Dan Hounsell: Managers' Knowledge of Facilities Fuels Specification

By Dan Hounsell, Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Chris Matt: Managers Consult Colleagues During Specification

Exactly how many balls are maintenance and engineering managers expected to keep in the air these days? The answer, of course, is all of them.

This issue explores the ever-changing process of specifying the products that support maintenance and engineering activities, and if the articles and product roundups demonstrate nothing else, it is this: The process involves a sea of components managers must juggle, from the many people involved in making a purchase, to the thousands of replacement parts technicians need each day, to the host of issues affecting the final decision — sustainability, life-cycle costs, maintainability, inventory management, and on and on.

To say the process is dizzying is an understatement, and it probably has changed since you started reading this.

What is the best first step managers can take to bring efficiency to the process of product specification? Managers could do worse than following the guidance of Socrates, who advised, "Know thyself." OK, in this case, let's rephrase that: Know thy facilities.

Nobody involved in the purchasing decision understands the condition, operations and individual components of facilities as well as maintenance and engineering managers. Those who enter the specification process with a thorough and comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the needs of their facilities — and the people who maintain them — will have an easier time sorting through product options, balancing competing financial issues, and working with other interested parties to make sure technicians have the right parts in the right place at the right time. In short, they won't drop the ball.

Agree? Disagree? Have something to say? We want to hear from you. Visit myfacilitiesnet.com/members/Dan-Hounsell/default.aspx, and "Start a Conversation."

Dan Hounsell offers observations about trends in maintenance and engineering management and the evolving role of managers in facilities.

Continue Reading: Talking Points

Dan Hounsell: Managers' Knowledge of Facilities Fuels Specification

Chris Matt: Managers Consult Colleagues During Specification

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »

  posted on 5/7/2010   Article Use Policy

Related Topics: