexible Future

The big systems won’t go away, but demand for simpler, low-cost, Web-based alternatives has changed the market.  By Rick Carter, Executive Editor The long-common complaint among maintenance pros that their CMMS systems were too complicated may be fading. This perception—which has led to under-use and even mistrust of these systems—is being supplanted by the success […]