It's buyer beware on maintenance and reliability suppliers

Tim Goshert
Tags: maintenance and reliability

In the past decade, plants have seen maintenance and reliability improvement as one of the best areas to improve profits. This has led to a proliferation of consultants, training companies, hardware and software firms, and other maintenance and reliability suppliers. Just attend a trade show and you'll see a wide array of choices for the maintenance and reliability professional.

While there are many reputable maintenance and reliability suppliers and providers in the marketplace, there are also plenty of charlatans and sharks. I believe it's important for you to be aware of the possible environments that can exist and make educated decisions. Some of the top red flags are:

The lesson in these examples is to do the upfront research and education on maintenance and reliability suppliers before committing to anything. A prerequisite is to be educated in the fundamentals and details of the subject. Also, you should complete a full market analysis of the subject matter and uncover the exact requirements that your company needs on the subject. A detailed analysis of the total cost of ownership is essential before you make a supplier choice. The extra effort and due diligence will save you time, money and reputation.

Tim Goshert is the worldwide reliability and maintenance manager for Cargill, one of the world's largest food and agricultural processing companies (more than 1,000 facilities worldwide). He is responsible for the company's global reliability and maintenance initiatives and is chairman of the company's Worldwide Reliability and Maintenance Steering Committee. Tim is an active member of the Society of Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) and serves on its board of directors.