Seeing Beyond: What Can EAM Do for Big-Picture Strategizing?
How does EAM help businesses strategize from a higher level?
Although enterprise asset management in practice focuses on the literal nuts and bolts of industrial machinery, adopters of the discipline know EAM means much more to their companies at large.
EAM solutions like criticality ranking and monitoring technology, as well as both predictive and proactive maintenance programs, prolong the life cycles of the equipment under management. Aligning production- and service-centered processes with the best EAM practices also upholds consistent reliability and availability, allowing businesses to achieve their utmost in terms of uptime and diminish risks.
However, it's safe to say the advantages of EAM don't stop on the production floor or, in the case of services, with the end-user. In fact, as the failure of a malfunctioning asset reverberates noticeably across disparate non-production processes, keeping up the principles underpinning the latest asset management strategies protect other limbs of the company tree, even enhance them. How does EAM help businesses strategize from a higher level?
Aligning maintenance with everything else
Maintenance is a fact of life. No company possesses the wherewithal to eliminate maintenance from the picture entirely, and won't for the foreseeable future if ever. The impact of repairs will always be felt by asset-intensive industries, and as we mentioned earlier, those effects traverse the production line and leak into other areas of business. So, how does better enterprise asset management turn a thorn in your side into a boon for value? By providing key data points by way of customizable dashboards so decision-makers know everything they need to about their maintenance programs and, in turn, how to direct them effectively
For a simple example, let's say a plant supervisor wanted a rundown on the top three failure modes impacting a particular asset, particularly how often each happened and how much it cost to respond to each failure event. Maintenance crews exported a report detailing those figures as follows:
Failure Mode 1 – High frequency, high cost per event
Failure Mode 2 – High frequency, low cost per event
Failure Mode 3 – Low frequency, high cost per event
"Which presents the bigger risk: a persistent failure or a pricey one?"
Continuing on, let's also say the supervisor only has resources to tackle two of the three head-on until the next quarter. Failure Mode 1 is obviously on his list, but what about the other two? Which presents the bigger risk to operations: a persistent failure with negligible labor costs or a pricey one that only happens once in a blue moon? Which of the second two can be put off?
To determine the answer, the supervisor will require powerful analytics from advanced asset management software to aggregate troves of historical data and visualize them in easily interpretable ways. Therefore, the EAM platform allows for the greatest transparency for on-site operational data so higher-level decision-makers know all the facts before implementing new training programs, instituting organizational change or redirecting company funds. What better way to make that decision than relying on information created by maintenance professionals in an actionable interface? Supervisors can toy with trends, look at the situation from all angles and glean business intelligence accordingly.
Moreover, what if that same supervisor discovered costs for Failure Mode 3 were high because maintenance crews had attempted many unsuccessful root cause analyses, one for every failure event? Or, frequency rates for Failure Mode 2 were high because nobody ever bothered to perform RCA on the bad actor or actors? What if costs for either were related to over or under maintenance?
These issues may require cross-functional collaboration with commissioning engineers to determine mechanical issues once and for all, perhaps even the legal department to figure out what course of action a business should take against the equipment manufacturer or lessor. Without a channel through which to discover bigger issues arising in maintenance, decision-makers can't make decisions or even notice they're there. EAM provides a much-needed window into intricately technical operations for those outside the know. After all, you shouldn't need an engineering degree to maintain assets cost-effectively and preserve uptime.
"The next 10 years will test the limits of asset management."
Defeating slow innovation
Internet of Things implementation has tested the wariness of industries looking to adopt new technology, or any technology really. Who prefers to be first in line – and first to experience integration pains? Who prefers to wait while competitors experience varying degrees of success and take notes from the sidelines? Who gets the best of both worlds? Who doesn't?
Given the pervasive nature of the IoT and the Industrial IoT, it acts as an interesting barometer for how capable organizations are at incorporating the latest innovations into their operations. After all, IoT connections are poised to quadruple in the next decade, according to market predictions by Machina Research. By 2025 IoT revenue could reach as high as $3 trillion. As such, the next 10 years will test the limits of asset management and how companies onboard technology safely, effectively and without complication.
That said, innovation ebbs and flows. The IoT and the IIoT certainly aren't the first disruptions to throw the industrial sector for a loop – and every other sector, for that matter – and it won't be the last. Furthermore, businesses buy, lease and rid themselves of equipment every day to maintain a competitive edge against competitors doing the same. EAM not only ensures assets receive the utmost care while used on-site, but that they retain value until the day they're sold off or returned to lessors. From a management standpoint, intuitive EAM solutions like IBM Maximo simplify the integration process – from factoring in new inventory to managing contracts – so businesses spend less time worrying about the logistics and more time experiencing the advantages of cutting-edge equipment.
Asset-intensive industries live and die by how well they utilize their equipment to achieve success. Commerce is driven by how often turbines spin and pistons pump, but for the greatest vantage point business leaders must learn how to leverage a flood of new data to reach their long-term objectives. EAM solutions and proactive maintenance programs imbue their operations with the agility necessary to perform well in competitive markets and meet their goals adeptly.