Maintenance Expertise at Rolls-Royce, TIMET & Doncasters Group

Episode 3

Facilities Management Podcast


About this episode

Kamran R. Zamir provides expertise in best facility maintenance management practices from experiences at Rolls-Royce, TIMET, and his current role at Doncasters Group.


Matt (HOST) [00:00:30]: Hi everyone. Welcome back to the Comparesoft podcast and joining us on this episode is Kamran [Zamir]. He is head of Maintenance and Facilities Services at Doncasters Group. Kamran has worked with well known companies like Ibstock PLC, Timet UK and Rolls Royce, and is currently with Doncasters group.

Kamran has experience in both facilities management and maintenance management roles with an engineering background. He is a chartered manager and is a member of the Institute of Leadership and Management. So it will be really interesting to get his take on facilities and maintenance management.

Welcome to the show, Kamran, how’s it going?

Kamran R. Zamir [00:01:16]: Thanks for having me on guys. Not too bad. And yourself?

Matt [00:01:20]: Very good. Thanks. Very good. Shall we dive straight into the first question?

Kamran [00:01:25]: Yes. Let’s go for it.

Matt [00:01:27]: Right. So how do you go about setting a good facilities management culture?

Kamran [00:01:34]: Powerful question to open up with culture. Culture is sometimes a misinterpreted thing, especially in maintenance. And I think not everyone gets the luxury of building their own team from scratch. So when you go about setting a good facilities management culture, you’ve got to understand what you’ve inherited first.
Once you understand what you’re walking into, I always believe that irrelevant of what you’ve got successful or not, honesty has to be the key. So you’ve got to be honest with your team. If you’ve got craftsmen working for you, if you’ve got planners and schedulers working for you, you have to have those open and honest conversations to say, look, this is where we’re at, this is where we want to get to. Let’s work together to make that dream come true.

You’ve got to trust the people who are reporting to you. I think that is extremely important when building a positive culture. A lot of the times in some more slightly toxic workplaces, you find micromanagement creeps in. People are always double and triple checking on things that you’ve delegated out to people that you should trust. So I think if you’re open and honest, you trust the people that you’re working with and you make decisions clearly and quickly. I think that gives a good solid foundation for a positive outlook on the culture.

I think maintenance and facilities are quite unique but us as maintenance people, us as engineers, we tend to be very logical thinkers. We like to follow order so when things are very wishy washy or don’t have much direction, it can create a sense of uncertainty. So it’s about reigning that in, creating the order, having honest conversations and building on whatever you’ve got.

Matt [00:03:31]: So then what’s the best way to plan for facilities management maintenance activities then?

Kamran [00:03:38]: I think the key word when planning is alignment. When I talk about alignment, it’s not just alignment in your own team as maintenance, whatever industry you might be in, you’ve got to make sure that the supporting functions or the function that you’re there to support is aligned in the plan that you’re looking to execute.

If you’ve got the luxury of having a planner or scheduler on board, obviously, they’re the ones that have to lead the charge on developing a plan for facilities management.
Software and CMMS can help in it. Excel can help in it. However you go about creating the plan, so long as you’ve got clearly defined roles, you know what your budget is, you know what spares you need, you know what downtime is required to implement what you’re looking to do, it all leads back to having alignment within your team and within other departments in the organisation.

Matt [00:04:41]: Talking about other departments in the organisation, how do you think facilities management teams should go about driving appreciation for maintenance teams across the business and particularly with the top management?

Kamran [00:04:58]: It’s a brilliant question. I had to think long and hard about this one, because from personal experience, and I think from speaking to a lot of people that are from a maintenance and facilities background, a lot of the times — we tend to be a support function to an operational body.
Sometimes in organisations that are maybe not so mature in understanding their support funds, you can see us as a bit of a necessary evil. We tend to use up the majority of the budget to keep assets running, especially in an asset-heavy environment. So, for me, it’s about two things. You have to broadcast and shout about achievements in your department, whether that means you’re feeding up important pieces of data.

So if you’ve done anything that can affect availability, meantime to repair, meantime between failure, report on a weekly basis, report it to the MD, report it to the board so they can see the effect you’re having.

The second point, I always say, and it doesn’t just apply to facilities and maintenance, [is] deliver. When I go into a new position, you make a promise. We’re at this availability, we want to get here. These are the steps we’re going to take to get there. Deliver on that promise. Once you deliver, people who are uncertain will believe; guaranteed.

Matt [00:06:31]: That’s some amazing advice there I think. So then what is the best way to implement an effective facilities management plan?

Kamran [00:06:39]: Planning is probably the most powerful tool you’re ever going to have in maintenance. I always say, if you’re joining an organisation that is at the cutting edge of availability, they’re looking for that point, one of extra asset reliability, then yes, additional high-end condition monitoring and technology will help you tenfold.

If you’re in a business that’s further back on that journey, then it’s important to make small steps. We spoke about it earlier. Get the buy-in from your team and get the buy-in from other departments. If you require asset downtime shutdowns, make sure everyone’s aware how much time you need, what it’s going to cost the business. If you develop a work breakdown structure, display it, display it where everyone can see it. So if people have got questions, it’s there for them to see.

And I think the key in any implementation is to treat it as a project. So you’ve got your critical path, if you start to deviate, you need to let people know early. I think sometimes, again, as maintenance people, we might be a little bit proud or if we’ve made a mistake, not [to] broadcast it. That’s why I always try and relay to my team and say, look guys, we’re here to improve asset reliability. Nobody’s perfect. We’ve set the plan out. We are going to implement it. If we deviate, speak and speak early. The sooner we speak up, the sooner we can bring the plan back in alignment.

My last point on implementation is about open discussion. When you’re rolling out your facilities plan, have daily meetings. Involve your team leaders, involve your crafts people. They’re the ones that are going to give you the constant feedback to see whether the plan is actually working. Sometimes I think as managers we can sit in our ivory tower and roll out these fantastic plans, wonderful presentations that we present to the board but it’s the guys that are the boots on the ground that need to implement it, so we’ve got to listen to them. Listen, be open and speak early.

Matt [00:09:07]: What also do you think about software tools? Do you think they’re useful for managing facilities management activities?

Kamran [00:09:15]: Yes. Your CMMS systems or CAFM systems are key and whether that’s cutting-edge technology, industry 4.0 or whether that’s Microsoft Excel, for me, it’s all about how you manage that software and how you make it work for you.

If you’re fortunate enough to be in an organisation where you have a digital piece of software, one of the more popular ones on the market [like] SAP or IBM Maximo. It’s about utilising the data inside that software to work for you and feeding the correct data in. Because ultimately what are we trying to achieve with a CMMS system? We want it to tell us when we need to act and we want it to keep a history of what we’ve done so we can get better.

I think again, if you’re fortunate enough to be in a position to have implemented a piece of software, great. If not, try and manage it, a bit more labor intensive, if you use an Excel or if you’re using paper-based. It’s all about the management. If you give good data in, it’ll give you good data out.

The next point on that is from a compliance point of view. As maintenance facilities people, we have an international standard ISO 55001. Unfortunately, it isn’t spoken about enough in our industry. But if any business is looking to achieve ISO 55001 accreditation, they need a solid CMMS system to work from. It will manage the compliance side of your business. And it’ll make it much easier, less labor intensive.
That roadmap to ISO 55001 is a roadmap for opportunity. You implement your software, as you’re going through the steps towards ISO 55001, you fine tune, you get feedback, continuous improvement, you get better.

So there’s two sides to it really. It’s the more of a deal with what you’ve got, whatever it is, you may be, but if you’re at the position where you think you want to strive for professional accreditation, a good piece of CMMS software will make the journey a lot easier.

Matt [00:11:44]: And so you did mention spreadsheets and excel, do they still have a place in your heart or what do you think about using those for FM management?

Kamran [00:11:54]: I think this leads back to your opening question on culture. I think they still have a place in maintenance and facilities, certainly for some of the more traditional industries. If you have a team of 50 to 60 plus year old crafts people that have maybe been in the business for 30 or 40 years, then introducing a cutting edge CMMS system with RFID scanning and iPads and — what have you really got to again?

Nine times out of 10, we celebrate success too early. So we roll out these fantastic software systems, spend all this money, celebrate that it’s been launched, and then it falls flat on its face. If you’re in a situation where you need to adapt the people culturally first, then make the step towards technological advancement. Because those guys that have been there 30 or 40 years might not be that computer literate and the effort it’s going to take to bring them on board, it might be worthwhile introducing it with Excel first, getting them used to inputting data, reading data, printing a PM, putting feedback on the PM, and then taking small baby steps towards ultimately bringing a piece of software in.

Matt [00:13:23]: Now I feel like you’ve given loads of tips here, given some really great information for our listeners. But, what would your top three tips be on effective facilities management?

Kamran [00:13:39]: The first one that always springs to mind is data. The word data is the most powerful word I think you will ever use in facilities and maintenance. Data is key. Without data, you’re working on opinion, you’re working on hunches, you’re working on gut feel, which yes has its place. But especially when as one of your questions was how do we sell maintenance or facilities appreciate to top management. Top management tend to understand data, not all of them understand maintenance. So get your data in place, try and get good quality data.

The second one would be know your assets. So know how many assets you’ve got, have an asset register, know where your bad assets are. Understand what’s giving you issues and what isn’t. Take that time to walk around the site and really get intimate with the machines that ultimately you’re responsible for.

The last one is trust and it’s trust in your team. You go through your career as a manager, building teams, sometimes down sizing teams, but whoever it is you’ve got in your team, you have to trust them to execute what you’re asking them to do. You can’t manage everything by yourself.

Matt [00:15:11]: Well, thanks for those tips and all the rest of the awesome information you’ve you’ve given here on the show. And then so wrapping it up in a bow, what’s your favourite saying or quote on FM?

Kamran [00:15:30]: The first quote is by W. Edwards Deming. And it’s, “In God We Trust. Others must bring data.” So I think that is very powerful, especially facilities and maintenance.

The second one, I credit a guy that I worked with at Timet, Daniel Mondey, a phenomenal reliability engineer. And he turned around and said in a meeting one day, “It doesn’t matter what we implement, but you’ve got to want to do it.”

It goes back to what we’ve discussed in the past. Spend any amount of money, implement any system that you want. If the want and the desire to execute is not there, you failed at the first hurdle.

Matt [00:16:17]: Thank you so much for all the information you’ve given us here on the show and thanks for being a great guest.

Kamran [00:16:27]: Thank you very much and I really appreciate the chance to speak on this forum. It’s been a pleasure.

Matt [00:16:33]: Awesome. Well, thanks to all you listeners as well and we will see you again on the next episode. Cheers.