What is a best practice? We agree with the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) definition: “A best practice is a process, technique or innovative use of resources that has a proven record of success in providing significant improvement in cost, schedule, quality, performance, safety, environment or other measurable factors that impact the health of an organization.”
SMRP committee members and contributors are doing the industrial maintenance and asset management profession a great service by defining terminology, building consensus standards and collecting a body of knowledge that includes best practices. The SMRP’s formal process of soliciting proposals, submitting them to its membership for comment, refining and agreeing upon the results, and making them available to all, is invaluable.
But defining best practices only gets you part of the way. To implement them, most companies and individuals need concrete examples that demonstrate how to introduce them, show the potential payoffs in both qualitative and quantitative terms, and provide inspiration for those who must overcome cultural inertia and make effective changes.
That’s why we inaugurated the Plant Services Best Practices Awards. All that you need to enter is a story about an application that fits the SMRP definition. Entries may be submitted by plant personnel, vendors, engineering firms, consultants or anyone who is familiar with the application and has permission to make it public knowledge.
Entries submitted before the Sept. 1, 2006 deadline were entered in this first round. We edited them as necessary for clarity, divided them into five categories and posted them behind registration pages in a secluded region of www.PlantServices.com.
We wrote summaries of every proposed best practice and its results (leaving out any product or company names) and, in December, we e-mailed the summaries to registered Plant Services readers, inviting them to vote by registering and accessing the full stories. Registration is used only to ensure the integrity of the voting process – information isn’t shared with others or used for any other purpose.
The winners presented here were determined by tallying the number of qualified readers who had accessed each entry. On the following pages you’ll find comprehensive excerpts of this year’s winning stories, as well as brief descriptions of the runners-up.
This being the inaugural year of the awards, we were surprised and pleased at the number and range of entries received. We expect them to set the bar for an even larger collection of impressive tales for the 2008 Plant Services Best Practices Awards. We want to thank those of you who responded to our e-mailed ballot, not only for helping to select the winners, but also for being interested in improving their operations and, thus, all our lives by learning from the application stories.
We also thank those who entered for being willing to share the results of their fine work with your peers, and for taking the time and making the effort to write it up.