Ignorance is more serious problem than what’s identified during “The Tonight Show” street interviews of pedestrians for answers to common questions. Studies have proved that about 70% of equipment failures are self induced. Maintenance operations currently perform at levels between 10%-40% efficiency. Organizations typically operate in the very expensive reactive mode and not the optimal proactive mode. Businesses strive to achieve their performance goals but yet continually fall short not due to customer demand or competitor strength, but simply due to obstacles of their own creation.Ignorance is a very expensive, unstated problem plaguing business. Numerous companies are closing their factories and receiving numerous lawsuit penalties because of product defects. Many companies are losing market share not because of the lack of sales or product quality, but because of the lack of manufacturing capacity. These results are often not because of employee laziness, apathy or criminal intent. Many times they literally just do not know any better ways to conduct themselves. However, ignorance is not just on the production floor.Business executives have the ultimate influence on organizations’ performance and direction. Maintenance is critical component for a company to deliver capacity and quality. However, how many truly understand the value of maintenance? How many have attended a proactive maintenance seminar? CFOs routinely reject personnel training programs and other capacity enhancement initiatives due to short-term costs. They typically do not fully comprehend long-term value provided. Although they have good intentions of saving the company money, many are restricting their companies’ growth and ability to fully achieve their business objectives.E-mail Joel Leonard at [email protected].