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Total Productive Maintenance and Visual Management Techniques

Mary Jo Cherney is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and reliability professional with experience in centralized maintenance, total productive maintenance and global maintenance reliability at international manufacturing companies like Nissan North America and GE Appliances among others. Mike Petrusky asks Mary Jo about her book (co-authored by Robert Dapere) called “The Visual Management Handbook” … Continue reading "Total Productive Maintenance and Visual Management Techniques"

Total Productive Maintenance and Visual Management Techniques

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Mary Jo Cherney is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and reliability professional with experience in centralized maintenance, total productive maintenance and global maintenance reliability at international manufacturing companies like Nissan North America and GE Appliances among others. Mike Petrusky asks Mary Jo about her book (co-authored by Robert Dapere) called “The Visual Management Handbook” and she shares interesting stories, insightful leadership lessons, and practical advice for asset management practitioners. Mike and Mary Jo explore some of the trends, challenges and technologies that are having an impact on your organization and find inspiration in a classic Bob Seger song! [blog_cta id=’89c99d0f-c136-49ab-a307-508b4a5e8f33′] Get Mary Jo’s book: Connect with Mary Jo on LinkedIn:

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Share your thoughts with Mike via email: [email protected]

Mary Jo Cherney (00:01): You want your company to succeed. And if your competitors are using these techniques, then they’re going to win and you’re not. So, you need to be a pusher, a cheerleader that these techniques will work, and I promise you they will work if they are implemented properly. 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. Mike Petrusky (00:42): Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Asset Champion Podcast. It’s always great to have you here with us. I’m your host, Mike Petrusky. And this is episode 20 of the show. This week, I’ve got another great author and experienced asset management professional joining me, and I am going to welcome her right away from the Columbus, Ohio area. I’m pleased to welcome Mary Jo Cherney to the show. Hi, Mary Jo. Mary Jo Cherney (01:09): Hi, how are you today? Mike Petrusky (01:10): I am doing great. Thanks for being here. Mary Jo Cherney (01:13): Oh, well thank you for having me. Mike Petrusky (01:14): Mary Jo has worked for a number of large international companies, including the world’s largest steel manufacturer as well as GE Appliances, and Nissan. And Mary Jo, now you are the president of Equipment Excellence, LLC. Is that a consultancy? Mary Jo Cherney (01:31): Yes. My husband’s also a reliability professional, and as luck would have it, we started the LLC just when COVID-19 hit. So, we’ve been hunkered back down here in Columbus, Ohio area, but ready to get out and continue the good works that we have done both in those large companies. Mike Petrusky (01:54): I’m excited to here, Mary Jo, about some of your experiences as an asset management professional and your book, The Visual Management Handbook is available now on Tell me about that. When did you write the book and how was that process of doing so? Did you enjoy it? Mary Jo Cherney (02:12): I enjoyed it. My co-author, Robert Dapere was the chief technology officer for [inaudible 00:02:19] Middle’s Global Continuous Improvement. And he called me out of the blue one day and said, “How about writing a book with me on visual management?” Now, the unique part of writing this book is Robert lived in Paris, France, and I lived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Mike Petrusky (02:40): Wow. Okay. Okay, across the world. Yeah. Mary Jo Cherney (02:42): Across the world. So, he and I would Zoom meeting every Saturday and talk and give each other assignments until it finally came to fruition and we wrote the book. We’re very passionate about visual management, because it’s so important for the proper operation of the factory floor. Mike Petrusky (03:02): Excellent. Wow. That’s really cool. I’m still waiting for someone to call me from France and ask me to write a book, Mary Jo, that has not happened yet. But maybe if I keep doing these podcasts, you never know. Mary Jo Cherney (03:12): Okay. Mike Petrusky (03:13): I’m not sure what my expertise would be, but maybe bad singing on podcasts would be something I could write a book about. Mary Jo Cherney (03:18): There you go. Mike Petrusky (03:19): We’ll get to that in a second. But before we get too far, I want to hear a little bit more about your story. How did you end up where you are today? Mary Jo Cherney (03:25): Well, it’s an interesting journey. I came to a crossroad. I was a high school business teacher. And in teaching, you either go into get your master’s in education or I was in the business field. So, I got my MBA. And from that point on, I focused more going into actual business and working with companies. And so, I was fortunate enough to work with a large community college in the Cleveland, Ohio area and ran their Six Sigma department, that led me to getting a black belt in Six Sigma, which led me to helping one of my largest customers who eventually hired me to become their division manager of continuous improvement. And the rest is history. Mike Petrusky (04:13): Well, yeah, that’s what happens when you become a black belt in something. You’re highly in demand. That’s awesome. Mary Jo Cherney (04:19): Right. Mike Petrusky (04:20): Well, we will definitely talk more about some of your experiences working for some really great companies and I look forward to that. But before then, I do like to find out a little bit more of the personality of my guests, Mary Jo. So, I always ask about music. Do you have a favorite song or artist that inspires you? Mary Jo Cherney (04:37): I do. And actually the best line in music is on a picture in my kitchen. And it would be Bob Seger, Against the Wind. Mike Petrusky (04:48): Yes, Bob Seger. Mary Jo Cherney (04:50): Bob Seger. Mike Petrusky (04:51): And the Silver Bullet Band? Mary Jo Cherney (04:52): And the Silver Bullet Band. I’ve seen him in concert many, many, many times. Mike Petrusky (04:58): Against the wind. What’s the line that you like? Mary Jo Cherney (05:01): “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” Mike Petrusky (05:03): Ah. Yeah, deep. Mary Jo Cherney (05:05): Best line in music, and you can use it almost every day. Mike Petrusky (05:10): Boy. Yeah, to go back to the times of innocence before we knew what we know today, isn’t that- Mary Jo Cherney (05:10): That’s right. Mike Petrusky (05:17): That’s a timeless truth there. Boy, I think we all can… The older we get, I can certainly relate to that. Mary Jo Cherney (05:21): Yes, yes. For sure. Mike Petrusky (05:23): Just take those old records off the shelf, Mary Jo. Mary Jo Cherney (05:26): That’s right. Mike Petrusky (05:28): (singing). Mary Jo Cherney (05:28): (singing). Mike Petrusky (05:39): There it is. All right. Mary Jo Cherney (05:40): There you go. Mike Petrusky (05:41): A little duet. I love it, I love it. Thank you for doing that. Mary Jo Cherney (05:44): You’re welcome. Mike Petrusky (05:45): Good stuff. Mary Jo, I do like to also use this time on the podcast to inspire our audience. Do you have a favorite quote you could share? Mary Jo Cherney (05:55): I do. And I have used this quote since my children, I have two daughters, and since they went to junior high and you know how sometimes girls can be mean girls? Mike Petrusky (06:06): Oh, sure. I raised two daughters myself. Mary Jo Cherney (06:08): Yeah. The quote is, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” and it’s by Eleanor Roosevelt. I printed that out. It was on both their doors in their bedrooms, so they could read it every time they opened up their door, and it was on their bathroom mirror, and it was on our refrigerator. Mike Petrusky (06:28): Good advice. Boy, that’s especially relevant in today’s social media world, and even as adults, there’s a constant risk of comparing ourselves to others, but I think that’s another timeless truth from Eleanor Roosevelt. Awesome. Thanks for sharing. Mary Jo Cherney (06:44): Thank you. Mike Petrusky (06:45): So, you’ve had opportunities to work for some of the great manufacturers in this country, GE Appliances, Nissan. Tell us more about what you enjoyed most during your work career and what brought the most satisfaction in the work you were doing. Mary Jo Cherney (06:59): Once again, there are so many things that gave me satisfaction, but probably the most important, because when you’re implementing TPM, you’re working with the people on the floor. So, you’re working with the operators and you’re working with the maintenance professionals. And many times, upper-level management does not give them a voice or supervisors do not give them a voice, because they’re fearful of their jobs. And so, being out in the floor, working with the people, getting them involved, taking their advice, giving them some helpful tips, probably the most motivational part of my job and what I feel most satisfied about. We saw people going from being stuck with the basket over their light to opening up and blossoming, and becoming some of the best TPM professionals that I’ve ever been around. So, that gave me the most, giving a voice to the people on the manufacturing floor. Mike Petrusky (08:02): So, what is TPM? What does TPM stand for and what does it mean? Mary Jo Cherney (08:07): TPM, it stands for total productive maintenance. And actually, that maintenance on the end of that, a lot of people feel that it’s only about maintenance and it’s not. It is a continuous improvement method to improve the operation of the equipment and the operation actually of the entire company. There are goals of TPM, zero accidents. So, safety is the number one underlying factor in TPM. We don’t want any accidents. We don’t want people injured. Zero breakdowns, which right away when you say zero breakdowns maintenance people are like, “You’re crazy, that doesn’t occur.” But when you work on the equipment and you find all the defects, you will be able to get your equipment to run more efficiently and you’ll be able to take it down when you need to take it down, not when it takes it down itself. And then the other thing is zero defects. So, we call them the zero goals and you focus on what are your top losses.             So, what are the top losses that you’re finding? For instance, unplanned stops. So, we had to stop the equipment for some reason, there was a breakdown for some reason. And your setup times, how can you improve your setup time so that you can change over tooling quicker in a more efficient manner? Production defects, we don’t want production defects. That costs the company millions of dollars if you start thinking about how many production defects you have. So, those are some of the things that we focus on in total productive maintenance. There’s also a simultaneous meaning world-class manufacturing. Mike Petrusky (09:51): Okay, yeah. Mary Jo Cherney (09:51): And those two are interchangeable essentially. Mike Petrusky (09:55): So, do you talk about TPM in your book, The Visual Management Handbook? Mary Jo Cherney (09:59): We do talk about TPM techniques. So, TPM is very visual. And so, for instance, when we turn over the inspection to the operators, we make those inspection points very visual. So, for instance, color-coding lubrication. What type of lubrication would need to be put into this piece of equipment, and you can color-code it? You color-code, not only the, let’s say we’re greasing the grease gun, but you also color-code the point of which you put the grease into the equipment. So, anything that’s visual. Pictures on the inspection reports. So, when we have the operators do the inspection, we need to have pictures on there so that we can show them exactly what we want them to do and what we want them to look at. And so, TPM is very, very visual. And so, it’s a very big part of the book, it shows examples of visual management in TPM. Mike Petrusky (11:01): That’s great. So, I know I’m a visual learner and I imagine most human beings do benefit from seeing things visually as opposed to just straight text out of a handbook somewhere. Mary Jo Cherney (11:11): Well, as you do the research and the research I did when I was writing the book with Robert, the brain is wired toward visual more than it is towards any other function, including language. Mike Petrusky (11:25): Wow. Mary Jo Cherney (11:26): And so, that’s why you can, if you close your eyes and we ask you to look at a picture of the Eiffel Tower, a picture of the Eiffel Tower in your mind, even though you’ve never been to Paris, you can see the Eiffel Tower, because you’ve seen it in the picture book. Mike Petrusky (11:40): Yeah, definitely. Mary Jo Cherney (11:41): And your brain remembers that. The other thing that’s so important in the United States, and especially for those of us that are in the business world is the illiteracy rate in the United States. So, 21% of adults in the United States are considered functionally illiterate. So, that means they can’t read. Mike Petrusky (12:02): Wow. Mary Jo Cherney (12:02): So, you have to have some other way of transmitting information to them. And the best way to do that is through pictures. Mike Petrusky (12:12): Well, boy, that clarity and that ability to communicate is certainly something that is important in today’s world. We’ve been through quite a bit the last six months and the world is changing very quickly these days, Mary Jo. So, from your perspective, what are some of the significant trends in the world of assets management? Mary Jo Cherney (12:31): Technology, technology, technology. Mike Petrusky (12:34): Sure, yeah. Mary Jo Cherney (12:35): There are all kinds of technologies that can help you diagnose the health of your assets. So, for instance, ultrasound, thermography, motor testing, all types of things, vibration analysis. And we used all of those in all the companies that I worked for. So, if you’re not using them, you need to invest, because your return on investment will be overwhelming compared to what your investment in the equipment is. Very important. The amounts of money that we saved using technology to diagnose the health of the equipment, and when it was going to break down was in the millions of dollars. Mike Petrusky (13:19): And is predictive maintenance part of this? Mary Jo Cherney (13:22): Right. Predictive maintenance, basically, you can predict when a piece of equipment is going to go down. So, therefore, you can notify your maintenance to plan that job out before it actually breaks down, because breakdowns costs companies a whole lot more money than planned maintenance. And the other thing is when you have breakdown maintenance, your safety chances go up of having an incident. So, you really need to use planned maintenance. And the best way to do that is using your predictive maintenance tools and technology. Mike Petrusky (13:58): Well, I know you mentioned the importance of managing people and facing some of these challenges from the human perspective. With that in mind, Mary Jo, what advice would you have for present day and future asset management leaders? Mary Jo Cherney (14:12): I think one of the most important things that people have to do in today’s manufacturing world is they need to know where they are truly in their manufacturing cycles or in their OEE. And you need to have data in order to do that. You need to have data in order to sell to your upper management, the need for investment. It can’t be opinion. So, you’ve got to measure data continually, and that’s important. Opinions will not give you the dollar investments that you’re going to need to implement some of these new techniques, but data will. Okay. Very important. Mike Petrusky (15:01): Uh-oh, another acronym. OEE, what does that stand for? Mary Jo Cherney (15:05): It’s overall equipment effectiveness. And basically what you do is there’s a formula for it. Mean time between failure minus mean time to repair divided by mean time between failure. So, in other words, the length of time between your failures minus the length of time that it takes you to repair your equipment divided by that time between the failure. And that will give you your OEE. Mike Petrusky (15:34): Oh, boy. Wow. I think I say it every- Mary Jo Cherney (15:34): I know. Mike Petrusky (15:38): Every week on this show, Mary Jo, I say, “I was promised there’d be no math,” and- Mary Jo Cherney (15:42): Yeah, look it up. Look it up and put together an Excel spreadsheet. That Excel spreadsheet will help you. Mike Petrusky (15:49): Oh, yeah, I think this is going to be the last episode of the Asset Champion Podcast if these are the roads we’re heading down in the future. When we drill down to the deep principles of asset management, I guess I have to get used to a little bit of math along the way. Mary Jo Cherney (16:01): Little math along the way. Another important point that I want to point out to the listeners is the importance of lubrication management. Mike Petrusky (16:09): Oh, okay. Mary Jo Cherney (16:09): Because normally, when you receive hydraulic fluid, or oils, or greases, they are many, many times dirtier than you want to put in your equipment. And when you say that to people, they’re like, “What? It looks clean.” Yes, it does look clean, but it’s very, very dirty. And so, you need to filter your lubrication, and that’s a whole nother technique that you can get into. That would be a great podcast for you. Mike Petrusky (16:40): Yeah. Mary, and I have to have you back after this initial wave of just me getting to know some of the basics. And we can only do much in 20 minutes and we’re almost out of time. Mary Jo Cherney (16:49): That’s right. Mike Petrusky (16:50): So, for a final question, Mary Jo, any other advice, if you could share with our audience as they look to the future? Mary Jo Cherney (16:57): I would just say that you need to, number one, have broad shoulders, because there will be naysayers. Mike Petrusky (17:05): Of course, yeah. Mary Jo Cherney (17:06): You want your company to succeed. And if your competitors are using these techniques, then they’re going to win and you’re not. So, you need to be a pusher, a cheerleader that these techniques will work. And I promise you they will work if they’re implemented properly. I’ve seen it in three international companies where I’ve worked. So, very important, but you have to be stall worthy and push ahead, because if not, it will go away and your company will lose. Mike Petrusky (17:41): Excellent. great advice. This has been great. Wow, I’ve learned a lot. Mary Jo, I really enjoyed our conversation. Thank you for being on the Asset Champion Podcast. Mary Jo Cherney (17:50): You’re welcome. Thank you so much for having me. Mike Petrusky (17:53): And thank you all for being here for another episode of the podcast. I hope you’re enjoying these shows as much as I am. And if you’d like more information about Mary Jo’s book, The Visual Management Handbook, I have left you a link in the show notes to make that easy. I would also ask you to check out our show on Apple Podcasts, leave us a rating and a review there. And I look forward to talking with you again next week, as we continue on this journey together to encourage and inspire each other to be an asset champion. Peace out.   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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