Brecken Stout, Indirect Buyer for Kerry Ingredients, took the time to discuss her experience with the Maintenance and Reliability Management (MRM) Certificate.
Stout has been with Kerry for about 21 years and handles all of the maintenance and indirect work for their facility. Since her company was bought out in 2018, Stout has been very engaged with their asset care team as they work to go live on System Applications and Products (SAP). Finding herself in this situation, she has been interested in learning more and expanding her knowledge in this area. The MRM courses offered at UW–Madison’s InterPro peaked her interest and have proven to be valuable assets in her career.
Having taken four courses so far, Stout is planning on signing up for the MRM Certificate and is actively looking for more courses that will help her into a senior position.
UW: What benefits do you feel you will receive from the MRM Certificate?
Stout: Well, hopefully, just helping bring more knowledge to some of the other plants that may be struggling with some things. I know I’ve been able to help out with the procurement side of things pretty well with some newcomers, and this would be, I think, a great opportunity to help other facilities, but also give me more practice in some of those areas.
UW: What are the biggest challenges you face in your position and how have the course(s) you’ve taken so far benefited you in addressing these challenges?
Stout: So far the biggest challenges that I have are more on the procurement side, along with the supply chain demand and the extra-long lead times that we are dealing with right now. So, I think performing these FMEAs will really help us ensure that we have the proper spare parts in our inventory, the right quantity. Dealing with these lead times, it’ll be able to give us the time and the effort to reevaluate those to see if we need to improve some of these items to better cover ourselves to help minimize downtime.
UW: All of our MRM Instructors come with multiple years of practical experience. Could you please explain the impact this may have had on the quality of the courses you’ve taken?
Stout: So far the three that I’ve been introduced to, they have an abundance of knowledge behind each and every one of them. I’ve actually started following them on LinkedIn and listened to some of their one-on-one’s and different scenarios that they go through. So it kind of helps refresh some of the information that I’ve learned… and it doesn’t let me forget it since I’m not that used to it or I’m pretty new to all of the processes.
UW: What advice would you provide to other potential MRM students?
Stout: Look and see what intrigues you and don’t be afraid to try something new. You’ll never know what you can learn and where it can take you in your next journey of your career. Just go out there and do it. Don’t be afraid to learn something new. Really.