Category Archives: Work Life

One year in


Work life balance working out great

Its been just over a year now since we got going with Optimain Limited, so I thought I may spend a moment to update you regarding where we are one year in.

Within my company Optimain Ltd,  have and continue to enjoy success with a number of varied work packages, from strategic development, business policy creation and sourcing profit from maintenance to direct service and training on essential aspects of CM, CBM, Asset Management and preparation for big data as well as offering direct added value services like independent oil analysis plus vibration analysis and thermography.

As some of you may know we had a rather difficult time around five years ago when Rosie was dealing with breast cancer. Yes, we were on the precipice of the worst outcome for some time during treatment and we knew only too well that the veracity of the disease meant that we may not have caught it in time. We also had to deal with the fact that we were not in a position to have any more children and that our family aspirations had significantly changed.

We are now 5 years post treatment and whilst the drugs are still being taken and the effects of those drugs still in evidence, we have life, we have an amazing daughter and we have solidified our relationship. (A statistically unlikely outcome we are told).

To enable Rosie to fully reinvent herself away from cancer survivor and such we have re-organised our lives. I took the decision to leave permanent full time employment, with one of the best employers in the business, Lloyd’s Register and re-establish the family before setting up a small lone wolf consultancy based around machinery care and enhanced return on investment for critical assets.

Rosie has since embarked upon her calling to get involved in the creative process. Last year she enrolled in an arts foundation course at Trowbridge where she exercised her desire to explore her creative and aesthetic abilities.

She not only enjoyed the course but excelled and frankly ate it up with vigour and relish! To such an extent that she was awarded a distinction and advised to explore at a higher level to fully develop her clear capabilities and aptitude. To that extent she has now enrolled within he University Arts London faculty at Wimbledon to take a two year Masters in Fine Art concentrating upon sculpture with an identity based upon the reimagining of “found things”.

Sea are so proud of her. She is doing really well!

What this has meant though, is that now I am bound by the bookends of an 8 year olds school day for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays most weeks. I work between these times and occasionally arrange extended child care with the great friends we have here. This allows me to allow me to perform the various face to face and site based activities which form an essential part of my business activity, but clearly reduces spontaneity and requires a little more management and care to organise.

However, this has impacted upon my ability to reach out and engage, so I am looking for new ways to do so and also re-assessing what my companies real value offer to prospective clients is! Can you help or advise?

I have found that many companies either do not see the value in, or believe there is no appetite to having an external and knowledge based perspective towards their asset and reliability management policy, strategy and activities. I had expected this to be present in some cases, but not so prevalent in most. This may be down to the age old issue of face saving, but there is pure benefit of engaging an external person, in that there is no need to engage a full time person, but moreover that you can set the agenda and to be honest then take the credit if it is successful and defer criticism if it is not. This is not so challenging a point as most people will respond positively to an “expert” as opposed to the current leadership trying something different. We have seen it and proved it.

In my experience however, if you frame the question well then you will almost certainly be able to demonstrate an improvement that is tangible, meaningful and more importantly be able to see it in the balance sheet.

That said, I am now teaming up with other CM and CBM professionals who are more service orientated and aligning multiple CM activities such as Vibration & Oil analysis as well as Thermography. This can really can cover 99.9% of the prevalent intelligence gathering issues around the most significant failure modes we face as practicing maintenance and reliability professionals.

We see the method by which you shift a maintenance culture from being reactive and schedule based, to one of continual optimisation and the ongoing improvement of reliability, as being achieved by gathering good data on which you can start to derive the intelligence necessary to drive maintenance job creation. Once established, then reactive demand is lessened freeing up time and then scheduled work that is superseded by condition based work can be eliminated from the maintenance schedule. This can be done without cause to force a “coup d’etat” and can be the seed that creates the necessary evolutionary momentum from within to permanently improve asset heath.

So the nub of this blog update is to say, we are looking for low risk (for you) contracts where I can sit within your teams to help and guide the maintenance and reliability function, either as at a strategic level or as a practitioner and diagnostician. We are also offering independent lube analysis and onboard/site testing capabilities, and can link that to other offerings based around vibration and thermography. We can do this on and, offshore or aboard ships worldwide.

Please do get in touch and if you have any insight into how to reach out generate meaningful opportunities without annoyance please let me know. D