George Williams with ReliabilityX

Industrial Talk is onsite at SMRP 31 and talking to George Williams, Founder and CEO of ReliabilityX about “Resilient and Sustainable Reliability – People, Process and Systems“.  Here are some of the key takeaways from our conversation:

  • Industrial innovations and trends with industry legend George Williams. 0:04
    • Industry legend George Williams joins Scott MacKenzie at SMRP 31 to discuss innovation and problem-solving in the industry.
  • Empowering organizations for reliability and sustainability. 1:12
    • George Williams, Founder and CEO of ReliabilityX, discusses the importance of empowering employees for reliability success
    • Scott MacKenzie agrees, highlighting the need for leadership guidance and training to build confidence and direction
    • Empowering people, not just focusing on assets, is key to sustainable reliability improvement.
    • George explains that organizational goals and business drivers are important to understand when addressing plant reliability, and that procurement's focus on cost savings can lead to lower quality and reliability issues if not managed properly.
    • George provides an example of how a simple equipment failure can be caused by a people issue, rather than the equipment itself, highlighting the importance of understanding how people contribute to plant reliability.
  • Improving manufacturing efficiency and OEE. 8:25
    • Scott MacKenzie and Speaker 3 discuss the importance of evaluating a manufacturing plant's capability and potential for improvement.
    • George explains that their approach involves assessing the plant's design rates, conducting time studies, and providing solutions to exceed expectations.
    • George shares a success story of evolving a manufacturing client's production from 3.9 million pounds to 4.9 million pounds in just 12 months, with no third shift or weekend shifts.
    • The client's OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) increased from 45% to 85%, with $3,000 in materials spent to solve a problem upstream in the plant.
  • Industrial reliability and process improvement. 14:06
    • Scott MacKenzie and Speaker 3 discuss the potential for significant gain in a production line, with Speaker 3 highlighting the importance of sales and pressure on the plant to produce more.
    • George shares a success story of reducing cost to produce by 24 cents on one line, despite pushback from leadership changes and egos getting in the way.
    • George emphasizes the importance of focusing on people, processes, and systems for sustainable reliability.
    • George's team at ReliabilityX is doing a great job, with contact information available on industrial talk and

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reliability, plant, focused, systems, line, procurement, empowerment, great, george, industrial, produce, organization, organizational goals, put, oee, conversation, year, machine, company, work


Welcome to the Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go all


right. Once again, thank you very much for joining Industrial Talk and thank you very much for your continued support of a platform that is dedicated to industrial professionals all around the world. You are bold, you are brave, you dare greatly you innovate, you collaborate, you solve problems, you make the world a better place and we are broadcasting if you can tell by the buzzin background, we are broadcasting on site SMRP 3131 years SMRP This has been putting on this conference. And it doesn't disappoint. Put this on your calendar for next year. Go out to That's Find out more they have great training great opportunities to collaborate with incredible people like the one that is sitting in front of me. He is a legend. You might have heard him once before, twice before, three times before he goes way back. George Williams, ReliabilityX is in the house. Let's get cracking.


Hey, buddy. How you doing? Scott? Man? It is awesome to be here. It


is fun. It's always fun.


I so enjoy when you and I get the opportunity to sit down. I really do. It's


a great time. I gotta tell you I, for me personally, it just seems like ever since COVID. It started it was small. And then that was St. Louis. And then we went to Raleigh, and now we're here in Orlando. And what's great is seems like it's growing back. It's getting back to where it was. Yeah,


no doubt. No doubt the crowd is much larger matter of fact, the largest they've ever had, I think this year. So is there believe it is? Yeah, they now really?


I can know that. Well, kudos to SMRP. And if you're in the reliability space, do you need to be a part of SMRP 1,000%. There it is coming from a legend George Williams reliability X. Just plug in your company again. Do it as often as you like. That's right. Next, here's there it goes. Your fan? One, one fan? All right. For the for the people that have just never heard your voice before. Give us a little background on who you are. Yeah,


sure. My name is George Williams. I'm the founder and CEO of a company called reliability x.


That's reliability x.


And we're an empowerment company. I mean, that's what we do. We we we are a focused organization dedicated to allowing empowerment to happen, right. So inside a company, there's usually this, this declaration of empowerment by leadership, My people are power. But empowerment requires the people on the other end of that to be able to have the confidence to act on empowerment, nor do that they have to have the training. And the experience is to build that confidence. And that's what we deliver.


You know, as as I continue to have these conversations with leaders like you, I've come to realize that really the problem, the challenges, in the world of reliability is never the technology, it's always the people. It's never there's always the leadership, it's always and I'm not trying to slam it by any stretch of the imagination. But when you'd make declarations like, Hey, there, you are empowered, what does that mean? And there needs to be guidance, there needs to be training, there needs to be a sense of direction. And that's what reliability X does it


absolutely. So we were determined a couple of different ways. But for us, it's really operationalizing. Reliability. Reliability is not about the asset. And unfortunately, we've gone through years and decades of focusing on the asset. And it really isn't the asset. When we go into plants, it's it's very small portion of the issues deal with the actual assets. A vast majority of them deal with the the empowerment of people to be exponentially successful for the organization. We still we still have reliability engineers here that are focused on what can their one inch individualized contribution do so improve the plan. And so they focus on the asset, they change, its PMS, they add sensors, they do 1000 things that are not empowering the broader organization. And so when you operationalize reliability, what you're doing is empowering the entire organization to focus on how they impact plant performance.


How do you there's a couple of questions one is going to be one it's always sustainable, can it you know, sustain the long haul because you know, as well as I do, leaders come and go yes, and passion wanes here and there and different drivers, whatever it might be, is there It's also part of that sustainable component associated with organizations in reliability,


right? So there's three components to creating sustainability, right? There's, there's the people piece, there's the systems piece and the processes piece. And if I have, if I have great people and good process, but I lack systems, then all I have are frustrated people, because the systems don't support what they do. If I have good people and great systems, but no process, I'm talent reliant. That means if people develop their own process, and they're good at it great, but I can't promote them because they're irreplaceable. So they're unpredictable. And so I'm talent reliant. And of course, if I have processes and systems and I ignore people, I have total found, yeah, you're right. So it takes all three of those to be successful. And to create sustainability. Just


Just for clarification, what is the system I get the process, I get the people defined systems in this conference


systems is more than one facet. Right? So you've got systems like the ERP and the CMMS system, the electronic pieces of system, but systems are also how the individual organizational silos interact, right? The systems within a plant? How does finance and procurement work? They're all systems within a plants operation.


Take us through a scenario. I'm a company. I've been on the internet. Now I want to be reliable. I want to have my organization be reliable. And they call Georgian team reliability X to come in and do what how do you approach that?


Yeah, the first thing we do is try to understand organizational goals, and try to understand what the organization is attempting to achieve with the at the plant level. Oftentimes, there are you know, if you go to www dot insert your company name US Yeah, figure out what the goals are. But there could be other business drivers, so you want to have it. Right, you have to have a deeper conversation at the plant level around what the organizational goals are, for example, a lot of folks are focused on things like planning and scheduling and but they're not focused necessarily on effectiveness. They're trying to become efficient. They're trying to reduce headcount at the operational level, they're trying to do a lot of things like cut cost. Yeah. And we try to give a great explanation as to like, how many businesses do you know that went into business to be the best at cutting cost? None. Right. You went into business to be profitable. You


you wanted to be efficient? Don't get me wrong, you want to be efficient, but but not for the sake of cutting heads.


Right? So So procurement gets to this goal. We've got to we've got to cut costs, we got to save money. So how does that get achieved? If you're a procurement, you have to negotiate cheaper pricing, which could lead to lower quality? Yeah, so we'll take a simple example. I've got a case erector. Right, I make boxes on my machine that makes boxes. If procurement is buying sub quality, Cargill, that's going into machine and it causes jams. Is the machine failing? No, do I have a reliability problem? Yeah, great. But it ain't the equipment? No, it's not the equipment. It's a people issue. Yeah, it's an it's a fundamental misunderstanding of how people contribute to plant reliability. And we solve those issues.


But then, but then again, you're saying to yourself, Okay, I gotta come on. And this company is interested in knowing what we can do to be more reliable. And you must have a conversation with the leadership team, before you even begin to venture into the field, because you're going to have to get there by and you're gonna say, this is exactly what's going on. This is how we evaluated your business, based off of this information, that information and in everything else in between? Do you ever go into doing an analysis of, of the the working individuals that are out in the field and saying, Here, let's do a little let's go have a conversation and then report back to the leadership team and saying, hey, here you go.


If we're not listening to the shop floor, we're not doing our job. So that's what our main focus, right? Yeah. So we do two things during that evaluation process. One is to assess the plants capability, what actual capacity is as designed, not as their targets are, right? The targets change because they can't operate at what design was. So I've got to look green. So we'll lower the targets, right? We evaluate them based on design rates. And then we go out to the plant floor, we do time studies, talk to operators talk to maintainers and determine where we think the plant could get to and then go


down this road. You're saying okay, okay, we're doing we're going through this process, but But you could you could you could do and you've got to have an initial report. Yes. You present that. Once that is done and everybody shakes her head, yes,


they don't shake their head. They go, there's no way I can achieve that.


Then what do you do that I


put my money where my mouth is?


And what does that mean is like


we exceed expectations? No kidding? Well, look, look at it, you


must have metrics of saying, Okay, we've here, we're going to make sure that this gets lower, this gets raised up, whatever. Right?


So our focus is improving OEE if it's a manufacturing plant that we're held, right, so we go in, and you're like, you're the plant manager, and we come in and we evaluate your plan and tell you we can essentially double its output.


That's bold, baby. Right?


So So you've initial responses, no way. I'm already saying no way, right? For two reasons. One, that potentially your ego gets in a way to weed, you would have to admit that you're terrible at running the plan. Straight, so we convinced them that somewhere in between zero and doubling your plan is a reality, right? And we come in and we solution, and we do it regularly.


Okay? So do you do you put time on on your, your successes, like okay, I'm, I'm tracking this, I'm doing this, I'm looking at this, this is going up, and that's great. This is going down? That's fantastic. And we're doing the right thing over a period of time, give us an example of when I can begin receiving value


within the first four weeks.


So there's that much inefficiencies in and and problems that exists there? Yes. I mean, right off the bat, I would say that that's that's a plus.


Yeah, within the first four weeks, so we never we've not had a manufacturing client with a return on investment less than or over nine months.


Really? Yeah. Nine months,


nine months. That's the longest one.


Yeah. So what's typical?


I'll give you an example. Yeah. So we've got a we've got a client, it's an agricultural packaging. Yeah. So they bring in raw goods from the field, wash it, clean it, pack it, send it out, right. The initial line they gave us as a pilot, they produced 3.9 million pounds. The year before we went into the plant, it took three shifts a day, five days a week plus 77 weekend shifts that produce that 3.9 million pounds. The 12 months after we left, after we were gone, they did 4.9 million units ran first shift five days a week, second shift two days a week, no third shift and no weekends.


It can you share by board? How, what happened there? I mean, come on. We


evolve people, you're not trying to change culture, you're trying to evolve it. So what we do is we evolve people to no longer except defects that they're long. So if procurement is sending you a defect, you send it back. And then we put in processes to make sure it never shows up to the line. And then we solve issues within the line. We work with the team. So when we went into this particular line, our observations they were having some crashes of product. And the machine was we'll just say ramming something too hard or smashing something. So we talked to all the operators and maintainers and the one of the maintainer said, yeah, it's been doing that since we installed this other line to plant errs fluctuated. Okay, great. Did you put a receiver in? Well, I recommended that but they didn't want to spend the money. Really? All right, well, let's put the receiver and like, put the receiver in $1,100 the line bird like a kid. But 1100 $1,100 the second line we did there we took from an OEE of 45% to an OEE of ad it only reached at because we started starving the line because of other problems upstream in the plant couldn't get any higher. We spent three grand in materials to solve that by its proxy. I was never the equipment.


It Yeah. And it's interesting because I in the world of agriculture, you're still subject to the the field that's a physical reality out there. Yes, some are you know producing more products per acre whatever so you still have that natural reality of nature right? Yeah. yield and quality Yeah, so yep. Yeah. But then these these individuals what happened if if they couldn't process the the 4 million whatever the and the delta is 1 million did that product go some other place? Where did just rot or? Well, they


increased by 1.1 million Yeah, right when that particular line and had they had enough to sell or a big enough sale? staff or you know, selling in our stores, they could have maxed out capacity at 11 million that year. So we took them from 3.9 million, including weekend shifts to the capability of 11 million with no weekends. Now,


the final question is because I can keep on going from from that scenario. What is that expectation of that line? Can? Can it get to 11 million? Or? Yeah, it can? Yeah. So there's still plenty room? Yes. For significant gain,


right? You what we do is pressure sales, like what we do for a living is create instead of being interested, instead of it being the plant, telling sales, you know, well, this is all we can produce. Interesting. We take a plant to a point where sales has to go do harder work. Yeah, go go work harder, because that, you know, there's factories make rubber dog crap, and that sells. So go sell your product. Because there's capacity in the plant, right?


Oh, isn't that an interesting perspective? I've never thought of it that way. Which is sales really don't appreciate that. Maybe we're making more money. Come on, right.


I mean, your cost, they had an entire company goal of reducing cost to produce by three cross the produce by three cents. On that one line, we dropped it 24.


Say that again? The entire


company goal of cost to produce production was three cents on that one line. We dropped that 24. No way. Yes. Come on, agreed to by their finance. It was requirement for our bonus. So they didn't do it. Believe me, we wouldn't have got paid.


Stunning. I feel good. What's the pushback? There can't be any pushback.


Oh, there's lots of pushback, most of it. Human related, meaning thought of course, it's always egos getting away. Always leadership changes happen. We've had a client where we've we've handed them 9 million units a year, they had a leadership change. And the first act was we don't need outside service.


People that's why everybody's trying to go to robots. It's always a pleasure to talk to you. It's always how did they get a hold of you there?


I hit us up and ask him or call 877 RL BLT. yx or go to our website? www dot reliability


He's said it a couple of times before in the past as you can tell it just rolled right off his tongue. That is amazing. That is George you need to reach out to all the contact information is going to be out on Industrial Talk as well as all the information with Get engaged. George says that you if you are in the reliability world, you need to be a part of that. 1,000% That is a definite yes. On SMRP, by the way, they're right next to me. That's right there. Anyway, we're broadcasting from SMRP 31. And it is a great event put this on your calendar for next year because it is happening in 2024. To have all other information out there go out to All right, we're gonna have another great conversation shortly. So stay tuned, we will be right back. You're


listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


George never disappoints. That team at ReliabilityX, they've got something special going on there. And if you have any, I like the fact that he focuses on Team reliability act focuses on people, processes, and system. Because I have many conversations around that sustainable component associated with that reliability focus. For organizations, it makes complete sense, but it's always just different. Difficult to sustain it, it seems like but if you're focused on people, processes and systems, I think that that's a recipe for success, ReliabilityX, doing a great job, look at all the contact information will be out there. So look, look into ReliabilityX. All right. Industrial Talk is here for you to amplify your voice to tell your story go out to Industrial Talk and tell your story. Because we want you to succeed. You get to collaborate with people like George and others. It's it's time So be bold, be brave, daring greatly. I say it all the time hanging out with George change the world. We're gonna have another great conversation shortly.

Industrial Talk is onsite at SMRP 31 and talking to George Williams, Founder and CEO of ReliabilityX about "Resilient and Sustainable Reliability - People, Process and Systems"
Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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