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Setting a Vision for Asset Management & Maintenance in 2020

John Rimer, CFM is President of FM360 Facility Management Consulting and Training where he focuses on assessing, developing, and improving facility management programs. Mike Petrusky asks John about his years of facility management experience in a variety of industries, delivering a leadership vision based on a comprehensive, value-driven perspective for his clients. After presenting together … Continue reading "Setting a Vision for Asset Management & Maintenance in 2020"

Setting a Vision for Asset Management & Maintenance in 2020

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John Rimer, CFM is President of FM360 Facility Management Consulting and Training where he focuses on assessing, developing, and improving facility management programs. Mike Petrusky asks John about his years of facility management experience in a variety of industries, delivering a leadership vision based on a comprehensive, value-driven perspective for his clients. After presenting together earlier this year at an IFMA event in Charlotte, NC, Mike was reminded of John’s expertise in FM technologies and asset management strategies from capital renewal and replacement to predictive maintenance and lifecycle management programs. They reminisce about John’s early appearance on the “FM Innovator Podcast” and share a few laughs about music while also offering inspiration for visionary leaders who hope to be an asset champion!

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Read the full transcript:

John Rimer: That really is what I’m looking for. Again, as that big picture guy, is I need to aggregate this information, cost, uptime or downtime, conversely, and bring all that together and look at it and go, “Okay, what can I do in driving my business decisions, using this information?”  
Mike P: [00:00:30] This is the Asset Champion Podcast, where we talk with facilities maintenance and asset management leaders about the industry trends and technologies impacting your organization. This show is powered by the iOFFICE asset division, delivering easy to use maintenance management software tools to help you drive powerful asset performance.  
      [00:01:00] Hey everybody, it’s Mike P welcoming you to another episode of the Asset Champion Podcast. This is episode five. As I first began to put together my list of experts that I wanted to have as guests on this new show, I quickly realized that I have this amazing network of friends who I have met over the years during my time in the facility management community. Some actually have appeared in the past on my very first podcast, which was all about encouraging my listeners to be an FM innovator. But now that we’re focused more on asset management, some of those same principles and concepts we discussed in the past could be expanded upon here on this new show.  
[00:01:30] In fact, I ran into one of those past guests when we were both presenting earlier this year at an IFMA event in Charlotte, North Carolina. John Rimer is President of FM360 Facility Management Consulting and Training, and I realized based on hearing his presentation that day, that he could really be helpful to me as I explore this new world of asset management. I’m really excited to have him on today’s episode, and I think you’ll enjoy this too. So here we go.  
[00:02:00] Joining us today on the Asset Champion hotline from Charlotte, North Carolina, please welcome John Rimer to the show. Hi John.  
John Rimer: Hey Mike, how are you doing, sir?  
Mike P: Good to hear your voice again. We have known each other for a little while. In fact, we were just reminiscing about your appearance on my old podcast, the FM Innovator Podcast. That was great. That was almost three years ago, John. What’s going on here? Time’s flying.  
John Rimer: I’ve gotten older, that’s what happened here.  
Mike P: You and me both.  
[00:02:30] John Rimer:   Yeah, it’s amazing how quickly time flies. Again, as you get older, it does fly by faster, so they were telling us the truth.  
Mike P: How’s the family? How are the kids? The gang that once traveled the country via RV. Five children, right?  
John Rimer: Yeah, five kids. Oldest is 18, down to age six.  
Mike P: Wow.  
John Rimer: It is. It’s crazy, just kind of plotting out what, my two oldest ones, what their career and college paths look like.  
Mike P: Yep.  
John Rimer: [00:03:00] I mean, like you said, in the last three years, to go from, okay, they’re entering high school, to they’re driving. I’ve got one that wants to be a pilot, so he’s flying.  
Mike P: Wow.  
John Rimer: Yeah, it’s amazing how life can change in such a short time.  
Mike P: Well, good luck with all that. It’s a fun time, it’s a great time. I’m a couple miles further down the road, as far as the family goes. Adult children now, one’s married, but family is what it’s all about, and-  
John Rimer: Absolutely.  
Mike P: [00:03:30] I’m so glad you’re doing well. But get us caught up on your career. Still principle, consultant and president of FM360, right?  
John Rimer: Correct. Yeah, FM360 is doing well. We’ve grown, of course, over those last handful of years since you and I talked our last podcast, and it’s exciting. I’m very thankful to see what we’re doing and moving beyond training and consulting to adding additional services as well.  
Mike P: [00:04:00] Excellent. Well, the reason I wanted to bring you back and have you on this show is now I am learning the world of asset management. I know that in the facility management community, it’s part of the core competencies that FMs must be aware of, but there’s a lot more out there. What would you say, as far as what am I getting myself into here? How would you define asset management in broad terms?  
John Rimer:     [00:04:30] Well, most of my perspective is going to come from that facility management background. But when we do expand our purview into looking at asset management, you do move beyond those assets that would be, I’ll say under the control or management of the facilities department. That’s going to expand into a number of different arenas as well, including IT, fleets, et cetera. So I think there’s a bigger picture that we look at in asset management, but the principles and philosophies are really pretty much the same, it’s just a matter of us managing those resources well.  
Mike P:   [00:05:00] Maintaining the assets is something that you’re very familiar with, and also the technology tools that can help practitioners do their job better is something that I want to talk about today. But before we get too far, can you give us a little more of the personal side of John Rimer? What music are you listening to these days?  
John Rimer: Oh my, I got to say I love the internet, using the online streaming audio where you can just kind of pick your flavor. Yesterday for example, I was working on an article and I had the Doris Day station playing in the background, so a little bit of a big band stuff mixed in.  
Mike P: Nice.  
[00:05:30] John Rimer:   Then I’ll move onto listening to Eric Church and Zac Brown Band. So, I tend to lean more towards the country side of things.  
Mike P: Wow.  
John Rimer: So it just really, really depends, I’m all over the board.  
Mike P: That’s awesome. Que sera sera.  
John Rimer: Yeah.  
Mike P: Whatever will be, will be.  
John Rimer: That’s right.  
Mike P: Last time we talked about U2, but Doris Day, that’s a step up.  
John Rimer: [00:06:00] Exactly. The beauty of it is, is my kids, they’re more hip than I am of course on the current pop. I’m less intrigued by that music, but I’ll listen to it with them.  
Mike P: Yeah.  
John Rimer: But it’s when I get my six-year-old going around, what, this weekend he was singing Queen.  
Mike P: Nice.  
John Rimer: So, I mean, it’s all across the board. I’m not the only one introducing him to the stuff from the 70s and 80s and 90s, it’s my teenagers that are introducing him to that. They’ll just go around singing, like, “Where did you guys hear that song?” I mean, that gives me a flashback from 30 years. It’s pretty funny.  
[00:06:30] Mike P:   That generational aspect of passing music down from generation to generation, it’s awesome. Well, here on the Asset Champion Podcast, I do hope to continue the tradition of inspiring our audience with some motivation. Do you have a favorite quote you could share with us?  
John Rimer:   [00:07:00] Well, I knew you’d be asking that question, as is very much your M.O. I really kept coming back to a proverb that basically says without vision, the people perish, or other translation, without vision, the people will wander in the desert and basically you’ll be left up to all sorts of their own vices, their own troubles.  
Mike P: Yeah.  
John Rimer:     [00:07:30] I think that to me, it just kept coming back to me, and that really tied into, even what we were going to talk about today with asset management, of having that bigger picture perspective. Because it is so easy for us to get mired in the weeds of the day-to-day, and we really lose that viewpoint of why it is we do what we do. Again, that’s applicable to us talking about asset management and facility management, but of course that expands to all things, even relationally, or even amidst our current crisis with the coronavirus.  
    [00:08:00] It’s taking that step back, lifting our heads out of those fires that we’re fighting right now, those crises that we’re in, because there’s always going to be those different crises. Whether it’s a macro one, like COVID, or micro, where it’s an emergency or an event going on, even within your own campus or organization. It’s take a step back and pull yourself out of that smoke to try to recalibrate, if you will, and maintain that perspective, so that we can see that bigger picture and set a plan to move forward as wisely as possible. That is so much easier said than done, especially when you’re in the middle of something.  
[00:08:30] Mike P:   John, it was great to see you in Charlotte. In fact, I really enjoyed your presentation called Digging Out of Deferred Maintenance: Implementing a Capital Replacement Plan. I couldn’t help but think that there was a lot of things you were saying that day that related to what I’m learning about the asset management industry and the role of asset managers as well. So, tell me about that and how does it all tie together?  
John Rimer: [00:09:00] Well, I think really when we look at this, again, looking at asset management, we have to look at, as they say the cradle to grave perspective, so that it’s not just about us operating, maintaining it, and then hopefully being able to replace it once we’ve sunk too many funds into it, or it’s impacted production or the office environment too many times, so that it becomes a nuisance, it really is setting that vision, sticking with that term, of identifying what is the intent of that asset? What do we need it to do, both in the near term and the long term? As best as we can project, of course.  
[00:09:30]         [00:10:00] With that, designing it in such a way so that it’s going to meet those expectations and then be constructed, so that it is living up to what those expectations are. That’s through good construction, of course, commissioning, and then that transition to operations. That usually is where the ball is dropped significantly. It’s improving, but you’ve got that that hand-off to facilities from construction side, lack of information, or even really lack of involvement of facilities, even in the design and construction process. Now, again, there’s a bridge being built there, but there’s a long way still to go.  
        [00:10:30] Then with that, it’s, okay, now we’ve got the life cycle of that asset, where we have to operate it, maintain it, so that it continues to live up to its purpose and provide that productivity that is needed. Then of course, planning for its replacement. As it reaches end of life, it’s going to reduce in its reliability, it’s going to increase in its maintenance cost. So, you’ve got to draw that line as to when do we plan for its replacement.  
        [00:11:00] That really is where the capital replacement planning comes into place. That definition of deferred maintenance, where you have all assets that are evaluated as part of that FCA, that facility condition assessment, that I say, you start from the outside of the facility and you work your way in. But you’re looking from in, the ground, the parking lots, the curbing, even your vegetation, your trees, they have a life cycle. Moving all the way into the inside of the building and evaluating all your systems, all your finishes and saying, “All right, this is when they were installed, this is the life expectancy based off of their use, and this is how much it’s going to cost to replace them, and this is when we anticipate we should replace them.”  
    [00:11:30] We have to plan for all that, and so that way when it does reach the end of useful life, you have the funding available to update it and replace it. Otherwise, you’re going to start feeding more of your operations and maintenance dollars, which are already stretched, into repairing these old systems and keeping them limping along basically, instead of just doing it right and replacing them so that you can continue to provide a safe, productive work environment.  
  That really is a challenge that has been going on the whole time I’ve been in facilities, and it’s still one of the key fundamental elements that I look for in helping an organization set up their overall facility management program, is do you have a capital replacement plan?  
[00:12:00] Mike P:   Let’s circle back to something I know about you, John. You’re an expert in technology tools that help facility management leaders manage their assets. So, are many organizations using CMMS or other tools today, or do we still have a long way to go to really make the most of these technology tools that are available for us?  
John Rimer: [00:12:30] I think the answer to your question is going to be yes, and yes. When we look at computerized maintenance management systems, as CMMS, again, I kind of consider all of this alphabet soup, where you’ve got integrated work management systems, IWMS, you’ve got the computerated facility managements [inaudible 00:12:38]. They’ve been, of course, trying to mix in them, building information modeling.  
    [00:13:00] So you’ve got these different acronyms floating around out there, but really when it comes down to it, these systems, and I cut my teeth on CMMS just over 20 years ago. That’s actually how I even got into facilities, was as an intern with Intel back in Arizona.  
Mike P: Oh wow.  
John Rimer:       [00:13:30] I spent my summer reading thousands of pages of pass down logs, I was a mechanical engineering student at the time at Arizona State. I spent my summer reading thousands of pages of pass down logs, trying to translate chicken scratch and identify anytime that the engineers, this is for a manufacturing facility, anytime the engineers replaced something, fixed something, I was having to read that and translate it out of their pass down log into that as a posthumous work order, if you will, into their CMMS at the time.  
    [00:14:00] So, that launched me into this world of the technologies to help us manage our assets. While a lot has changed in the 20 plus years with respect to technology, I would have loved to have the technology as we have today back then, or even 10 years ago. We still have not caught up with technology as a facility industry. It is literally sitting at our doorstep and there are many organizations that don’t even have a CMMS or IWMS in place.  
    [00:14:30] Which for me, hey, that’s great, because that’s what has really grown my business, has actually become a niche field for us of helping clients figure out what system do they need. Because there are, there’s a variety of different programs out there. A lot of really good ones, good companies, but is it the right tool for you?  
Mike P: Right.  
John Rimer: That essentially is what these systems should be, is that’s your central nervous system that helps you to manage that cradle to grave. Again, taking a step back to what we talked about earlier, of going from that design to construction, to that transition to operations, to the operations and maintenance, and then with that at capital planning of forecasting its end of life and replacing it, and the cycle starts all over again.  
[00:15:00] So what I’m seeing clients do is they’re saying, “You know what? Let’s just pick the best in breed and let’s get us a good strong CMMS or IWMS that covers what we need it to do at its core.” You’ll see that in its ease of use and the mobile applications, because I’m handing technology to some engineers that they would rather probably throw it at me than use it.  
Mike P: Yeah.  
[00:15:30] John Rimer:           [00:16:00]   But I’m giving them this mobile technology that they’re able to easily and intuitively perform their task in the field. Yes, getting them to do their work is useful, I need that, that’s part of day-to-day operations, but for me, I need the data on the back-end. Because that really is what I’m looking for, again, as that big picture guy, is I need to aggregate this information of cost, uptime or downtime, conversely, and bring all that together and look at it and go, “Okay, what can I do in driving my business decisions, using this information? How can I take this information and put it in a palatable format to upper management that speaks their language, so that I can get those assets replaced as they reach end of life, so I can get additional technicians, engineers, resources to help us do our job?”  
    [00:16:30] Because if I’m just using those systems to do work orders, I’m missing the boat. I need to make sure we’re aggregating that information, collecting it, doing the analysis and continuing to drive improvement. Because as we know, the world does not stop, we have to continue to change and improve with it.  
Mike P: Wow, excellent. John, this has been great. Thank you so much for being on the Asset Champion Podcast.  
John Rimer: Thank you, Mike. It’s been a pleasure.  
Mike P:     [00:17:00] There you have it everyone, John Rimer of FM360 sharing just a little bit of his approach when it comes to assessing, developing and improving facility management programs, across many, many industries. John and I talked about so many other things that couldn’t make it onto this edited podcast, change management and helping organizations with implementing technologies in a practical way. If that is something that interests you, I hope you’ll reach out to John.  
        [00:17:30] I’ve left for you some information in today’s show notes to help you connect with him easily, and I appreciate you being here. Again, I’m going to ask for it. Please, this is a new show and I really need your help in spreading the word, share it with a friend or a colleague, head over to Apple Podcasts if you would, leave us a rating and a review. If you do, I will give you a shout out on a future podcast episode. So, how’s that for a deal? Until then, I hope we’ll see you back each and every week as I continue on my journey to learn as much as I can, and we encourage each other to be an asset champion. Peace out.  
  [00:18:00] You’ve been listening to the Asset Champion Podcast. We hope you found this discussion beneficial as we work together to elevate asset management success by improving efficiency, reducing costs and building best practices. For more information about how the iOFFICE asset division can boost the performance of your physical assets by providing comprehensive enterprise asset management software solutions, please visit  


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As the host of both the Workplace Innovator Podcast and the Asset Champion Podcast, Mike's role at Eptura is to share thought leadership with CRE, FM, and IT leaders in the digital and hybrid workplace. As an in-demand public speaker, Mike engages audiences with his focus on the human element of workplace and facility management at International Facility Management Association, CoreNet, and other industry events.

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