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This week marked the 100th day of the Gulf Oil Spill catastrophe and hopefully the end of an ugly footnote in American history. Now it is time to prepare for the new school year as well as supporting my favorite baseball team winning the pennant.

This weeks articles touched on the decision making process by corporate officers and government officials with regard to finding long term solutions for asset maintenance versus shorter term budget cuts that cause more harm than good. Our most popular posts of the week, A National Maintenance Crisis?, examined the impact of short tenures for leaders and how good long term asset management decisions are ignored to promote the perception of action being taken with short term planning. We hope everyone had the opportunity to read our blogs and check out our website, but just in case you did not have the time to see our blogs and voter links as they were published, we have summarized them for you here. Please enjoy them and be sure to check back for new articles during the week. You can find a complete listing on the Mintek Blog.

1. A National Maintenance Crisis?

Author: Stuart Smith

This article talks about how elected officials are one of the main reasons our nation’s infrastructure is falling apart. The post centers around why government officials make short-sighted self interest budget cuts rather than make good long term maintenance decisions. The post also draws a comparison to the average length of time a CEO and how it hinders sustainable actions.

Key Point: Courage to act in the long term interest of the people or business can be attributed to the short tenure of decision makers and a need to make immediate changes versus long term investments in EAM or CMMS solutions.

2. What Can Happen in 100 Days When Maintenance Management Fails

Author: Stuart Smith

The 5th and hopefully final installment of a series examining the Gulf Oil Spill in relation to the role that unacceptable asset and maintenance management took place. This post lists 10 noteworthy events during the first 100 days of the catastrophe. Note that maintenance management was not the only contributor to the disaster but it did play a vital role.

Key Point: There is absolutely no excuse for gambling with people’s lives to make money.

Read Relevant Articles That We Found Last Week

But wait there is more. We have found several more articles that you might find to be interesting on. The 5 best this week are:

1. Gov Contractors Must Track Emissions or Risk Losing Contracts

Authors: Posted on Environmentalleader.com

The article talks about how new rules by the General Service Administration (GSA) will require contractors for the federal government to track greenhouse gas emissions or risk losing their contracts. The report goes on to state that the ability to track greenhouse gases will probably influence who contacts are given to.

Key Point: Poor energy efficiency will lead to a larger carbon footprint. Maintenance management is becoming more important than ever before.

2. The Aging of the American Water System

Author: Sam Winchester

Sam discusses the predicament faced by many cities after years of poor asset management of their water systems. Many municipalities are now overwhelmed by an increased demand in major repairs and a need for capital replacements. Sadly the current economic crunch is preventing water system overhaul.

Key Point: It is not too late to take back control of maintenance using an EAM system.

3. Company at center of Mich. oil cited for problems

Authors: Tim Martin and David Runk

Tim and David’s article was included because it provides a good example of how disasters continue to happen as a result of poor maintenance policies and procedures. This article tells about a company responsible for leaking 1 million gallons of oil in Talmadge Creek in MI. the company has been repeatedly cited for improper maintenance such as failure to monitor corrosion and not following SOPs for maintaining couplings on the pipes.

Key Point: The Gulf Oil Spill was just a bigger example of what is happening through our country as a result of poor maintenance practices.

4. Wave of retirements could cause a shortage of qualified job applicants

Author: Posted on plantservices.com

This article posted on plantservices.com is another report on how the aging of professional maintenance workers will affect the ability of facilities to perform good work. The skill of retiring workers cannot be easily replaced leaving companies with untrained teams.

Key Point: The retiring of workers presents a larger issue in that it represents a reduction in the knowledge base. However, the knowledge base can be retained if facilities properly implement a CMMS or EAM system which will create a database of knowledge usable for training.

5. Answer 10 questions to attain reliability at the lowest cost

Author: Jeff Shiver

Jeff’s post list ten questions that can be asked to help make a plan for equipment reliability. The questions center around making sure plant managers understand what will happen with out a plan in terms of costs and downtime.

Key Point: Maintenance management is more than just keeping machines in working order, it also includes contingency plans.

What We Learned This Week

It is evident from this week’s articles that maintenance management requires long-term planning as well as adequate management systems. Without proper planning of long-term objectives, our nation’s infrastructure will continue to crumble. Proper planning can be described as including; long-term capital analysis, contingency plans, how to retain the knowledge base as workers retire and the use of EAM and CMMS systems to enable better controls.