New Framework for Asset Management
the level of understanding of these areas begins to rise, so too do the expectations
that managers and companies will be able to meet modern requirements.
the past, maintenance strategy has frequently been treated in a highly reactive
manner. Maintenance regimes are often created in response to machine breakdowns
or incidents. Often, in the aftermath of disasters, there are public statements
made demanding, or promising, "more intensive maintenance."
the intention is laudable, the result of such reactive actions is often either
non-effective or counter productive. Either way it is too late to stop the original
incident from having occurred.
assets needs to be done in a truly proactive approach, one that ties the management
of physical assets to the corporate objectives.
modern approach to asset management can be visualized as a series of dominoes.
Each domino needs the momentum from the previous area, and then proceeds to
pass this momentum to the next domino in the line. Starting at any point other
than the beginning will leave some dominoes standing.
asset management can be seen in the same way. Each of the dominoes represents
one of the decision-making areas that are required to adequately manage assets.
initial momentum to begin the sequence comes from the vision of a future state.
This needs to clearly represent the corporate objectives and goals, and expressing
how asset management can play a part in achieving these goals.
energy is then carried forward to impact on the remaining areas of decision-making.
As with the dominoes, a decision to begin in the middle of this chain reaction
will omit areas important to the end result.
This is Part Three of a three-part note.
One discussed changing attitudes.
Two covered the implications for asset management.
The Corporate Viewpoint
more than any other management initiative, asset management is heavily driven
by the corporate requirements and objectives. Yet it is often overlooked or
summed up in global statements regarding "improved efficiency" or "improved
of the more recent tools in a manager's arsenal is the balanced scorecard. This
proven tool has been used successfully throughout the world as a means of communicating
corporate strategy, and converting strategy into results. However specific asset
management goals and causality links are rarely included in corporate scorecards.
Including asset management at this level of corporate objective setting, sets
two powerful dynamics in motion. Firstly, it raises the level of understanding,
throughout the company, of this area and its importance. Secondly, it provides
guidelines for future decisions that will need to be taken regarding the following
steps in the chain reaction.
Developing Maintenance Strategy
corporate objectives, once clearly defined and linked to asset management, act
as "requirements" in the creation of the strategy regimes.
example of this can be found in the linking of corporate objectives regarding
quality to asset performance. Determining exactly what the future acceptable
level of poor quality will be immediately provides a guide for the performance
standards required of the assets in the production lines.
then need to be considered along with all other requirements that the company
may have of its assets. There are a large number of areas that contribute to
the company's requirements of its assets, and all of these need to be considered
in the resulting analysis.
there is a clear definition of what it is that companies need from their asset
base it will allow them to
if their assets are able to achieve these objectives in the first place,
the maintenance strategies required to ensure that they do, or
what enhancement actions are required to meet corporate requirements Working
through these two steps not only forces a radical change in the manner in
which companies view their assets, it also leads to a radical change in
the way that the assets are managed and that decisions are taken in this
Applying Maintenance Strategy
work on maintenance strategy gets underway, work can begin on the steps relating
to the application of maintenance strategy. This means taking the strategies
and determining what are the supporting business needs and processes that will
be required to execute them.
the strategies are developed, information regarding the clear requirements of
the materials and human resources functions will begin to emerge.
gives a company the ability to totally plan and control the maintenance efforts
and spending, from the strategies through to the materials and human resources
dimensions, all aligned with the true asset requirements.
as these fundamental issues are addressed, there begins to be an understanding
of what the business processes need to be. Quite often this can mean a radical
change to existing processes.
can range from processes governing acquisition, installation and enhancements,
through to the operational processes. In some cases it may require different
maintenance scheduling frequencies, in others it may require whole new skill
bases to be developed or it may lead to changes in the ways that we plan, perform,
and record work that are done.
stark contrast to conventional thinking in field of asset management systems,
it becomes clear that business processes do not drive "requirements". In fact
business processes, and the systems that are used to manage them, are driven
by asset requirements.
is one of the key misconceptions to have emerged regarding enterprise asset
management in recent years.
Administering Maintenance Strategy
the asset requirements, supporting business needs, and work processes defined,
attention can now turn to the use of an existing or future computerized maintenance
sometimes becomes clear that the systems in place are either inadequate for
managing the asset portfolio or that they are being used in a manner that does
not align with the newly defined business processes.
is often a startling revelation to companies expecting to be able to merely
"roll out the maintenance modules" of their existing ERP that was bought for
financial or other business reasons.
can often be a rude awakening when the amounts of money that are sometimes involved
are taken into account.
can be no doubt that the perceived importance of physical asset management has
risen substantially during 2003. There can also be no doubt that this trend
will continue into the future as it has done over the past three decades.
is beginning to become more widely understood that asset management is a complex
and specialized area. One which can be a source of strategic advantages, but
also one in which the implications of misjudgement can be extremely serious.
Not only from a financial perspective but also in many areas of corporate activity.
In order to exploit the advantages available in asset management, and ensure
their responsible stewardship, management will need to be based around three
Using the correct people;
With the correct knowledge;
To make decisions in the correct way.
Maintenance—A New Paradigm, John Moubray, available from www.aladon.com
(1)Often referred to as a computerized maintenance management
system (CMMS), or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or enterprise asset
management (EAM) system.
case Against Streamlined RCM, John Moubray, available from www.aladon.com
Reliability-centred Maintenance report Dolby Access Press
Mather is an author, speaker, and management consultant from Australia
currently living and working in the United Kingdom. He specializes in assisting
companies to achieve strategic advantages within the areas of physical asset
management. After beginning in Australia he has enjoyed a career in over fifteen
countries around the world. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to www.strategic-advantages.com