The ABC’s of Asset Management
Every business has special terminology. Regardless of the industry you work in, knowing your terms is important. It shows that you belong in the community, and that you aren’t just some newcomer.
That’s why today, we’re going through a few of our more specialized terms in the field of Asset Management. Once you know them, you’ll be able to make a better case for What’s more, you’ll have a better perspective on your job, and the language to know how to better do your job.
This is the first term to get acquainted with because it encompasses everything that you do. Asset Management is a systematic process of deploying, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of the assets belonging to a company, all in the most cost-effective manner possible. This is also a slight shift in the philosophy that too many maintenance managers have.
Asset Management isn’t simply about repairing equipment when it breaks down. It’s about establishing a Preventive Maintenance Schedule so they don’t break down as often. It’s about reducing down time and increasing the reliability of your assets. And, it can do much more.
So, what’s an Asset?
An Asset is any piece of equipment controlled by your company that you expect to get a benefit from. That might mean a pickup truck that your company has for pulling around a trailer. For that matter, the trailer would be an asset, too. It could be a piece of fixed, heavy machinery that you use for extruding aluminum on your factory floor. It might be your Tractor Rig that you drive around the country hauling freight. It might even be the building that you go to work in every day.
Each of the above examples is an asset, because you expect to get some kind of benefit from each of them. You expect to get a payment from the client to whom you’ve shipped your freight, or to get payment for the widgets you’ve produced in your factory. The assets provide a clear value to you, even if that benefit is nothing more than giving you a place to work and keeping you warm.
This is sometimes called Reactive maintenance, unscheduled maintenance, or just repair. The thing these terms all have in common is that they all come from breakdowns. Corrective Maintenance is the work you do when something has gone wrong. It could be a blown tire, a power failure, or a worn-out compressor that needs replacing.
Any time you need to perform Corrective Maintenance, it means that your asset is out of commission until you can correct the problem. This is where the name comes from. This is also the type of maintenance that Asset Management is designed to help you avoid, mostly because it’s expensive.
Corrective Maintenance is unplanned. It is unscheduled and unexpected, and this means a loss in productivity. If an asset was supposed to be running, but isn’t, you can be guaranteed that someone is going to have a stressful day. This might be the plant manager wondering why they aren’t in production today, or the truck driver who has to wait while his tractor-trailer is in the shop. Regardless of your situation, implementing good Asset Management will help you avoid costly Corrective Maintenance.
PM, PM, PM
This one can be a little tricky, because there’s not one, but three terms that are shortened to PM: Proactive Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, and Predictive Maintenance.
Preventive Maintenance is the most common type of PM. When you hear about PM Schedules, it’s referencing Preventive Maintenance. This is because Preventive Maintenance is about routines. When your manufacturer recommends an oil change every 3000 miles or 3 months, Preventive Maintenance Schedules will actually schedule the technician to do the work on time, rather than when you “get around to it” like usually happens. This type of maintenance watches for triggers in hours, cycles, or miles which align with manufacturer recommended maintenance. Keeping up on these regular routines can dramatically increase the productivity and lifecycle of your assets.
Predictive Maintenance takes preventive maintenance one step further. Rather than just taking triggers from how much an asset has been used, Predictive Maintenance watches other measures to anticipate when something is ready to break down. This could be sensors to monitor vibration levels on a factory machine, or emissions levels on a vehicle. In each case, Predictive Maintenance takes its triggers from monitoring sensors for readings past specified thresholds. It then cues the technician to perform maintenance to rectify the issues before the breakdown occurs. This usually requires more specialized sensors and other electronics to take measurements, and these can mean a higher initial investment. However, using Predictive Maintenance can help increase efficiency and lifecycle well beyond what Preventive Maintenance alone can achieve. It is also sometimes abbreviated as PdM.
Unlike Preventive or Proactive Maintenance, Proactive Maintenance seeks to avoid the underlying conditions that lead to equipment failure. This could be as simple as making sure to use the right kind of oil in a machine, or as complex as monitoring degradation conditions and adjusting operations and environments to minimize those effects.
When it comes to the realm of Asset Management, inventory management is not about product. Rather, it’s about the inventory of parts that you use to maintain your assets. This is important because you will be surprised at how much money and stress you can save by simply managing your inventory. A good system will help you know when you should be buying more inventory and how much to buy. This will help you make sure that you have the parts you need before you need them. Lacking the right parts can extend downtime and break downs as you add order time to your already panicked situation. Inventory management will solve this.
TCO – Total Cost of Ownership
All of this comes together to form a powerful philosophy that can empower you to become a superior manager, no matter what kind of assets you manage. The challenge comes in automating this philosophy and implementing it. This is where CMMS comes in. CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System. They started back in the 60’s with punch card systems that were used to help track PM schedules. They were effective and then evolved into computer software that did the same thing.
Today, though, the modern maintenance manager needs something more than CMMS software. You need a system that will track every kind of PM you can imagine. You need to track your inventory and inventory costs. You need an accurate history of maintenance and the ability to track regulatory compliance, employee certifications, and warranty information. You need all of this, and the ability to check it from anywhere, whether that’s your home computer on a sick day, the work site on your ipad, or as a technician on your phone in the field. All of this is more than a traditional CMMS can handle. That’s why you need more.
ManagerPlus is a powerful cloud-based Asset Management Solution that has the tools you need to upgrade your current operations. No matter what term you look at on this list, ManagerPlus is designed to accommodate you.
When you’re ready to take the next step in your Asset Management journey, give us a call! Whether your assets need to be maintained, tracked, traced, or repaired, ManagerPlus is the right choice for you and your organization. Let us show you how ManagerPlus can upgrade the way you do business.