The Impact of the Maintenance and Reliability Management Certificate: an Interview with Carl Kottke

For Carl Kottke at PCI Pharma Services in Dane County, Wisconsin, the Maintenance and Reliability Management (MRM) Certificate has offered a “leg up” in his industry.



“It’s all about the more you know,” Kottke said. “It’s been incredibly helpful to utilize some of the things that I’ve learned up there and bring it back here, and actually get to work on implementing some of the things that I got excited about hearing in the classes. So at least in my company, [the MRM Certificate] is held in high regard.”

Kottke has been at PCI Pharma for 13 years as the Maintenance Supervisor and is happy to be in a company with such growth. Despite best efforts, he struggles with a common issue that many face: machine reliability.

“Without any sort of direction, you sort of fight fires in the moment, you try and keep production running.”

Kottke was strongly encouraged by individuals in his company to pursue the MRM Certificate and he’s glad he took the advice.

“These classes really helped me have a broader view of how to tackle problems in a predictive manner, how to be a little bit more proactive with our maintenance, how to improve our PM’s (Preventative Maintenance),” Kottke noted.

As someone who is passionate about getting the most from his team, Kottke appreciated the opportunity to learn from others who share his interests and hurdles.

“You know, it’s not only me at PCI that has this struggle with team building and getting everybody on board. I found that was common across the board, so it was really good to get to know people and to know that this is a common struggle that a lot of us have.”

The MRM instructor that Kottke interacted with played a large role in his positive experience. He explained the benefit of learning from someone who has real-world experience; receiving information alongside incredible examples and stories helps to amplify the learning process.

Kottke appreciated that his instructor “has that real life experience where he’s done all of this and he can give you ideas and examples that you can relate to, that makes it easier for you to say, ‘hey, I can go back and do that on this piece of equipment or that piece of equipment.’ That’s really the neat part about having a presenter or a teacher who has all that experience. That has been really, really helpful.”

When asked if he had any advice for potential students of the MRM Certificate, Kotkee underlined the value of being on-site for these courses when possible.

“I had never been to UW, and when I was there this last fall, I was just blown away by how beautiful it was. There’s some incredible history up there… Actually being on site, having lunch with people, having breaks with people, you have a chance to network a little bit. You have a chance to hear about their real-life experiences, what their struggles are. I know it’s not applicable for everybody, but I would absolutely, highly recommend if people can attend in person, that is a hundred percent the way to do it.”