AKWIRE for Maximo User Group

Embracing Challenges for Professional Growth as a Maximo and AKWIRE Administrator

by Mariah Patterson on September 1, 2016

Growing up and living in Wyoming, Kyle Cook was raised to embrace the environs of the rural communities. From the rugged mountains to sunsets comprised of colors not found on any artist’s palette, Kyle not only grew in the natural wonders of the state, but he learned at an early age to appreciate the rural area.

“I love the outdoors. We live in the middle of nowhere so you kind of grow up outdoors.”

Not one to settle for being a mere observer, Kyle also learned to capture the Wyoming scenes through his eye for photography, filling the camera lens with breathtaking memories of his journeys – the result of honing a natural talent with trial-and-error techniques and pushing own abilities to continuously improve.

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And when he’s not working or photographing his home state, he takes his talent on the road.

Kyle recently wrapped up a trip with his father where they rode to neighboring Colorado, touring Glenwood, Crested Butte and Crystal Mill – one of the most photographed sites in the state. In fact, one of the photos he took on his trip was selected by the Colorado Photography Facebook Page as their featured cover image.

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The benefits of challenging oneself as a Maximo/AKWIRE administrator

In many facets of his life, in fact, Kyle knows a thing or two about stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

The Maximo and AKWIRE Administrator for Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company has spent a considerable amount of his career pushing himself to learn new skills and take on different challenges.

His first position at Sinclair was as a maintenance technician in their welding shop. Over his three-year tenure in that position, he began assisting in Turnaround Execution. “During the turnarounds and major outages, we would have to work with both crews and contractors, making sure they had what they needed.”

It was during these events that some problems began to crop up.

“Over the course of doing all that,” he said, “I noticed there were some deficiencies in some of our parts and what we had in Maximo.” He noted the inaccuracies and determined, “It could be done a lot better.”

After one such outage, Kyle brought up his observations. His supervisors asked him if he would be willing to work on helping to fix and improve the system, focusing on their spare parts.

He said yes.

“It was supposed to be a temporary thing, but it turned into a permanent one.”

The new responsibilities started and Kyle recalled that shortly after he started working in the office, the company made the decision to implement a work management process with the planning and scheduling, among other areas.

“Our Maximo guy and myself, we kind of just took that on.”

That ‘Maximo Guy’—more commonly known as site administrator Kevin Nickerson—gave Kyle the AKWIRE module and said, “‘Hey, can you run with this and administrate it and help fit with what our organization needs?’”

Learning new systems and embracing technological improvements

He dove headfirst into learning the new system, including the technical side with database management and running queries. “It was very challenging,” he recalled, noting that the system ran so smoothly that he was able to pick up AKWIRE very quickly.

Kyle was on board during the entire system set up while they established a team and worked to define the planning and scheduling processes.

His focus is on the Fixed Equipment Assets component, but working closely with counterpart Mike Farver, who handles Rotating Equipment Assets, Kyle also handles planning and scheduling as well other parts of the platform, including the assets and purchasing systems.

He explained: “I have my hands in a lot of it, and I need to, because (other departments) come to us with a lot of questions and I need to know how everything works.”

As the Maximo and AKWIRE administrator, Kyle recalled that the first six months to a year were more parts intensive, and then his focus expanded. “The fun part is you learn a lot more about the business side of these things too when you get into these types of software.”

Kyle went on to elaborate by saying,

“Using AKWIRE enables me to quickly find information against a work order in an efficient manner. I can update more than one record at once, and view more than one record at once. That can help tremendously with the speed of finding, absorbing, and analyzing information.”

Making time for his community

Kyle’s interest in challenging myself to learn new systems doesn’t end with Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company. He is also the current president of the Board of Directors of the American Legion Baseball Club Post 122 in Rawlins, WY.

“I actually had a co-worker who was the baseball coach for the team,” Kyle said. While his co-worker had more experience with baseball, including playing in college, Kyle’s baseball career was limited to Little League and Babe Ruth baseball as a youth.

In typical Kyle fashion, he jumped in with both feet, joining the board of directors. Later, he was voted in as president after the current president stepped down. “I’ve been doing it for a couple years,” he said. “I’ll probably step out and let someone else have the reins in the next year.

“It’s been a learning experience there too. I’ve learned the ins and outs of applying for grants and how funding works and stuff like that.”

Admitting that it can be a juggling act between work, family and his commitments with baseball – particularly when the season is in full swing – Kyle relishes the challenges and takes pride in knowing that he is helping out in the community.

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Taking in the ‘sites’

While challenging himself with the administrative side, he is also able to get out in the field as well. “I could spend all day, every day, in front of my computer but I try not to.” Although there are days that he needs to be at his computer, there are also days that he is able to go to the different sites.

With refineries in Sinclair and Casper, each with multiple units, Kyle has plenty of opportunity to see more than a computer screen. “I get out and about quite a bit. I have to be in the warehouse quite a bit or I’ll go out to one of the units.”

By embracing new opportunities, both professionally and personally, Kyle’s experiences and approachable personality have earned him recognition in other environs. In some of the conferences and presentations he has attended for work, Kyle again challenged himself to step out of his comfort zone and speak about what they are doing at  Sinclair Oil.

In fact, at the International Maintenance Conference (IMC) in Florida, put on by ReliabilityWeb and where Solufy was a sponsor, Kyle was recognized as one of two of the best speakers at the event. “It was a great conference,” he recalled. “There were amazing speakers and I was very surprised to get that recognition.

Finding answers to challenges in the Maximo and AKWIRE world

Sometimes, similar acknowledgments can come at unexpected times.

Kyle recalled the transition time when they were in the process of implementing the AKWIRE system and he was busy loading information on the back end.

“It was definitely a culture change for us because we never had formal scheduling and everybody was like, ‘why are we doing this?’ ‘What’s the purpose of all this?’”  

Forging on, they began to hold regular planning meetings and integrating into the new system. At one point, Kyle recalled, there was some technological hiccup. It was only then that people finally realized just how much they had come to rely on the new system and the scheduling meetings. 

“It was pretty rewarding. Our culture went from, ‘Why are we doing this? This is ridiculous’ to ‘Hey, we actually like the new system and when we don’t have it, what should we do?’” The glitch was quickly resolved and they were able to move on, with a newfound respect for their new planning and scheduling culture.

Kyle continues to move forward and keeps embracing every new challenge as an opportunity to learn.

 “At any time that someone can’t figure something out or they’re looking for something, they can come to me and ask some questions and we can dig and finally get the answers that they need.

“It’s neat to challenge yourself and know it has benefitted someone else.”

Wyoming3-KyleCook.jpg Wyoming5-KyleCook.jpgAll photographs by Kyle Cook

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Mariah Patterson

Mariah Patterson began writing as a child as a way to fill her time when her family moved to an isolated region in Maine. With no close friendships, developing cabin fever from intense snowstorms and only one fuzzy Canadian channel on TV, she created her own world through writing.

She began her

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