This will be the first of a series of 10 blogs that I will post on this subject.  The idea came about through a recent discussion with a new client who is in the planning stages of starting a corporate wide RCM initiative.

  1. Start with a proven consultant

Almost every company that is looking to learn about and use Reliability Centered Maintenance  as a tool to improve equipment and process reliability starts with selecting a RCM consultant to help instruct people and lead the RCM effort.  Looking back on over 15 years of experience in RCM consulting, more than 70% of my customers had started with another methodology and had a failed effort.  The top three reasons for why the initial effort failed were not at all surprising;

  • Failure to Implement RCM Recommendations
  • Lack of Management Support
  • The Effort Required too Many Resources and Provided Little Measurable Return

While some might look at the top three items as being a separate or distinct reason for having a failed RCM effort, I look at this list and see one common cause. 


When it comes to successful RCM efforts, leadership starts with the consultant your company hires to come in and work with your team to design a RCM effort that will work with your company culture.  If your consultant has real-life experience in working with companies to build a sustained and successful RCM effort the top three items on this list are managed in the planning stages of your effort long before they become a problem.

When it comes to selecting your RCM consultant, I would advise your company leaders to take some time to learn about the process, locate and interview some companies who have had had a proven successful effort, and select a proven traditional methodology.

Once you have selected a methodology you should begin to then search for the right RCM consultant.  Keep in mind this person will be trusted to lead your effort, work with your management team, train and mentor RCM facilitators and participants, work with your planners, maintenance technicians and equipment operators and build a RCM culture from the shop floor to the corporate suite.  The level of experience you are looking for can’t be created by attending a 2 week course, it isn’t created from facilitating two RCM analyses, and I have yet to find a certification program, title or degree that would ensure one is qualified to lead your effort.

The best consultants have proven real-life experience that includes the companies they have worked with as well as the contact information of the managers they have worked with.  If you want to have a successful effort, take the time to research and select a consultant who has earned their reputation.  The best RCM consultants have a wealth of experience when it comes to helping all types of companies with efforts that range from performing 1 critical RCM analysis, to designing and leading corporate level world-wide effort.


Additional Tips:

  • Attend conferences and read articles about RCM
  • Contact the people who run conferences and ask for recommendations
  • Call the manufacturing companies who have presented at conferences and find out how they got stated and who they used
  • Look closely at the Consultant’s resume, if they claim to be experts in 10 or 20 different tools, it is likely they were trained in each but never became an expert in any.
  • Once you have a list of names, Google search for their work, articles, presentations books – if he/she is not writing on the subject, they don’t have the experience or confidence to lead your effort.
  • Nip arrogance in the bud immediately!  The world is full of arrogant consultants and arrogance is a sure sign of someone who lacks both confidence and experience.


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