Reliability and maintainability management in corporations

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In today's corporate world, new interest has been attracted by reliability and maintainability management. In order to remain competitive in the pursuit of providing timely, proper services and connecting effectively with all members of the supply chain is part of the responsibility for this interest. Therefore, the objective of this journal is to investigate the strategic value of reliability and maintainability management in performing customer satisfaction and competitiveness. This paper also research about performance metrics for organizational performance and link reliability and maintainability with such metrics.

In this assignment will discussing about the article of "Strategic value of reliability and maintainability management" which is searched from Strategic Management Journal, year of 2005, written by Madu C.N. The model of Strategic value of reliability and maintainability management developed and examined by the author.

The aim of this study is to analyze and critique the issue of the Strategic value of reliability and maintainability management. Accordingly, the critique of this article will be assessed into 3 parts such as summary of the selected article, critical review and recommendation.

Summary of the selected article

Firstly, this article discussed on examines the strategic value of reliability and maintainability management in achieving competitiveness and customer satisfaction. A firm cannot take a quick response strategy if its system is not available and not reliable; therefore, when many firms fight to remove the large cost of inventories and persisted lean in their production system, there is an increasing need to assure that equipment are maintained.

The author - Madu C.N. explore in performance metrics for organizational performance and link reliability and maintainability with such metrics. The author also developed the design strategy which is based on using models for reliability and profitability assessment as well as total quality management models to demonstrate how performance metrics for organizational performance can be improved.

Today's corporate worlds mostly focus on customer satisfaction and put efforts to continuously develop quality to fulfill the needs of the customer is directly connected to the reliability and availability of the processes used to give such wanted services and it is important to lead top management to get into the view that reliability and maintainability issues be part of the corporate level.

In the article, the author also has developed many ways to communicate to top management the strategic value of reliability and maintainability management. Some of these methods could be categorized under the "Models for reliability and profitability assessment" such as Root cause analysis (RCA), failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), Pareto charts, and others. Furthermore, the author found and showed there is a need to connect models of profitability assessment to reliability and maintainability management and hope this will help top management to see the strategic value of reliability and maintainability management and yet, take the necessary organizational changes to support reliability and maintainability goals.

Once the reliability and maintainability management make top management accepts the fact that it's contribute to the organizational competitiveness, then they need to develop action plans and encourage framework to support its position within the organization. In order to achieve this action and framework, the organizational cultural should change their attitude and view of this critical function. Therefore, the needed of this change adopted to introduce total quality management as total quality management programs are better positioned to advantage from company-wide reliability and maintainability management. In this part, the author identifies some of the key issues which may help to develop company-wide reliability and maintainability management.

There are ten items explained in the article which are the key in accomplishing company-wide reliability management. First items, use of teams, the reliability and maintainability issues will be effectively resolved by the support of the use of teams. Second is continues improvement, reliability management perceived as progressive process that will need to be continuously improved on. Third, top management commitment, the join of the top management and their commitment is the key to make sure that plenty attention is dedicated to reliability and maintainability management. Next is supply chain participation, it is important for a good supply chain to make the companies today become effective, yet in order to give a good customer services, manufacturers should share information to their supply chain's members.

Moreover, avoid finger pointing and blame game in accomplishing company-wide reliability management. The actions of finger pointing or blame game will destroy the morale of the team members who can start fighting to defend their groups or functions, the aim should be how to resolve the issues without demonizing a team member. The sixth item is justifying reliability management is a must to know the potential causes of reliability management on organizational performance metrics such as quality, availability, productivity and costs. Next, enterprise reliability data management (ERDM), a single view of reliability data needed to be deliver on a timely basis and this could help to make sure that everyone is seeing at the same data and solving the same issues. The eight items is customer satisfaction, if without the system reliability, the quality cannot be attained, and reliability is a measure of customer satisfaction that helps to pay attention in maintenance and reliability. Then, changing customer needs, the needs of changing the customer needs in order to achieving reliability is to be best in the market. The last item is organizational survival; reliability is a key to organizational survival as reliability and quality are connected together.

In addition, the goal of the author, Madu for written this paper is to propose the management view of reliability and maintainability management which could help the practitioners to obtain needed support and supplying for reliability and maintainability activities in their organizations. Lastly, study through the article, the role of reliability and maintainability are quite important and it is as important strategic variables be known and considered in future research that estimate organizational performance and prosperity.

3.0 Critical Review

In the beginning of the article, the author presented that in today's corporate world, new interest has been attracted by reliability and maintainability management. In order to remain competitive in the pursuit of providing timely, proper services and connecting effectively with all members of the supply chain is part of the responsibility for this interest. Yet, the author also stated that companies are increasingly seeing reliability and maintainability issues as role of the company seek to improve quality, achieve customer satisfaction and keep competitive. This author perception also offered by other authors. Tan (2003) presented that reliability is representing an increasing part in the competition of products today. Again, Tan (2003) stated that research has presented that technical issue as last position on the customer's list of want and Sanders (1991) pointed out that reliability also one outranks sheer technical achievement as causes of importance in customer satisfaction.

As what the author presented in the journal about a few models for reliability and profitability assessment, for example, roots cause analysis (RCA). RCA is quite important to understand the main roots of problems and to avoid the problems from being repeated. There are 4 main problems such as Manpower, Method, Machine and Material. The author using this 4 grouping as proposed in the Ishikawa diagram. The author only briefly explained 2 example of such group in Ishikawa diagram but not all of it, for example, the factors as a consequence of Methods may involve poor preventive maintenance policies, equipment replacement policies or misdiagnosed equipment failures and Manpower issues may appear while failure rate is better than service rate and the service facility is not able to carry on the number of demand it is getting. The author should explain all 4 main problems not just in half way.

On the other hand, the same author had explained all the 4ms in another journal of "Reliability and quality interface" although the cause and effect diagram is not exactly the same but it is still the same in meaning. For example, with regards to Man, poor training and operator's errors can contribute to reliability problem, with respect to Material, if incoming products such as raw material are sub-standard, it is expected that such problems will manifest again in the final output, for Machine, problems such as inappropriate setting, poor calibrations or poor alignment could influence operation and with method, if the work system does not uphold reliability efforts (Madu, 1999).

Secondly, the author use the model of failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) is totally suite for the reliability analysis. The aim of FMEA is to identify the sources of process problem and it is related to the costs of Manpower, method, machine and material problems in the article. According to Bergman and Klefsjo (1994), they described that FMEA is a useful mode in reliability analysis involving a systematic check-up of a process or product; it is a function, failure causes, and failure outcome. Gunawardane (2004) stated FMEA was used to the system by listing the factors of failures for each stage.

Next, the author proposed reliability, availability and maintainability (RAM) in the article. I agree with the author which mentioned about RAM which related to the journal. RAM is actually an engineering instrument that is useful in estimating the equipment at the different steps in the design process. It objective is identifying areas within the process where significant improvement can be accomplished. To continuous improvement, RAM as a tool in design and redesigning of the system. This RAM assessment or model also supported by other authors. Saraswat and Yadava (2008) has presented the perspective on reliability, availability, maintainability and supportability (RAMS), they mentioned that reducing the amount of failure and minimizing their consequences by using the right consideration of reliability, availability, maintainability and supportability (RAMS) in the design, manufacturing, and installation stage. McFadden (1990) has proposed the techniques for developing the database for reliability, availability and maintainability improvement program for an industrial plant or commercial building.

Furthermore, when study through the article, the author does not define the keywords of reliability and maintainability or availability. Especially when the author elaborated about RAM (Reliability, availability and maintainability); the definition of these 3 characteristics should arrive in that part or beginning in the article. Madu (2005) only defined the goal of reliability and maintainability management (RMM) in the article. Carrese and Ottone (2006) defined that reliability is the probability that an item will function properly for given a specified period of time under stated conditions. Duma and Krieg (2005) defined availability as measured by the user is a function of how frequently failures happen and proper maintenance is needed, how immediately signify failures can be separated and fixed up and how immediately preventive maintenance duty can be carried. Again, Duma and Krieg (2005) also defined maintainability; maintainability is the capacity of an item to be kept in, or to return to former condition, a detailed condition while maintenance are functioned by workforce having specific skill levels, using determined methods and resources, at each determined level of repair and maintenance.

In fact, overall of the framework of this article is well-structured, the author firstly intro the strategic value of reliability and maintainability management, then explain the causes or problems without using the strategic value of reliability and maintainability after that provide developing company-wide reliability and maintainability management by identifies ten items which are the key in achieving company-wide reliability management and also presented others useful system related with reliability and maintainability to help for improvement in an organization. The author made this article become simple and easy to understand for the readers to help them to get the aim of what the author try to deliver. So as for the theory, the author have discussed in detailed by offering a lot of supports and information as he had explained how important of reliability and maintainability management and how to achieve it and what will happen or problems if an organization without them.. The author has shown some analysis, charts and diagram for giving more examples for the top management and organization to refer. This article also can be regarded for use in future studies too.

Recommendation

This article is quite useful for readers to read or referred which is written by Madu C.N. because the author providing many information and examples which helping an organization or management in their business strategies. The author also research in many causes and identified problems that can be covered by the process of reliability and maintainability. Moreover, most of the point of view and suggestions is come from the author as he is doing his own report but there is also some evidence and other author's view arrived in the examples of the assessment in the article.

By reading through the article, the readers can become more understandable about the strategic value of reliability and maintainability management as this article has many type of models for reliability and profitability assessment where the readers can refer and understand the report delivered by the author. Since there are many problems have been identified without appearance strategic value of reliability and maintainability, the author also had develops way to give the top management and organization realized and supports this framework to support its role within the organization.

Therefore, this author's perception and information could really help the top management to have different view about the reliability and maintainability management and bringing them to take more attention on this management and viewed as part of corporate strategy. Thus, via the article, top management may accepts the fact that reliability and maintainability management really can contribute to organizational competitiveness and they someday may prefer to use strategic value of reliability and maintainability as one of their organization strategy.

In fact, it is important for the author to provide the result of the findings report in the article especially models of reliability and profitability assessment such as root cause analysis, Pareto charts, failure modes and effects analysis and others because there is a need of the evidence for readers to trust and know what is actually the fact happening in the process of failure or problems that causes related to reliability and maintainability strategy task.

Apart from that, the author also have some weaknesses in the article as the author did not mention about what actually reliability and maintainability meant but in my opinion most of the readers will understand what is the meaning of reliability and maintainability. Secondly, the authors also miss to elaborate some information although he can actually briefly explain through. Third, the author also can add in some useful information into the article such as creating model for improvement, creating a reliability culture in the organization, more guideline for achieving reliability and maintainability and others. As there are a limitation of study meanwhile overall of the author's article is still a good guideline for the future readers and researcher.

As a conclusion, this article is valuable to the organization and management which helps them to prefer the correct process and strategy within their organization. Besides, the author also recommended most of the companies adopt in enterprise reliability data management (ERDM) and merged with the ERP system because this way can provide a single view of information to the value chain members and customers, therefore learning and knowledge can be shared via the enterprise effectively. This can help the value chain members to know their critical role to make sure that they achieve highly reliable and dependable product to the customers.

Conclusion

In today's corporate world, some top management still does not understand about how important of strategic value of reliability and maintainability management and how it effect to the organization. Without reliability and maintainability, one company cannot grow success even though the members of supply chain also need this system to make them believe and deal with the company. After reading through the article, the author had given some evidence or example about how important of the strategic value of reliability and maintainability management to the management or organization and make improvement to continuously success in future. Moreover, due to the models of reliability and profitability assessment presented in the article, hope the top management will knowing that reliability and maintainability management has direct affect on organizational effectiveness and survival.

Furthermore, the author also provided a company-wide reliability and maintainability management and distinguishes strategic problems that had to be addressed to get success. The author also offer a management view of reliability and maintainability management which help practitioners to take systemic view of the reliability function and to know the need of marketing that reliability function is important to top management by pointing reliability management connect to key organizational performance metrics such as productivity, quality and profitability.

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