MMI Offers Leadership, Technical Skill-Building

Posted July 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm

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Managers seeking to improve maintenance operations by bridging gaps between them and other functions in commercial laundry operations will receive a wealth of advice at the upcoming TRSA Maintenance Management Institute (MMI), Nov. 4-6 in Dallas. Such management and leadership challenges represent one frontier to be explored in multiple classes at MMI, with other such themes including expansion of predictive and preventive programs and development of more effective troubleshooting techniques.

MMI brings launderers up to speed on the most effective techniques to optimize operational efficiencies and performance used by engineers and other personnel responsible for maintaining commercial and large central laundries. At the annual MMI, laundry industry veterans give presentations and lead role-playing exercises reflecting their own real-world experiences to teach attendees to apply industry best practices. Attendees become more proficient in minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity of a wide variety of plant systems.

Developed by a task force of TRSA members, this year’s MMI agenda begins with a day and a half of traditional classroom programming: lectures and participant idea-sharing (Wednesday, Nov. 4 and Thursday, Nov. 5). On Thursday afternoon and Friday morning (Nov. 6), sessions will be highly interactive, as the emphasis shifts to role-playing and group discussions. Participants will collaborate to identify improvement opportunities and devise solutions to problems identified in case studies and their own experiences.

Management/leadership principles will take center stage in classes covering:

  • Budgeting
  • Communication skills
  • Recruiting and staffing
  • Safety awareness

One session will explore maintenance management as a conduit with other departments, ensuring effective communication with:

  • Production: Maintenance “owns” equipment and treats production as a customer, providing the best service possible, including knowing when to estimate time needed for repairs
  • Service: Conveying to service that maintenance is conscientious about serving end-users textiles and committed to facilitating teamwork, not adversarial feelings

Emphasis in this discussion also will be placed on overcoming barriers (language, generations, etc.) and selecting the right tool for the communication task at hand:

  • E-mail
  • Face to face
  • Memos
  • Paging systems
  • Text

Numerous MMI sessions will guide managers in ensuring their operations aren’t exclusively correction-oriented, helping them develop more well-rounded maintenance efforts that emphasize prediction and prevention. The 2015 session will enable participants to share their experiences in this evolution, particularly in attracting corporate resources to fund such activities by proving they generate a financial return.

Emphasis is on results: how proper program structure and recordkeeping ensure machines keep running properly and employees stay happy, compared with how lack of diligence leads to too many emergency repairs and disgruntled staff.

Sessions on troubleshooting will examine tools for this job, recommending a variety of devices for this purpose, in addition to presenting step-by-step approaches to unveiling a problem’s root cause and chronicling efforts from observing symptoms to pinpointing the cause.

TRSA member operators (launderers) and associates (suppliers to the industry) comprise the MMI Task Force, chaired by Charles Hawkins, technical support supervisor, Pellerin Milnor Corp. Task force representatives will serve as instructors and form a panel on the program’s final day to provide tips on matters of specific concern to attendees’ businesses. In registering ahead of time for MMI and throughout the two days at MMI prior to this session, participants will submit questions or concerns for this facilitated Q&A session regarding challenges of their jobs. Attendees can also ask questions during the forum they may not have already submitted.