Value of reliability engineering

Linkedin groups are a continual source of interesting questions. We learn and share with each other to grapple with some of the common and not so common issues we face at work. For example, recently in the Plant Reliabilty & Maintenance Professionals – PRMP Linkedin group the follow in question appeared.

Is there a practical and/or standard way to measure field reliability engineers performance based on business added value?

I responded with the following:

 I like to use business added value directly in currency.

If the change reduced failures – how many over say a year and what cost savings per failure.

If actions improve availability – then how does your company value availability – probably translated to dollars somewhere.

If actions reduce risk, how much reduction in risk and what is cost of failure – then %reduction times cost

If the savings is in engineering time (not addressing failures, not redesigning a product, or and innovative solution) then what is cost of an engineer per day and how many man days where saved?

And so on – if the rest of the business is driven and values profit, for example. Then look for and value the contributions of reliability professionals in those same terms.




The basic idea is to use the same quantity or yard stick that the primary business decision makers use to track the organization. This may be throughput, money, availability, mission readiness, or some other measure. As reliability professionals our role is to support the organization as it attempts to be successful. If that includes making equipment or products that are reliable, then we have a significant role.

At RAMS 2012 in Reno, NV I presented a paper on this topic that included a couple of examples that may help you determine the value of specific reliability activities. You can find the paper on my site here, as embeded below.

Enjoy and let me know how you have determined your value?

About Fred Schenkelberg

I am an experienced reliability engineering and management consultant with my firm FMS Reliability. My passion is working with teams to create cost-effective reliability programs that solve problems, create durable and reliable products, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce warranty costs.

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