Success Stories/General Articles/Commentary

Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter members are always implementing new and innovative sustainable business practices.  Check back here regularly to learn about the contributions Charter member businesses are making towards sustainability. Here you will also find general articles and commentary relating to sustainability and the Charter.

Cutting costs of plant maintenance

Jun 5, 2012

Cutting costs of plant maintenanceWhen the average person hears the word ‘plant’ they tend to associate this with something growing in the garden. But for a number of Charter members who operate industrial processes, complex air conditioning systems or in the case of the Rotorua Aquatic Centre, complex water filtration systems, the word plant can sometimes be associated with words like “high maintenance”, “expensive” and “stress”. “It doesn’t have to be like that” says Richard Steel from New Zealand’s Kaizen Institute. Earlier this month Richard ran a workshop in collaboration with charter member Rotorua Aquatic Centre demonstrating how words like “less maintenance”, “less expensive” and “stress free” can also be associated with plant. The workshop titled Total Productive Maintenance introduced participants to the Lean philosophy pioneered by Toyota. Using the Aquatic Centre’s plant as an example Richard provided hands on demonstrations on how to reduce costs associated with plant. “One of the messages we convey through the workshop is that even non-qualified staff can be trained to identify potential problems with plant before they become major and therefore expensive problems” says Richard.

Managers from two charter member businesses participated in the workshop; Shane James the Maintenance Manager for the Millennium Hotel Rotorua and Maureen Gray, the Facilities Manager from Holiday Inn Rotorua. “A key lesson for me was how important it is to involve staff in keeping the plant room clean and tidy and how doing this can identify potential problems at an early stage” says Shane. “I was amazed at how many potential maintenance issues can be identified in a plant room by observing what could easily be considered trivial things like dirt in a sink or a slightly different noise pitch from an electric motor” says Maureen.

Due to the success of the May TPM workshop the Kaizen Institute is offering a second workshop on the 4th and 5th of September 2012. 'Click here >>>' to download the brochure for this event.