10 Commitments: #8 – 100% Uptime

Commitment #8, understanding your tools and equipment… 


  1. No Shortcuts

    We will teach you the safe way, provide you safe equipment, fix it when it breaks. Do it right and safe.

  2. Safety Freeze

    Watch out for others, guide and teach “rookies,” hold others accountable for safe practices.

  3. On Time and Quick Start

    Be there, start timely.

  4. Work Smart – Technique and Consistency

    Learn the right techniques and work at a consistent pace.

  5. Work Hard – Strength and Speed

    Build endurance and push for faster production.

  6. Teamwork

    Teammates support, cooperate, encourage and motivate each others. Be a good team member.

  7. “Customer Quality”

    Know your customer and exceed their expectations.

  8. 100% Uptime

    Learn to understand your tools and machines. Maintain them. Report little things before they become big.

    Jerry Reavis, a man who helped lead from the beginning of PalletOne and someone from whom I learned a great deal, said that a plant operating properly has a sound.

    “You can walk out into a plant and hear the rhythm of it.  The Vikings are moving at a distinct pace.  There are no clangs or pitches in the saws,” said Jerry.  “There are no noises out of place.”

    Those of you who know me know that I am not a machine guy.  My career has been formed listening to humans and helping get the most out of the team.  Jerry loved the machinery.  I walk in the plant, I hear noise.  He walked in and heard the music of operation.

    Many of our teammates never move much past the noise.  They come in, are given an assignment and do what they are told.  How the machine operates is someone else’s responsibility.

    I heard a manager named James Autry once say, “No one ever did a worse job from having too much information.”  I think that applies to our equipment.

    In my view, every person must understand about the safe operation of their machine, but we can extend beyond that.

    If you are a manager, see to it that all teammates understand the routine maintenance procedures at their stations.  Make sure they are exposed to the biggest, costliest things which can go wrong and teach them the signs to recognize them.  Make sure that they know we are counting on them to sound the alarm quickly when the music of safe, productive operation turns to noise.

    We don’t want to waste anybody’s time fixing unplanned maintenance issues.  For us to achieve 100% unplanned downtime, it takes all the players having an interest in the operation of our equipment and systems.

  9. Lean and Clean

    To run lean, we must have good housekeeping. Keep your area clean.

  10. Better or Worse?

    If you are not moving toward excellence, you are drifting toward mediocrity.

About The Author

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PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
PalletOne Inc.
Company President, Howe Q. Wallace

Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.


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