If you are a vibration analyst or are responsible for managing a Condition Monitoring (CM) program or reliability effort,  you are probably keenly aware of the “what have you done for me lately” mentality. This is a mentality that may frustrate us somewhat, but if we think about it, it is only natural. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, we will probably find we apply the same mentality to others at times.

This being the case, it is very important that we keep our management team apprised of the value they are getting from us, our tools, and our training. This is not a personal pride thing, but simply a part of business operations. Corporate management reports regularly to stockholders, showing the value of their management. Investors are willing to maintain their investment in a company, so long as they know they are getting a valuable return on their investment.  In the same way, management will be willing to sustain their investment in CM along with its practitioners and equipment, as long as they are aware they are getting ample value in return for their investment.

CM efforts provide direct and positive contributions to key indicators like reduced downtime, reduced repair costs, reduced parts inventory need, increased production capacity, etc.  If tracked correctly it will be clear to management that CM provides a big return on investment (ROI).  Do not hesitate to bring Management’s attention to the many ways that CM contributes to the business goals of your facility or corporation.

Many companies are so accustomed to the CM department detecting unbalance in fans and the like and then driving the remediation of the problem (via cleaning, repair, and field balancing) that they no longer appreciate the value of such things. If the CM manager is not careful, he may find himself wondering what happened, because he took it for granted everyone appreciated the value of the CM contribution to the bottom line, only to find out that some of his people (or even himself) are seen as expendable because the value of their work is not fully appreciated. In this era of downsizing and “leaning up”, this is a chance no one should take. Document the actual savings in parts, labor, lost production, and downtime that you generated with your CM successes by averting the potential failures that would have occurred without your efforts.

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by Mike Fitch CRL