If you’re reading this particular question, congratulations! Part of my personal mission is to help you and other maintenance professionals achieve greatness. And I believe the first step in that process is to desire greatness. Once you have the desire, here are other important steps along the way:
Develop Technical Skills
If you have some formal education in manufacturing, engineering, or maintenance, it certainly helps early in your career. If you’re making a career switch or working your way up from a more unskilled team such as a janitorial or cleaning crew, you can gain some of this technical knowledge from local community colleges or through industry certifications.
Finding a company and mentor willing to work with you in an apprenticeship model is also a great way to get a foothold in this challenging industry. As a technician, you’ll be repairing, inspecting, and maintaining large pieces of complex equipment. Those technical skills are valuable in keeping a facility up and running.
Understand the Business Side
The next area of development revolves around understanding the business side of maintenance. Maintenance technicians who understand how to achieve results, balance risks and costs, and identify and solve problems will be valued.
Making changes at a facility can be slow and difficult. When your core business depends on the maintenance team to keep things running smoothly, it can seem like you’re always putting out fires. Being able to take a step back and see the root cause of problems, especially through CMMS data, will give you the ammunition to spearhead real change.
Hone People Skills
Although it’s fabulous to have stellar technical and business skills, perhaps the most important factor in achieving greatness for maintenance professionals is possessing strong people skills. Maintenance is the ultimate “group project”. Unless you can motivate, encourage, and convince others to buy into cost-saving changes, they simply won’t happen. Greatness comes from being able to leverage a team, a staff, or ultimately, a company to embrace predictive maintenance practices that can make an amazing difference to the facility’s bottom line.