President’s Message – December 2021

By Michael Pearsall, P.Eng., CVS, FEC – President, SAVE International

What Would Larry Do?

It was my pleasure and honour recently to have the opportunity to be a keynote speaker for the first day of the 37th Indian Value Engineering Society (INVEST) Conference. Their theme was very aptly chosen as “Building Resilience Through Value Engineering” and of course timely during our current global situation. Throughout the event you could see that INVEST has a focused drive to increase their number of Certified Value Specialist (CVS) – this was evident even in the mentorship and guidance given on many of the case studies to help new practitioners grow.

I would like to formally congratulate the president of INVEST, Mr. Naveen Kumar, and INVEST Secretary General, Mr. Satinderpal Singh Ahl, on a very good event. I would give a special mention as well to Ms. Amrita Singh for professionally and calmly moderating the event no matter what came up and to Mr. Alok Ghosal for communications around the event.

INVEST is to be commended on the very timely project on oxygen supply management in India. This is a great example of value practitioners seeing a need and working with a new group to help society as a whole. Though using the Value Methodology (VM) in healthcare is not new to some parts of the world, this was recognized as the first broad use of the VM in this field in India and there is a lot of potential for expansion.  I was also glad to see discussion on climate change and sustainability in many presentations as well.

While Muthiah Kasi’s slides on resiliency related to bridge parapet walls and highway embankments are my normal area of expertise, being a car person at heart, I loved the plethora of presentations on vehicle parts and components. I particularly enjoyed that in many of the Tata presentations, ease of maintenance was an important measure, something somewhat lost in North American vehicles these days.  I had to make some hard choices as I couldn’t watch all the presentations; however, I did wisely choose to watch an excellent presentation on reducing suspension weight and another presentation on commercial vehicle cabs, which had me glued to the screen wanting to roll up my sleeves and help.

Overall, I was not alone in my remarks in drawing comparisons of current global supply chain shortages to the shortages General Electric and others were faced with during the second world war. As I did with my keynote, I want to put out a challenge to all value practitioners to pause for a moment, think about the opportunities this may present for you, and ask yourself “What would Larry do?” if he were here today.

This month, I am calling on all SAVE International chapters to be on the lookout for opportunities where they can promote the use of the VM.  Like INVEST has done by getting involved in helping address societal issues or other opportunities.  Recently, the U.S. President signed a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill. SAVE chapters in the U.S. should consider reaching out to their local Congress representatives and politicians to remind them of OMB Circular A131 and how the VM is needed now to help with this infrastructure spending. What are the opportunities in your area to pursue?

Finally, if you are in a part of the world that celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah and hope you can spend some time with family and friends during this period. Similarly, if you celebrated Diwali in November, I would like to wish you a belated Happy Diwali.