By Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor
Prior to the Christmas break I was fortunate to visit England with my eldest son and spend quality time with my elderly parents who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Because geography has rarely favored such multi-generational get-togethers and, taking advantage of the situation as parents often do when grandchildren are around, they relished “spilling the beans” about my youthful traits and transgressions—much to the delight of my adult son! During one of their reminiscences, I experienced a “eureka moment,” recognizing a very specific trait instilled in me as a child that I still employ today.
As a post-war-England baby boomer, I lived over half my childhood in a frugal world of government rationing with little money to spare for luxuries. With two competing siblings, I was taught that if I wanted something special, I had to present a rational reason for granting my request—essentially make a business case built on need first, want second—for the request to even be considered. In the early days, such prized requests included listening to a rock n’ roll radio program (and, later, television programs), staying up late, using the phone, borrowing the family car, etc.
I learned early on that success was more likely when I reasoned with a holistic view, which my parents called as my “twofer and threefer” approach. I always asked for something I thought was obtainable, and tried to make it easier for them to say yes by spelling out a minimum of two or three benefits for granting my request. For example, I recall my reasons for wanting to watch
Top of the Pops (Britain’s answer to The Ed Sullivan Show) as 1) it allowed me to watch and listen to musicians and study guitarists’ finger positions that would help me learn the guitar; 2) my siblings could watch it with me, and my parents could spend a half hour together in peace; and 3) music would help me become a better person. My approach usually worked. I loved that show!
Thus, it was interesting to see that when the ISO 55001 Asset Management Standard was released last year, it also looks for an asset-management program to deliver its own twofers and threefers. It tasks the organization with demonstrating proof of how its asset-management strategies, plans and objectives directly and holistically align with corporate objectives and culture. It also recommends the same program be designed to meet the identified needs of all program stakeholders.
When an industry employs mechanical equipment, one of the least expensive and most productive means of improving asset function and management is through the design and implementation of a best-practice asset lubrication-management program. This produces obvious internal benefits—increased asset availability, reduced downtime, reduced bearing failure, etc.—that result in a measurable twofer: one for maintenance (by reducing maintenance costs), and one for production (by increasing production throughput). There are other benefits, too, which can include:
- Reduced purchase costs through lubricant consolidation
- Reduced lubricant and replacement-bearing inventory costs
- Reduced lubricant stock-rotation requirement
- Increased inventory real estate
- Reduced lubricant waste
- Reduced bearing friction
- Reduced carbon footprint and emissions
- Improved ability to meet ISO 55001 and other standards requirements
If you are looking to validate the implementation of an asset lubrication program, consider all your stakeholders and position your request based on how the intended program will benefit each. Make it easy for the corporation to say yes. I guarantee you will find more than the usual twofer or threefer in your reasoning, and will be more successful in future requests. Good luck!