James has been with Aquitas for three years as a Senior Consultant and will now be taking over a critical role for our team as Manager of Operations. With his extensive military background in maintenance and project management, he’s quickly made an impression both internally and with our Customers for his energy and diligent attention to every project.

MILITARY BACKGROUND

James spent much of his Army career in leadership and management roles – from his start as a Demolitions Sapper Platoon Leader to assisting in the management and planning of Brigade-level operations. He first started working in maintenance as an Executive Officer for an Army Engineer company where he managed the redeployment and maintenance of thousands of assets as they returned from Afghanistan, utilizing the Army’s proprietary software “Standard Army Maintenance System-Enhanced” or SAMS-E.  Maintenance was important as an Airborne Engineer Platoon Leader, and this assignment was his career introduction to responding to work orders, managing PMs, coordinating supply, and managing repair priorities of his brigade.

Following this assignment James was deployed to the Pacific to lead his unit on a Humanitarian Aid mission on the remote island of Palau. He was responsible for a team of highly trained Engineers who planned and executed construction missions across the country in support of the small island nation. There he worked and trained under the Navy’s 3M maintenance program where he and his unit first used Maximo. With Maximo, his unit maintained hundreds of millions of dollars in Navy engineer and construction equipment – as well as the facilities they lived in – while they assisted in the response to Super Typhoon Haiyan. The ease of planning, scheduling, and work execution with Maximo led to an increased interest in maintenance software and the civilian off-the-shelf options available.

As James progressed through the military ranks he later became a Project Engineer for the US Army Corps of Engineers. There he refined his Project Management skills as he executed change requests, managed project execution, contract compliance, and coordinated with civilian contractors while assigned to a new barracks construction project for the soldiers stationed in Anchorage, Alaska. Following this, James went on to Fort Hood, Texas where he worked in the Current Operations section of his 3000-personnel Brigade and assisted in the planning and execution of his Engineer Brigade’s daily operations as they prepared for and executed deployment readiness training.

Being in the Army taught James many things about maintenance and operations management – one of the biggest takeaways being that maintenance is vastly different across organizations. Using paper processes for maintenance in one assignment and then handling work orders through Maximo in another, James began to recognize where there were opportunities for efficiency and process improvement.

MOVING FROM USER TO CONSULTANT

Following his service in the Army, James brought his experiences and skillsets to Aquitas for several reasons. The small company atmosphere was a break from a large bureaucracy where he felt his voice could be heard and he could influence positive change.  He always enjoyed the changing duties that came with being in the Army, and wanted to be exposed to multiple job functions and challenges quickly.  Most importantly, he valued the small company culture where he could build more personal relationship with each individual in the company.

James attributes much of his success and understanding of Maximo to the highly skilled consultants that welcomed him into the Aquitas Team. Their patience and willingness to help coupled with James’ military-minded determination is what helped him quickly establish his footing. Coming in with very limited functional knowledge of Maximo did not stand in the way for James – he took his own frustrations and experiences with maintenance and channeled them into solutions for his customers. James holds himself accountable for the challenges his clients face in order to obtain an end result that is simple, functional, and the best that it can be.

James Lewis quote

James brought his appreciation for equipment readiness into his role as a consultant. Instilled in him by the Army, equipment readiness is directly correlated with maintenance readiness in the corporate world. His understanding and ability to level with customers about how downtime impacts revenue is a product of his management experience in the Army and something that sets him apart as a consultant. James routinely challenges his clients’ Maintenance Processes to seek improvement through critical thinking versus accepting “this is how we have always done it.”

BECOMING A MANAGER

The Aquitas Team met James at the Service Academy Career Conference, and he immediately stood out as someone with strong leadership potential. His compatibility with the consulting team and experiences in maintenance encouraged tremendous growth early on and ultimately led him to this opportunity of becoming Manager of Operations.

In his three years with Aquitas, James credits much of his knowledge base to understanding the data side of Maximo – where it maps, how it is captured and used in Maximo, and ultimately how it influences the desired outcome. While at Aquitas he has already worked on a variety of projects in facilities, manufacturing, and utilities, which has made him better equipped to address different challenges that each of these implementations involve.

In every project, he dedicates himself entirely to the needs of the customer and works hard to deliver the best solution. James is very good at reflecting on his own performance, recognizes where our strengths as a team lie, and has a great eye for identifying growth and development opportunities for the company.

As a manager, James looks forward to updating and creating efficient processes internally which will allow the consultant team to spend more time focusing on quality on-time deliverables for our customers while continuing to grow a team of consultants that are cross-functional and able to tackle a multitude of client challenges.

Aquitas is incredibly excited to welcome James into this new management role and benefit from the innovative strategies he will bring to the Operations Team!

Want to request James for Maximo consulting services? Contact us!

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