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One of the most important decisions that an asset-intensive industry has is how to manage and care for its assets (i.e. equipment, buildings, and machinery). This is a decision that affects everyone in the organization, from the operators, to the engineers and the C-suite. There are many theories – some dating as far back as the Roman Chariot – on how we get the maximum out of the machines in our organization. The solution, however, will be different depending on the needs of the business and how each uses their assets. In this post, we will explore the full asset management spectrum and how to make the right choice for your organization.
The evolution of maintenance in asset-intensive industries
Today, maintenance has become both an art and a science. We put lots of energy into designing unique approaches and techniques for doing something that should be pretty simple. The primary goal is to keep machines in near-new condition, until they are broken beyond repair or become obsolete. Doesn’t sound too hard, right? Because the landscape of approaches and solutions has become complex, many people have become confused by a seeming divergence of the asset management pillar into many, very different things. We hear terms thrown around like CMMS, EAM, APM, and OMG! That last one is reserved for major breakdowns.
The good news is that the foundation of asset management is stronger than ever. Work in the areas of maintenance, reliability and financial management have all been in the pursuit of helping the enterprise understand how they can collaborate to maximize the value of their assets. Let’s take a look at the evolution and where to use each for optimum success.
Start small with CMMS
We can start small on the asset management spectrum with CMMS. CMMS, or computerized maintenance management systems, have been around for a few decades. It was born out of the need to manage the tedious tasks associated with scheduling, managing and reporting on maintenance activities. CMMS solutions are a great starting place for organizations. Their primary value is in automation for maintenance or field service teams. They help to manage workflows, resourcing and routing, provide operating and repair guidance, and create a record for reporting and auditing.
Growing and scaling with EAM
CMMS users often also own EAM or Enterprise Asset Management platforms, to support the broader asset management needs of the organization. EAM systems provide the appropriate visibility and support across the business and operations. It is the lifeblood of asset intensive industries, like energy, manufacturing, transportation etc. EAM solutions utilize data from across the asset lifecycle: from design and construction, through operations, maintenance and replacement of plant, equipment and facilities. They look beyond maintenance, and help organizations manage ancillary needs around assets – such as safety, environmental considerations, inventories, worker training, and many other needs for organizations that use assets to deliver their business value.
Learn more about IBM’s industry-leading EAM solution, Maximo.
Using AI and the IoT to drive more business value
Lastly, organizations that are asset-intensive typically have large capital budgets associated with their equipment. These organizations continue to work to better connect their assets with organizational value in order to increase their return-on-assets. They look to deploy more powerful analytics associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) and even artificial intelligence (AI) through solutions like Asset Performance Management (APM) and Asset Investment Planning (AIP). These solutions connect the production floor to the balance sheet using real-time data on the health and output of assets. They do so by continuously modeling the value and risks from current operations, inventories and production outputs. By being able to better manage, predict, and optimize their assets, operations can play a bigger role in the financial outcomes of the firm. Integration with external data, from manufacturers, weather, and even equipment repair is often easier due to the openness of platforms associated with APM and AIP.
Making the right choice for your business
Choosing the right asset management solution for your business will depend on factors such as size, industry, types of assets, business goals, and investment.