In this interview, we explore Erik's career path as an industrial maintenance consultant at Easy Skill. He tells us about the challenges and essential skills required to progress in the field of industrial maintenance.
First of all, could you tell us about your experience as a maintenance consultant?
Erik: I've been working as a maintenance consultant for several years. I started this adventure in New Caledonia in September 2019, after leaving my position as production and maintenance manager in Martinique.
Can you tell us more about your different missions as a maintenance consultant?
Erik: Of course. As a consultant, I've worked on various maintenance projects. For a major player in the food industry in New Caledonia, I provided support and improved the work order strategy, increased the skills of breakdown teams and audited the maintenance department's organization chart.
For a major player in the mining and metallurgy sector in northern New Caledonia, I developed a bill of materials and revised the maintenance plan strategy in SAP software.
Similarly, for an influential player in the same sector but located in the south of New Caledonia, I set up the maintenance strategy and supervised the commissioning phase, including the creation of tree structures, the assessment of equipment criticality and the management of critical parts. I also worked as Senior EIA Supervisor (Electricity, Instrumentation, Automation) for FMCC (Fiabilité, Maintenance, Conception, Calédonienne) for the maintenance shutdown of a nickel plant in northern New Caledonia.
And can you tell us about your involvement in the last maintenance shutdown of the nickel plant with the company FMCC?
Erik: Indeed, during the last maintenance shutdown of the nickel plant with FMCC, my mission was to supervise the instrumentation team while ensuring the rigorous application of maintenance rules and strategies. My role also included introducing new skills and supporting the team in a continuous improvement process.
It sounds like a very varied mission. What were the main challenges you faced during this maintenance shutdown?
Erik: Indeed, the mission was varied. One of the main challenges was to ensure that the team met quality standards while working closely with them. There were times when we had to redo some work due to technical problems, but overall it was a rewarding experience. A maintenance shutdown means being out in the field 6 days a week, which requires excellent physical condition and good fatigue management.
Speaking of quality, you mentioned a supervisory role. How would you define this role, and what skills are needed to fill it?
Erik: The supervisory role involves both quality and technical aspects. You need to be able to bring in new ideas, identify gaps and work collaboratively with the team. The key is to be both humble and rigorous, making a positive contribution while maintaining quality standards.
It's a delicate balance, I guess. Apart from your role during maintenance shutdowns, can you tell us about your career path before becoming a consultant?
Erik: Before joining Easy Skill and going into consulting, I worked for 15 years at an American semiconductor company called Atmel. I held various positions, from technician to team leader. After the closure of this company, I worked in other fields, including the production of compost for organic farming.
It's a varied career. How would you say these previous experiences have helped you in your role as a maintenance consultant?
Erik: These experiences have given me a thorough understanding of different technical fields and a versatility that has proved invaluable as a consultant. By working in a variety of sectors, I've been able to develop the interpersonal skills and adaptability that are crucial in the consulting field.
As a consultant, freedom and change seem to be attractive aspects of your job. What do you enjoy most about the role?
Erik: Indeed, the freedom to take on new challenges and change environments is very stimulating for me. Every assignment is a new challenge, and it's this dynamic, evolving aspect that excites me the most. Life as a consultant can be demanding, but it's also very rewarding.
Thank you very much, Erik, for sharing your journey and experience with us today. We wish you every success in your future endeavors.
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