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Secondly, managers can benefit from a concentrated effort toward continuous improvement. I liken this issue to a professional sports team. Every year, the team looks to the draft or free agency to find the best available people to fill its needs. Businesses are no different. Managers need to constantly identify areas that need improvement and find people with skill sets to help produce those improvements.
In March, I wrote a column about using data to mine for opportunities. This is exactly what I was referring to when looking for opportunities for continuous improvement. The column addressed ways managers can use data to measure life-cycle costs, analyze energy use, identify areas of waste, and re-engineer maintenance management systems.
Training also has a large impact on successfully re-engineering maintenance processes and embedding the resulting changes in the department. Top-performing organizations allocate more than 40 hours a year for staff skills training.
How much of your department's budget is spent on contractors? Could this expenditure be better used to train in-house resources? A previous column discussed the benefits of performing skills assessments — specifically, identifying skills gaps to help close those deficiencies.
Managers Must Concentrate on Continued Department Improvement