George Williams is the Founder and CEO of ReliabilityX, a maintenance and reliability consultancy. After a long career practicing reliability, George found a new way to put his many, many industry certifications to good use and started his own reliability consultancy. Reflecting on why he is proud of his career and his work in maintenance, George shared:
“Anyone in maintenance can relate to the feeling you get when you troubleshoot and repair equipment. When you step back, the pride you feel is what we strive for. As my career has progressed, it is still that feeling I strive for. It just comes in different ways. From seeing a team click and make a difference, to investigating an issue to root causes and making the problem go away, to teaching students and seeing their progression professionally. It is that sense of pride that motivates me.”
George Williams, thank you for everything you do! The maintenance and reliability industries are lucky to have you!
How did you get started in maintenance?
I grew up in Philadelphia, attending vocation high school and spent summers working on trucks with my father. My first job in maintenance was working with my father during summers in high school. My father is a great mentor. He taught me not only how to PM and repair equipment, he taught me the importance of doing a job right the first time and critical thinking skills for troubleshooting. He gave me a really sound foundation to build upon.
I attended college, but had my family young, so I dropped out and started to work in maintenance. I started at Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2000 as a painter, but continued to progress my career there after holding positions as planner, reliability tech, and eventually became responsible for asset management globally. During my career at Bristol-Myers Squibb, I continued my education through to my Master’s degree in Reliability Engineering. Since, I have attained CMRP, CRL, CRL Blackbelt, certifications in Vibration Analysis, Motion Amplification, IR, and Ultrasound. I was even named 2016 CMRP of the year – I’m honored to this day!
Throughout my career I’ve tried to continue to learn and develop my skills. In the more recent years, that has transformed from technical skills to learning to improve my people skills. I started ReliabilityX in 2014 and focus now on partnering with organizations to create sustainable results in reliability and operational performance.
My role here is to help lead this company into the future. While we focus on helping as many as possible, we have to continue to learn and ensure we are ahead of all others in delivering value back to the people and businesses we partner with. In addition to ReliabilityX, I also teach at the University of Wisconsin as part of their Maintenance and Reliability certificate programs. One of the things I enjoy the most is continuing to stay in contact and mentor those who have been in those classes.
What is one of your proudest achievements?
Easy, winning 2015 Uptime Award for Best Maintenance and Reliability Program. This was awarded to Bristol-Myers Squibb as an entire company, not just a single location. An amazing group of talented individuals who see each other more as a family than coworkers. The success this team creates is a direct result of the cultural evolution they have gone through, their collaborative nature as a global team, and the leadership they have nurtured at all levels of the organization. I was very fortunate to play a small role in their success.
What is one thing you wish people knew about your job?
Now that we have started ReliabilityX, it is important that we maintain our identity as people who have done this. We seek to alter how reliability consultancy is seen. As we grow we will take extreme care to add team members who have practical reliability experience as a practitioner. I thoroughly enjoyed being a practitioner. The motivation to start ReliabilityX is really a passion for helping as many organizations and individuals as possible.