Research shows that the fundamentals of asset management and maintenance excellence will remain integral to the optimal performance. Organizations in asset-intensive industries must ensure that their adherence to EAM excellence goes beyond the surface.
Enterprise asset management (EAM) excellence can be defined in many ways, but essentially, it is about optimizing the operation of assets critical to an organization’s output and profitability. While new technologies such as big data and predictive analytics continue to drive innovation in asset management, companies cannot afford to overlook the basics and the importance of embedding the core foundations of asset management excellence within their organization.
Crucial elements that should be included in your EAM best practices
New technology drives asset management towards something more exciting than fixing stuff because it’s broken, but most maintenance engineers will tell you that’s what they prefer doing—handling tools, repairing equipment, not entering data into an EAM solution, etc., but these fundamentals, which are considered routine, are crucial to best practice.
There is a need for innovation and the use of new technologies to deliver cost savings and efficiencies, but we also need a pragmatic approach. Organizations need to know what assets they have, the asset’s location, condition, performance and potential deterioration rate and what the criticality of those assets is to the business. These foundations must be in place. This applies equally to the work management side of looking after those assets. For example, looking at the data quality being fed back from those working in the field, carrying out service, etc.
One of the challenges, however, is that while asset maintenance professionals are highly motivated by opportunities to resolve unexpected problems, they find the more routine and mundane aspects less exciting. This presents a problem. If organizations don’t take the routine work seriously, how do they truly know how well their critical assets are performing, and, perhaps even more importantly, the implications of not having this information?
How to achieve EAM excellence
When might an asset fail?
What are the likely consequences of that asset failure?
Are we fully prepared for managing that failure?
What is the quality of data recorded on failures?
How much time do we invest in the continuous improvement of our EAM processes?
These are just a few of the questions asset management professionals need to ask themselves as they consider where their organization is on the asset management excellence scale.
Critical to closing out the CI feedback loop on asset performance is taking on a full through-life asset management philosophy. By maintaining consistency in process and information management at each stage of the assets life (design, construction, commissioning and servicing), companies can better manage their asset portfolio.
How to maintain EAM excellence
Having established an upward curve of improvements, organizations must avoid falling back. With the foundations embedded, they can consider improvement strategies, leading naturally to new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), predictive analytics and big data, etc., which can transform many aspects of the asset management and maintenance processes.
Many of the clients we work with are involved in running transportation hubs or building new power stations. What is critically important when you are going to embark on huge new infrastructure renewal, replacement or modification is that you manage that whole process seamlessly throughout that complete lifecycle. This will ensure that nothing is lost during the construction and engineering stages and the handover to operations, maintenance and beyond.
The key is in the initial asset design and in capturing all of the design information. The iterations of the design cycle within a single system before the asset is delivered or constructed, and the modular approach of IFS solutions, enables this to happen. A complete history of the item can be found in one application at any time, in effect presenting as ‘maintained’ in terms of the information that is available.
The future of EAM in asset-intensive sectors
Spend on global capital project and infrastructure is growing, set to exceed $9 trillion by 2025, according to PwC research, while investments in new plants within asset-intensive sectors like transport, oil and gas and manufacturing could double to nearly $2 trillion. Technology will make many of these new assets smarter and more reliable, but the fundamentals of asset management and maintenance excellence will remain integral to their optimal performance.
For more information on how you can achieve EAM excellence, I suggest reading the “Selecting EAM software for enterprise agility” white paper.
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