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What vs Why - What maintenance culture do you have?


industrial plant-1639990_1920.jpgMaintenance culture is not commonly talked about. Maintenance in general is such a reactive world where we respond and perform in order to get things rolling again. That reactive approach that is at the heart of maintenance is what causes so many of the long-term issues that maintenance departments see every day.

Due to the reactive world that maintenance is within, it causes the plants maintenance culture to typically focus on "What?" - Now this generally works and the plant can get back up and running by asking "What?".

When a piece of equipment fails - What is it?, let's get is fixed.

When a spare is needed - What is it? Let's buy one.

When a piece of equipment fails again - What is it? Let's get it fixed again!


The Problem is a "what" culture never finds out what the problem really is!


A "Why" culture is different! Instead of focusing on the specific tasks and tactics, a Why culture focuses on the entire situation at hand and the entire system to solve the issue. Instead of focusing on lead-time and acquisition price (which will always be a factor!) a Why culture is focused on figuring out what happened and how to prevent it from happening again!

When a piece of equipment fails - Let's find out Why

When a spare is needed - Why do you need a spare? Are you sure you don't already have one?

When a piece of equipment fails again - Why did it fail again? Is it a similar failure to the last time?


What culture do you have?


What culture should you have?


Are you experiencing the same failure happening over and over again?


Are you asking What or Why?


Download What To Look For In An Electric Motor Repair Shop


Justin Hatfield

HECO - All Systems Go



About the author:

 Justin Hatfield  is Vice President of Operations at HECO. He is responsible for Electric Motor & Drive Sales, Electric Motor & Generator Repairs, Spare Solutions, and Predictive Services. Justin was instrumental in developing HECO MAPPS (Motor and Powertrain Performance Systems) which focuses on “why” you have a motor problem instead of simply “What” product or service should be recommended. HECO is an EASA Accredited Service Center.


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