Benefits of Equipment Management Specialist certification
By Karen ScallyAugust 24, 2022
An announcement on Waste Management’s internal company portal caught the eye of Mindy Brown, the maintenance equipment manager for Southern Arizona and New Mexico.
Two employees had recently earned their Equipment Management Specialist (EMS) certificates from the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP).
Though Brown already had a goal to earn the Certified Equipment Manager (CEM), she had never heard of the EMS. She was intrigued, and after learning more, thought it would be a good first step towards the CEM.
Brown had previously worked for Michelin as a sales rep and was recruited to join Waste Management as a fleet manager.
“Having been in the position I was in with Michelin for 16 years, I was basically accustomed to looking from the axles down, not the whole scene,” Brown says. “Then I became a senior district fleet manager, and it is a completely different wheelhouse.”
What the EMS course does for someone that is newer to fleet management is it covers all facets of the role.
“There’s a misconception out there that people think we’re glorified parts orderers — you know, all we do is order parts,” she says. “We’re not just ordering parts. The role goes into this whole menagerie of things that interconnect with the bigger picture.”
Brown says the EMS course provided several benefits for her. First, it better prepared her for monthly P&L meetings with Waste Management leadership. Second, she says the EMS refocused her on the priorities of the job.
And perhaps most importantly, she says it gave her the tools to communicate more effectively with her team of nine service technicians, helping them understand the broader impact the fleet department has on the overall success of the company.
“What you do — and what you don’t do — matters: in terms of data, in terms of reporting, in terms of photos, in terms of quality PMs, or even changing parts out,” Brown says. “This affects this huge picture, not just your little window from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day.”
With her EMS training, Brown says she was able to get her team reporting correctly and embrace the value of their data, which is the only way company leadership will know exactly how their sites are running.
“I think one of the biggest takeaways I can attribute to it is that it helped prep me to help prep others,” she says. “My main goal with my team is to promote them.”
She is now recommending the course to other team members to further their own growth and sharing how it will open up their eyes to the potential influence they can have.
“This course will help you take the blinders off from this tunnel vision view that you have,” Brown says. “It gives you a much clearer view of what your job entails and everything you touch, and how that affects everything within the company.”
Karen Scally is a journalist who has covered the construction industry for over a decade and a current contributor to the blog at Gearflow.com, which is an online marketplace for construction parts, tools, and equipment.