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Asset Performance Management - A Must Have For Asset-Intensive Companies

Written By: Gabriel Gheorghiu
Published On: August 20 2010

During an asset’s life cycle, you can save money acquiring, using, and disposing of it at the right time. When your activities do not require many assets, it is easy to understand what the optimal use of an asset is, but when you use sophisticated tools; heavy machinery; and hundreds of trucks and forklifts things can get a lot more complicated.

Depending on how you use it, any tool or equipment can have a utility ranging from useless, if you keep in its box, to extremely useful, if you know where, when, and how to use it. Traditional enterprise asset management systems (EAM) or computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) cannot always provide the answers to the questions above.

If your company is asset-intensive and you are trying to save money by better using your assets, you need an asset performance management solution, which can help you do more with less assets, extend the life cycle of your assets, and make these assets more available when and where you need them.

How can asset performance management help you understand where, when, and how to use your assets?

First of all, any asset performance management (APM) system needs data to give you the best results possible. So data needs to be gathered from all relevant sources and managed so you can understand what the performance of your assets is and how it can be improved.

Let’s take a look at how asset performance management can answer the questions mentioned above:

1. Where should you use a specific asset?

By analyzing historical data, you can understand which asset generated value, had the lowest down-time, and was cheaper to maintain when used for a specific activity. This information, along with pricing and technical functionality can help you make better decisions when buying and allocating assets to your main activities.

2. When should you use a specific asset?

“Whenever needed” would be a simple answer, which may work when your assets are mainly computers and printers. But when you own assets worth millions of dollars, you cannot afford to use them for operations that will not bring much value to your company. By analyzing your business processes and workflows, you can understand which operations are more asset-intensive and which ones can be done with limited use of assets.

3. How should you use a specific asset?

This is not about the instructions that you will find in the user’s manual, but more about how to efficiently use an asset in order to make it more productive, reduce its maintenance costs, and increase its life cycle. Here’s an example: you can use a multifunctional printer as a copier by scanning documents and then printing them. It will take you more time to scan and then print, not to mention the costs of the cartridge. If you do that frequently, the extra cost and time accumulated by using a multifunctional printer will be higher than the cost of a copier.

But APM is not only used to save money—it can also be used to manage risks (such as accidents, unplanned interruptions, etc.) and to ensure compliance with local or international rules and regulations.

And finally, APM is not just a tool, but a strategy—it should include business processes, workflows, and methodologies that empower people to work better and use equipment more efficiently. So, if you’re looking to spend less on assets, be compliant and reduce risks, you will have to review the way you do business and APM will help you improve your bottom line.

In a future post I will discuss how APM can help you address the above mentioned challenges and also analyze how some of the most important players in this field (Infor, Ivara, Meridium, Oniqua, etc.) can help.
 
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