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How to achieve excellent operations!

Ten tips to get you there.


Operational excellence is about doing it right all the time. PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Operational excellence is about doing it right all the time. PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Setting high standards for excellence in maintenance is easy, but accomplishing it is more challenging.

Andrew Thorne, vice-president of mining and operational excellence at Cameco Corp., a uranium company based in Saskatoon, defines operational excellence as “identifying the right things to do and doing the right things right all the time.”

He provided 10 tips to help you do so in a keynote presented at the 2014 MainTrain maintenance conference in Niagara Falls, Ont.

• Find a good reason for change.
• Speak the [financial] language of executive management.
• Get strong support from all levels of the organization.
• Define the “what’s in it for me?”
• Focus on employee behaviours.
• Follow the money and seek out quick wins.
• Use every opportunity to communicate.
• Use your employees to solve the issues.
• What gets measured gets done.
• Safety needs to be the number one priority.

Andrew Thorne leads Cameco’s operations at the Cigar Lake mine, Rabbit Lake mine, its US mining ventures, and the company’s overseas efforts to reach world-class standards in operational excellence.

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