If you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it;
If you can’t define something, you can’t measure it;
If you can’t understand something, you can’t define it;
Where there is no management there is no success;

William Edwards Deming

Although this quote from William Deming dates back to the last century its message is still relevant in today’s management. In the field of Maintenance Management I find measuring is essential to management, as only concrete data and constant pursuit of continuous improvement will allow us to be more efficient and to improve our results.

Fairly often in industry we still come across companies where there are no reliable records demonstrating the actual figures of equipment malfunction and helping identify its sources. This lack of record-keeping generates grey areas and, as a rule, machines are blamed for the various sorts of existing inefficiencies – “we have many equipment problems” is indeed a commonly heard justification for negative results: Deming’s key-points come to our mind: we do not measure, nor do we define problems, we do not manage and we do not achieve success.

Without concrete information the maintenance manager cannot justify the achieved results, nor is he able to quantify and identify the causes of major problems; he will focus exclusively in solving the day-to-day problems and will never break away from this cycle.



by Gil Santos (Engr.)

Graduated in Electrotechnical Engineering and Post Graduated in Energy Management and Energy Efficiency. Started his professional career in the industrial maintenance area in 1996 in the automotive industry, having later held management positions in several industries, such as metal mechanics, environmental, Food production, Chemical, among others.
Author of a blog called ‘Manutenção Industrial Moderna’ (Modern Industrial Maintenance), in portuguese language, where he shares his vision on maintenance management and efficiency.