Nine maintenance podcast episodes you should listen to

December 8, 2020

| 6 min read

The top nine maintenance podcast episodes of 2020

There was a lot to talk about in 2020.

A global pandemic. A shifting, often shaky economy. Elections and uprisings. New technology, new ideas, and new ways of working.

It was a lot.

There is no shortage of maintenance podcasts that discuss these fresh challenges as well as old debates and strategies for improving, both on the shop floor and away from it. Here are nine of our favourite episodes from those podcasts, in no particular order.

The top nine maintenance podcast episodes of 2020

#1 – Culture Change with Cliff Williams, Michelle Henley, Susan Lubell & Martha Myers, Rob’s Reliability Project podcast

The lowdown

Best practices look great on paper. But a broken culture can cause great ideas to get stuck before they’re put into practice. Overcoming that challenge is what this episode of Rob’s Reliability Project explores. Host Rob Kalwarowsky, along with guests Cliff Williams, Michelle Henley, Susan Lubell, and Martha Myers discuss:

  • What a better reliability culture means and who is responsible for it
  • How to align the goals of the company with the goals of departments and individuals
  • How to motivate everyone to buy into a culture change

Quote of the episode

“One of the biggest things for me is to recognize that every organization and person is at a different stage of their journey and it’s really important to meet them wherever they are. Even if the organization as a whole thinks that they’re very mature, they may or may not be. And individuals within that company may or may not be.” – Susan Lubell P.Eng MBA MMP CAMA, Principal Consultant, Steppe Consulting Inc

#2 – Building Support for FMEA with Fred Schenkelberg, Rooted in Reliability podcast

The lowdown

Rooted in Reliability’s signature blend of thought leadership and practical advice is on display in this episode about failure mode and effects analysis. Host James Kovacevic and guest Fred Schenkelberg discuss a key, but often overlooked part of doing FMEAs—getting the go-ahead to use time, people, and money to do them properly. James and Fred talk about:

  • Why companies are unwilling to allocate resources to do FMEAs
  • What you can do to gain support for FMEAs from top leadership
  • How to build a case for expanding your FMEA program

Quote of the episode

“We can change something and we track the progress of that and we can come back and say, ‘We just saved $15,000 a month because we identified that issue and we solved it.’ Nobody’s going to argue with that…that’s what an FMEA helps you identify…I can point to this, this, and this that we did based on that algorithm and here’s the savings.” – Fred Schenkelberg, Reliability Engineering and Management Consultant, Co-host of the Speaking of Reliability podcast

#3 – Women’s Representing Importance in Maintenance, WIRAM Webinar Series

The lowdown

We’re cheating a bit with this one as it’s a recording of a webinar, not a podcast, but the discussion is way too insightful (and important) to pass up. Camila Mutafi and Carla Santalucia lead this talk on why gender equality and representation in the maintenance industry need to be improved and how industry leaders can do that. Camila and Carla tackle:

  • How and why women face discrimination and bias in the maintenance industry
  • The benefits of diversity and gender equality, from the individual to the company
  • Strategies for increasing diversity and female representation in the maintenance industry

Quote of the episode

“It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, or what your race is, or your sexuality, you have to open up your space to engagement and to talking to each other with respect, and understand each other’s point of views.” – Carla Santalucia, Maintenance & Facilities Lead, Bayer

#4 – CMMS Integration with Stuart Fergusson, Rob’s Reliability Project

The lowdown

Fair warning, we’re going to get a little biased with this one. This episode of the Rob’s Reliability Project podcast with Rob Kalwarowsky features Stuart Fergusson, Fiix Director of Solutions Engineering and former production line manager. Rob and Stuart chat about how maintenance teams can integrate their CMMS with other systems, including:

  • What systems you should be integrating with your CMMS
  • How to build a business case and execution strategy for integrations
  • The best way to manage data, measure results, and achieve wins

Quote of the episode

“You have to be deliberate when setting up CMMS integrations. I think that’s the first thing you got to know—what you’re after. The main point of integration, I think, is to solve a business problem…It’s all about having the end goal. What’s the goal of your maintenance program and how are you going to feed the integration towards that?” – Stuart Fergusson, Director of Solutions Engineering, Fiix

#5 – Assumptions and Maintenance, Speaking of Reliability podcast

The lowdown

James Kovacevic and Frank Schenkelberg make their second appearance on this list, this time on the podcast Speaking of Reliability. In this episode, James and Frank look at some long-standing assumptions about the cause of failure and how dangerous these assumptions can be for maintenance teams. The episode dives into:

  • The role of assumptions in maintenance work and decision-making
  • Assumptions about asset failure that impact maintenance practices
  • How to start using data rather than relying on best practices and broad guidelines

Quote of the episode

“What I want people to do is think about how [failure curves] apply to us and our organization, and what do we do about these things. If we know…that infant mortality is a large issue, how do we deal with that? Maybe we don’t have good rebuilt procedures or we don’t have standards or installation requirements for pumps…If we put those things in place, we might not have so much corrective work down the line.” – James Kovacevic, Host of Rooted in Reliability and Co-host of Speaking of Reliability

#6 – Leadership & Mental Health in the Industrial Community, Empowering Industry podcast

The lowdown

This is the third time Rob Kalwarowsky, one of the most prolific podcasters in the business, shows up on this list. But here, Rob appears as a guest, joining host Charli Matthews on the Empowering Industry podcast to talk about the importance of leadership and mental health in maintenance (interview starts around 27:00). Charli and Rob talk about:

  • Why developing people-centric leadership is essential in maintenance and reliability
  • How to lead with your team’s mental health in mind
  • Where industry leaders can start when eliminating the stigma around mental health

Quote of the episode

“We sometimes forget that we are assets to our company and if we’re not running correctly, the facility won’t either.” – Rob Kalwarowsky, P. Eng, Asset Management Specialist at Enbridge and Co-host of The Leadership Launchpad Project

#7 – Focus on Scheduling and Planning of Maintenance, MRO Magazine Podcast

The lowdown

Planning and scheduling in maintenance are like spaghetti and meatballs—it’s basic, but if it’s done right, it’s impressive. That’s why this podcast episode on planning and scheduling is like a big plate of comfort food. Host Mario Cywinski and guest Doc Palmer talk about all the secrets to planning and scheduling maintenance like the best of the best, including:

  • How companies can improve their scheduling and planning
  • How IIoT is changing the way scheduling is done
  • Planning and scheduling tips for the COVID-19 era

Quote of the episode

“Somehow, we find the time to work on stuff that breaks, but we don’t do enough of the little stuff that keeps things from breaking.” – Doc Palmer PE, MBA, CMRP, author of Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook

#8 – Maintenance Benefits as Digital Transformation Accelerates, Efficient Plant Magazine Podcast

The lowdown

We couldn’t create this list without a nod to COVID-19 and how it’s impacted maintenance. This episode with guest Brad Budde looks at how the global pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in maintenance and what it means for the industry going forward, including:

  • What new systems and processes maintenance teams are pivoting to
  • How these tools can help businesses work in new and improved ways
  • What trends and tech are on the horizon for the maintenance industry

Quote of the episode

“This is a little thing, and it’s not as sexy when you’re talking about digital transformation, but training videos and improving instructions, and doing that at scale…that mindset of handing maintenance people better instructions is getting more pervasive…There’s loads of opportunities to better present work procedures in more visual ways to keep people safe and get the job done faster.” – Brad Budde, Vice President, Digital, Emerson Automation Solutions

#9 – Front Line Engagement with Dylan Day, Over The Line podcast

The lowdown

The Over The Line podcast with host Steven Dobie launched late in 2020 and came onto the scene with a bang. In the podcast’s second episode, Steve sits down with guest Dylan Day to talk about attracting, engaging, and retaining maintenance and reliability staff, including information on:

  • Breaking down barriers (and tensions) between maintenance and other departments
  • How to motivate your maintenance team by showing them the value of their work
  • Leading with better input and constructive feedback

Quote of the episode

“Get to know your people. Get to know their strengths and get to know their weaknesses…Then you can stop looking at people as robots in a process and start to look at them as people.” – Dylan Day, Millwright, Oil & Gas, Mining, Construction, Forestry, Renewables

Looking for more maintenance podcasts?

The appeal of podcasts is obvious—you can listen and learn from pretty much anywhere, whether that’s on your commute, while grocery shopping, or doing something else. That makes podcasts the perfect way to learn about maintenance trends, best practices, and the stories of people in the industry. If you’re looking for more great maintenance podcast episodes, check out the podcasts mentioned in this article and listen to our Fiix maintenance podcast.

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