Preparing for the Future of Asset Management

In episode 54 of Asset Champion, host Mike Petrusky speaks with Chris Pepin, founder and managing partner at Progressive Reliability, a service-focused talent acquisition firm. Pepin talks about his passion for specialized talent management, how he helps asset management intensive organizations meet the challenges of today’s marketplace and what he has learned about our industry during the pandemic.

Pepin also shares his philosophy on the next generation of maintenance, reliability and asset management leaders while giving practical advice on how to help manage your organization. 


  • Pepin’s journey in maintenance and reliability 
  • Importance of strong management skills 
  • Current challenges in asset management  
  • Future of the manufacturing industry 
  • Importance of treating employees well 

What you need to know: Facility and maintenance takeaways 

Takeaway 1

The need for strong management skills in the future 

The future of asset management will rely heavily on strong management skills. Peppen emphasizes the importance of creating an environment conducive for learning and development which can attract the best talent.  

“Strong management skills are going to be one of the most important parts of the future. Even if it’s a difficult organization, if you create an environment where it’s great to learn, skills are added, knowledge is added, the team is well aligned, you’re going to attract the best people,” said Pepin. He also proposed that organizations that excel in attracting and retaining talent won’t need recruitment firms, thereby leaving such firms to serve other organizations that require their services. 

Takeaway 2

The impact of the pandemic on the maintenance and reliability industry 

The pandemic significantly impacted the maintenance and reliability industry, with many projects left undone and facilities running at full capacity. Pepin notes the shortage of willing workers and the strain on operations as key challenges currently facing the industry. 

“In the middle of 2021, a big issue is going to be last year everybody was off site, so everything that wasn’t absolutely critical was taken offline or sent to work from home, which means you’ve got just a lot of projects and work that wasn’t done last year,” he says. 

Takeaway 3

The importance of focusing on the fundamentals in asset management 

Despite new developments and trends, Pepin emphasizes the importance of focusing on the fundamentals in asset management. He advises that while it’s essential to keep up with the latest industry trends, it’s equally important not to lose sight of the basic principles. 

“In terms of finding quality people, there’s an integrity there. You always want to look at the fundamentals because that’s the one thing that the world wants to get away from. And frankly, it’s always the one thing that we come back to.” He also believes that understanding one’s criticality analysis and enterprise asset management platform are vital for effective asset management. 

Asset management insights 

  • Strong management skills are going to be vital for the future of organizations. Good people will leave organizations, but if they leave stronger than when they arrived, it creates a legacy of continuous improvement. 
  • The most important thing in hiring and asset management is to always pay attention to the fundamentals. There will always be new skills, but fundamentals are what the world always comes back to. 
  • Organizations need to treat their people well. This doesn’t mean giving them whatever they want, but ensuring they’re better than they were when they arrived. This attracts the best people and reduces the need for external recruitment. 
  • The maintenance and reliability industry is a big “small” industry where everyone knows everyone. Opportunities to do a great job are well rewarded, and anything less than your best is quickly removed. 

Listen to the full podcast here

Go deeper. Dive into more episodes of Eptura’s Asset Champion podcasts. 

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Jonathan writes about asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions in his role as a digital content creator at Eptura. He covers trends across industries, including fleet, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality, with a focus on delivering thought leadership with actionable insights. Earlier in his career, he wrote textbooks, edited NPC dialogue for video games, and taught English as a foreign language. He hold a master's degree in journalism.