Paul Crocker with Reliability X

Industrial Talk is onsite at SMRP 31 and talking to Paul Crocker, Sr. Reliability Engineer at Reliability X about “Ensuring your asset management training aligns with technology”.  Here are some of the key takeaways from our conversation:

  • Industrial asset management and reliability with a guest speaker. 0:03
    • Paul is a reliability engineer with 29 years of experience in maintenance and asset management.
    • At Reliability X, Paul focuses on ensuring clean and drinkable water through asset management and reliability.
    • Paul discusses a utility implementation project that has taken around 3 years, with ongoing development and legacy data issues.
    • Paul and Scott MacKenzie discuss the challenges of implementing new systems while still dealing with existing issues and lack of end-user experience.
  • Implementing an enterprise system development approach. 5:01
    • Scott MacKenzie and Paul discuss challenges with enterprise system development, including data cleaning and legacy systems.
    • Paul advises against translating old systems into new ones, instead focusing on understanding new system's functionality and mapping processes.
    • Paul provides a tour of their old system to new employees to help them understand its functionality and processes.
    • Paul highlights the importance of mapping out processes before implementing a new system, saving time and money in the long run.
    • Scott MacKenzie agrees, emphasizing the value of identifying gaps and improving processes, rather than simply accepting the status quo.
  • Reliability engineering and asset management. 11:30
    • Scott MacKenzie and Paul discuss the implementation of a big project across different departments in a utility company.
    • They talk about the challenges of aligning distribution, transmission, generation, and substations, and how the project is being implemented in a geographically diverse manner.
    • Scott MacKenzie interviews Paul Crocker on reliability engineering and asset management.
    • Paul Crocker shares insights on the importance of collaboration and education in the industry.

Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2024. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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reliability, process, system, paul, implementation, industrial, reliability engineer, plant, work, years, kansas, document, common, talk, legacy systems, utility, part, touches, asset management, generation


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, we are broadcasting on site SMRP, this Industrial Talk platform who is dedicated to industrial professionals all around the world, you're bold, your break, you dare greatly you innovate, you are constantly solving problems making the world a better place. That's why we celebrate you on Industrial Talk at SMRP 31. If you are in speaking of which, if you are in the asset management reliability or, or whatever, profession like that, you need to be a part of Go out to be a part of that organization. You get exposed to symposiums you get exposed to professionals who are also passionate about asset management, reliability and maintenance, one of which is sitting in the hot seat. Paul is his name. Reliability X is the company. Let's get cracking with the conversation. Who was the first time I interviewed you? A long time ago. It's


been a long time. I


know you had more hair, right?


Guessing 10 years maybe? Job really?


That's a long time. I didn't know that seems like a long. Yeah. No, all depressed? No, it was only two years ago. We're not getting older. Why would we do that?


I miss my hair. Yeah.


Talk to the hand, Paul. Yeah. But anyway, give us a background on who Paul is?


Well, I'm a reliability engineer with reliability excellence. I've been in that role for the last almost two years.


Has it been that long? See, come on.


I started January 21. Yeah, something like that. Right after and before that it was 29 years at the Board of Public Utilities and last for the last 14 And that was a maintenance supervisor and drinking water treatment plant.


I remember that conversation and the challenges that you had, making sure that well, water is clean and drinkable. Whatever that might be. At Reliability X. Do you sort of focusing on that or that the sort of a little bit broader than that?


No, I've got one client now. And it's just a maximal deployment. So we're doing change management and training for nuclear and coal. Jim


is a utility evergy, whatever, where


they have about half in Kansas about haften was or


evergy Nam, a nuclear facility. And they there


was a merger that happen. I think it was in the past 10 years, it was West star and it was mostly in Kansas, Aquila, Kansas, city Power and Light. And and Wolf Creek nuclear operating company, all merged together to form evergy. So they've got about roughly about half of Kansas, maybe about half of Missouri, is electrical generation and distribution.


That's a big project.


I don't know how many plants they have. I know they've got some wind farms and solar farms. Some really


big corners implementation.


I want to say it's been about two and a half, three years now. He's always going on about six months before I came on to the company. So at least that long. Yeah,


it's a did a utility implementation. And it takes a long time.


Oh, yeah. To me, it should take longer, because you've got the whole development phase. And then you've got to get all the applications, the legacy work right with the data and all the legacy data, and they're still finding stuff that they didn't bring in at that kind of roll back down. And then making sure all that works, and then somebody will run it through No, it doesn't do this, right. So then they got to fix that. And then they break something else. Like to me, I would like it'd be nice to get to fix all that stuff. Then do the training, not like do the training and start using it while that's still going on. Like, because that affects I mean, that'd be like getting a new car and say, Well, you know, the engine is gonna, like, have some problems and your tires may go flat, you know, in the next six months, because we're still working on getting all that. So it's not a good end user experience. But it's


that's a common tale, right? It's common, sadly, it's common, because I know that everybody wants to get their thing up and running again. They go and spend a fortune on everyone. I get used to it. Yeah. And the other challenge that I always, it was always data. So I get into good data, get it, get it clean in the data, oh my gosh, cleaning the data. And I'd rather


luckily, I think they had good data, it was that they were bringing in so many systems that they had had in house. I think one of the reasons they went shows maximal for this project is it gave one platform for all their generation and distribution. So one common sort of platform, and it brought in a lot of legacy systems that were really sort of developed in house and kind of gets them out road now. Maximos there. So the people have developed them, you know, no longer there. So that didn't really something they get those older systems, data somewhere where it's more useful, a little


bit a little bit more resilient. My gosh. And again, it's a it's It always surprises me. Because when I was implementing systems, back, way back when for utilities, I swear to God, it's the same doggone conversation,


things change, nothing


has changed. Just


everybody's got the same problems. And everybody thinks, oh, it's just my installer. Oh, no, they're all that bring


me in. And I won't, I won't charge you anything. But I'll just make sure that you understand that you're not alone. Very common. So let's talk a little bit about that. How would you approach an enterprise system development? Like you wanted to talk about what CMMS? And Donna, tell us? How would the Paul do it? Did you see how I did though, Paul,


it's good. I


know, you can use it, run with it.


So I guess in my in my head, I think it will be a good idea. If I'm spending money, you know, an order of millions of dollars on an ATM system, to send my teams that are going to be working with implementation partners, to at least a week long class to see the basics of the system through all the applications, how everything works out of the box, instead of saying, Well, this is how our old systems work, we kind of want the new system to work the same way the old system does.


No, that's not you don't want to translate the problem into a new style Come on. But that happens,


that happens. Like it happens. It happens all too often. I think the they weren't really immune from that either. So you know, when you go from some legacy systems that have been there since the plants were built, you know, you just got all the stuff and they knew how that worked. And they wanted a new one to work the same way. Because it worked with their processes, instead of saying, You know what? The data is going to be there. Let's just figure out where it's going to be in this new system.


Yeah, but wouldn't you also do a like, for me personally, every system that I deployed, outside of the the evaluation, is this the right system? Here's the functionality taken in. And I mean, it's a grind, don't get me wrong, it's a grind. So you take it and use like, look at the functionality. And yeah, that's what we need. No, we don't need doesn't at least look at a couple of systems to be able to come up with. Yeah, I feel warm and fuzzy with this approach. Fine, good. But then also being able to document this is where I always went. Tell me about your process. Just just map it out your your as his process, and get all the people in the room? And say, yeah, that's how we do it. No, that's not no, that's how we do it and get them, you know, fight it out and map the daggone thing.


Yeah. And that was my advice to them. So I had maximum where I was at, at the utility I worked at, and I knew and I knew a bunch of people, whatever Giannetti I heard you guys are getting maximum come out. I'll give you a tour of mine. And we'll tell you some things we did wrong and things that we did, right. And just some suggestions. I think there was probably 25 people that came out. Let me show on Maximo how we did it and all I was like, Look, one thing you need to do spend as much time as it takes a year, two years, three years, he had all your processes mapped out you have to have that done. Don't wait until the implementation partner shows up and try and figure that out. Because you're gonna waste a ton of money right off because they're not going to tell you anything about your process that you don't already know. And they're not at the stage where they need to know what information you've got. So why even engage him get all your stuff mapped out? You know, when when parts are getting procured? Who's in that process? who touches what at what point?


What document is generated as why is it generated things like that? Great question.


Great. Um, but I think they did that a little bit, but it's not well documented. Like even today. They're still like trying to do side who touches some pieces of a transaction.


Because every time every implementation I've done has always been, as is. Good, everybody sort of agree in that. That's the business. And it requires some gnashing of teeth. Don't get me wrong. It's not. It's not a painless process. But it is such a valuable process. Because then you can say, Oh, we want it to be like this as is we want it to be this, here's a gaps and be able to identify that. And it's not, you know, running your, you know, a ton of money. And then you can say, if this is the way we want to be, then the system, then you you make the system do that. Right,


exactly. And, you know, no one, we did it at the utility I was working at before we had found some things sort of in that process that like, why are we even doing this? And the answer was, well, because we'd always been doing it, but but what's the value of it? Why do we keep on doing it? So they dropped those out? So it was kind of good, I think it was a couple of people's jobs. Some things didn't happen with anymore, but it was just sort of a silly paper process to have somebody do something. Yeah, you know, keep them busy. But, you know, to me, that's one of the benefits of working out that process is you can maybe find some opportunities to improve your processes, or get rid of some sort of silly things that have happened, and maybe it shouldn't be happening. It's,


it's simply brilliant, because you see it on paper, but you have to document it, right? You have to document it. Because if you don't people will say, that's not what he said. Or she said, That's not, and they have nothing to fall back on. It's tangible.


And so, you know, there's that too. And then there's always attrition to happen. So I think there was a lot of attrition happen, like people love to retire. Yeah, when this project was going on. And they were some of the subject matter experts. So when they left the door that now I came back as consultants? Well, some of them did, for sure some of them did, but other ones didn't, you know, and so that's an ever help.


So where are we? Where do we stand on that implementation? Like, where it's


it's deployed? It's some still got some bugs they're working out, but it's in it's in use? Is


it also? Its enterprise? Of course, is a generation specific? Or is a generation and transmission and distribution? Is it? Is it taken to the components of the utility?


I think it's going to be distribution and generation. But the sort of nuclear processes outside of that the only thing they're sharing in common is the stores across the enterprise. So that way, they've got visibility to parts, you know, on another plan or whatever, they might have the same part. But so they got a common item master, that's really the only share across the organization.


Wow. That's pretty cool. Yeah,


it is a big is a very big project. They're always


we always had a challenge between aligning distribution because our business is well, different different than transmission, which is different than generation, which is different than substations. It's like it's, everything's different. And it's, it's geographically diverse. Just


just your sort of your assets and locations are what's really the biggest difference out of it, how you what are your demarks for saying this section of wire or you know, whatever linear type of asset, but all my experience has been in the vertical plant. So personally, I think maximum is better at vertical stuff than it is linear, but it's got capability to do both. I just haven't touched that piece of it much.


But you know, now you're gonna be touching it quite a bit. Ya know, like, you're always fun. How do people get a hold of my friend? Well,


they can find me on reliability. I'm also on LinkedIn, Paul Crocker.


Hey, what's your tour? Reliability, so


you're saying your reliability engineer?


Okay. See, you're seeing you're seeing your reliability engineer. Absolutely wonderful. I always enjoy my conversations with you. Big time. All right, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side, we're going to have all the contact information for Paul and Reliability X out on So you can get a hold of you pretty active on LinkedIn. Okay,


there you go. It's about the only place I'm at anymore a little on Twitter, but mostly I'm like,


oh, yeah, no, I agree. It just makes sense. We're broadcasting from SMRP 31. You need to put SMRP 32. On your calendar next year. You're gonna have n n and n and you need to be a part of SMRP Go out to be a part of it. The organization and the local chapters


and C chapters there's a Kansas City Chapter local chapters to its we need more people like if you're in the Kansas City metropolitan area, look up KC


Look at that you better than I am looking at you just got all bright eyed on that one. Like that just perk you up. Yeah, be a part of those chapters to the network is extensive. And if you want to be in reliability, asset management, maintenance, whatever that part, you want to be a part of S M are So go out there. We're gonna wrap it up on the other side. So stay tuned, we will be right back.


You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


Paul Crocker, that old salty reliability dog. He. He's seen a lot and he has done a lot. You're in the reliability space asset management, any of those maintenance? Yeah, he's a must connect. He'll lay it out there. trust it. Big time trust. Today's host. All right. It does real talk was here for you. I say it all the time. It is about education. It's about collaboration. It's about innovation. And pretty much and we want you to be a part of this ecosystem. Let's go out to the industrial park. Say, Scott, I want to connect with you. Tell your story. Let's figure out how we can collaborate. It's important. It's important that we tell that story so that we can just truly work with industry leaders to impact us. Be bold, be brave, dare greatly hang out with Paul changed the world. We're going to have another great conversation shortly. So stay tuned.

Industrial Talk is onsite at SMRP 31 and talking to Paul Crocker, Sr. Reliability Engineer at Reliability X about "Ensuring your asset management training aligns with technology".
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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