Book Review

Making Common Sense Common Practice
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Making Common Sense Common Practice

By: Ron Moore

Hardcover - 368 pages
Published by: Gulf Professional Publishing Company
Publication Date: May 10, 1999
Dimensions (in inches): 1.14 x 9.35 x 6.42
ISBN: 0884158993

Our Review

I was fortunate enough, earlier this year, to attend a presentation and seminar given by Ron Moore, Managing Partner of The RM Group, Inc. This seminar was a rare event amongst maintenance presentations - illuminating, entertaining, stimulating, inspiring, and laced with good, down-to-earth, practical common sense. It was with a sense of anticipation, therefore, that I started reading Ron's book - Making Common Sense Common Practice - Models for Manufacturing Excellence. I am glad to report, that Ron's book is of the same, high standard as his seminars, and I highly recommended it to all Maintenance professionals.

The book starts at a high level, discussing the need to take a strategic view of Operating and Maintenance excellence, and ensure that these strategies are fully integrated with the remainder of the organisation - especially with the Marketing function. He talks also about different organisations' motivation for improvement, and the role that benchmarking has to play in generating a momentum for change. He then introduces, and discusses, the six key elements of Manufacturing Excellence

  • Excellence in Plant Design and Capital Project practices
  • Excellence in Procurement Practices
  • Excellence in Stores/Parts Management Practices
  • Excellence in Installation Practices
  • Excellence in Operational Practices
  • Excellence in Maintenance Practices

From a Maintenance perspective, Ron makes the perfectly valid point that Maintenance's ability to provide a high level of plant performance is heavily influenced by practices in the other key areas. This probably does not come as any great surprise to experienced Maintenance professionals. However, rather than simply using this as an excuse for poor performance, Ron outlines in these chapters, some highly practical tips, snippets of information, and approaches which can lead to improvement in all of these areas. For example (and there are many similar examples that I could have chosen), there is an excellent few paragraphs on Pump Reliability Best Practices, which includes half a dozen very simple, but very practical tips.

There then follows further chapters which deal in more detail with Maintenance practices and concepts, including Optimising the PM Process, Implementing a Computerized Maintenance Management System, Making Effective Use of Contractors, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), Implementation of Reliability Processes, Organizational Behavior and Structure, Training, and Performance Measurement.

The fundamental philosophy underlying the book is that the key to Manufacturing and Maintenance excellence is in implementing excellent business processes. At the start of each chapter in the book are quotations that reinforce this philosophy, including my favourite, from W. Edwards Deming - "If you always do what you always did, you will always be what you always were."

Throughout the book, a fictitious organisation, Beta International, a large manufacturing conglomerate, is used to illustrate real case histories that illustrate key points and concepts in the book. While there is no such organisation as Beta International, the case histories are based on real-life examples from Ron's experience. These case histories greatly enhance the book - it is worth reading the book for these alone.

Ron has a dry wit, and this comes through in his writing. The style is highly readable, and never dull. I strongly recommend this book to Maintenance Engineers, Maintenance Managers, and non-Maintenance Managers, who wish to have their eyes opened to the real keys to Maintenance Improvement.

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