My Nickname is ‘The Doctor of Operations’

wayne washington

My nickname should tell you a lot about me

My working style is a lot like a doctor. We start with diagnosing ailing operations (using probing questions). That leads to prescribing a course of action (based on diagnostic results). Then, I serve as supportive mentor as we implement the “treatment”. It’s simple, right!

It’s Simple, But Not Easy To Replicate

Here’s My Philosophy In A Nutshell

Operations excellence is not a destination to arrive at. It’s an ongoing journey in pursuit of a company’s strategic plan. This is the key though—operations excellence is impossible unless you have an entire organization working together as a team. The “magic sauce” is to transform team mindsets, measure their outcomes, and monitor their progress. That’s it. That’s all you have to do.

Align Strategy, Operations, And Culture

I’ve Learned it Delivers Sustained Results to Fun Consistent Managed Growth

It’s a lifetime story about getting to this level of expertise. Like most of us, I had to learn many lessons “the hard way”. We humans can be stubborn. But I did learn, and every “hard knock” helped me develop even better processes and procedures.

The Journey Started When I Was Working For Mead Johnson

Tasked With Computerizing A Paper-And-Pencil Maintenance Management System

I know this sounds archaic, but it’s still significant. The system managed all preventive maintenance, inventory management, and work-order control procedures. I led an eight-member team dedicated full time for one year to implement this system for several operating divisions.

Here’s where I realized that I couldn’t do it alone. I needed a team from the various functions. I had to learn how to pull people together and move them to accomplish a major task. This could only happen by collaboration, and by creating a community focused on the end goal. This was the beginning of my learning to align culture.

The results were an almost thirty percent reduction in facility operating costs over a three-year period. This set me on a path that I’ve never left since. You can control bottom-line results working from the front line.

Learning To Reduce Costs Became Second Nature

It’s Not That Hard—With The Right Mindset And Procedures

You’re never going to maintain ongoing control of costs without systems. Nothing blows the budget faster than seat-of-the-pants operations. While still at Mead Johnson, I led a cost savings team. The team was made up of in-house finance, maintenance, and production people. Our team worked with the local utility company, SBA, and a team of vendors.

This project expanded my team-building skills beyond in-house work. Each stakeholder had different motivations. The in-house team needed cost savings. Vendors were paid based only on the savings and knew they had to complete the project successfully to get paid.

I learned to understand the levers that motivate people. Showing them what they stand to gain is the key. What motivates people is helping them see how they benefit from working together for a common goal.

This cost savings team was so successful we won an award. We implemented various projects, and reduced overall energy costs by $2.7M. The US Department of Energy awarded us the National Energy Award for the best industrial energy project in the United States. I know how to save money from an operations standpoint.

Back In The “Olden Days”, Outsourcing Hit Like A Bomb

And I Was Given A Very Difficult Assignment

Challenge

I was assigned the role to manage a department of pre-retirement 45-60 year old workers. Somehow I was supposed to motivate them to work harder, do better, and cut costs. Talking to them about change was impossible. They were focused on retirement. Change was the last thing on their minds.

Here’s where I learned the power of the story. As we worked together, outsourcing became the mutual enemy. These workers realized that their jobs were threatened by outsourcing. They might not even get to retirement if they didn’t change.

Solution

We developed a slogan, “Better, Faster, Cheaper”, and lived by it. This is when I learned how to get buy-in, and to literally embed buy-in in workers. Unless they were better, faster, and cheaper than an outside competitor, they’d be out of work.

We were not outsourced, and we saved our jobs. On this assignment, I learned how to move a culture. A lot went into doing that: tapping front-line expertise, doing effective change management, and setting up the first Culture Crew. Having the Culture Crew create working agreements to establish behavioral boundaries, and set a tone of how to interact and to respect each other.

A Reduction In Force Started My Next Chapter

Ironic? Yes…But Also Very Fortuitous

I did eventually lose my job, but started a new business two weeks later. My friend, an engineer, lost his job at the same time. We got together and decided to start a new business—Facility Management & Engineering, Inc (FME). Two weeks later, FME had our first contract. We were covering our expenses from the beginning and did not struggle.

For 20 years, our passion has been to help our clients “Run Their Facilities Like A Business”. We’ve provided project management, construction management, facility management, reliability maintenance, energy management/conservation, and “turn-key” design/build/maintain services.

As I transitioned from facility manager to facility businessman, I noticed common themes. These were very prevalent, and unquestioned as status quo.

  • “Reactive Facilities”—never be proactive, only react to facilities problems after the fact—was the “normal” way to run.
  • The facility managers “don’t like it this way”. Nor does a facility manager “want it to stay that way”.
  • The “as is” condition of facilities is typically controlled by senior management (or the financial people who control the purse strings).
  • These folks view facilities only as “A Necessary Evil”.
  • Their operating philosophy is to “Run It Till It Breaks”.

By Now, You Probably Know My Reaction To This Approach

Said Politely, It’s Stupendously Stupid

One of the key lessons learned throughout my career is, “If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It”. I began to realize everything I’d learned, and remembered many “Ah Ha” moments. That led me to begin to document what was working. Then, I started to develop the tools and techniques that made facility management easier.

The end result was systems and operating procedures that can be easily duplicated. We perfected our processes for high profit and fast growth companies. This system of systems made it a “no brainer” for our employees to run ANY facility “Like a Business”.

That Led To Developing Software That Grows Profit

After All, What You Can See, You Can Control

The growth of FME is a direct result of our tools, techniques, and processes. The natural next step for me was to create a software system incorporating what works. Our system had to be designed for the average facility worker, typical facility manager, or any organizational executive.

The resulting system had to be intuitive, easy to use, and provide “actionable” information. When factual data combines with experience, anyone can make “informed decisions”. I’m proud to say we created software that does empower you to grow your profit.

Grow Company Profits Isn’t Just The Name Of The Business

Now I’m Starting An Entirely New Chapter

Like most companies in the world, Covid-19 upended my business. We took a big hit, but it was also a chance to pivot and take a new direction. For a while, it had been obvious to me that “the market” doesn’t care about facilities or facility management. I had been stuck in my own rut, and Covid kicked me out of it.

The loss of a major contract led me to the decision, “Do I choose to exist or choose to excel?” I made the decision to graduate from facilities management (brick and mortar) to operations management of client-based companies. I founded Grow Company Profits in September 2016. With some redevelopment tweaks, my software has been redesigned for client-based companies.

A Quick Overview Of My Professional Experience

Professional Background

Mead Johnson Division of Bristol Myers Squibb (1980 – 1997)

    Facilities / Utilities Maintenance Manager

     

    • Directed activities of 51 highly skilled maintenance mechanics, four supervisors, and one utility engineer to control a $12 million budget and over $5 million in inventory

    • Total maintenance responsibility for all production equipment to Enfamil Liquid Manufacturing

    • Total responsibility for campus utility systems consisting of six 50,000 lbs/hr steam boilers generating 800 million pounds of steam annually

    Site Facility Manager

     

     

    • Directed activities of 113 employees skilled mechanics, supervisors, engineer and an annual budget of $20 million
    • Responsible for building, building equipment, and utility system for 50 building on two campuses encompassing 2.6 million sq ft of space
    • Served as team leader of cross functional, outside vendors and local utility company from conceptual design to justification / approval of $48 million integrated utility plant

    FME, Inc. (1997- Present)

      Founder / CEO Facility Management & Engineering

       

      • Founder / CEO of a ‘One-Stop-Facility-Shop which specializes in developing cost effective solutions for client building / equipment related issues from project conception through maintenance / reliability during life of the assets.

      • Developed and launched FacilityOneStop, a cloud based platform to receive, plan, purchase, schedule, and execute any / all facility related client request nationwide.

      • Served as single point of accountability for all facility activities , providing owners real-time facility data with drill down capabilities therefore the peace of mind facility was being managed professionally and cost effectively.

      Education

      Master of Business Administration Program—Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio

      Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering—Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio

      Where To Next?

      Now you have an idea about my background and how I’ve acquired my expertise. Let’s have a conversation about your business, Get In Touch here, and how we could solve your business growing pains and bring you more profit.