Unless you plan to produce great results, you don’t have a chance at producing them. They don’t happen by accident. The outcomes you aim at will specify what kinds of tools you will need and how you will need to use those tools. The same tools can be used by two different people or the people on two different teams with vastly different outcomes. Why? It could be the software tools haven’t been designed to produce the outcomes in question. Our Accelerated Enterprise Asset Management has been designed for speed and efficiency. The focus of this article is the other reason, gaps in the knowledge and skill required to produce the outcome using the tool.
Marketplace Standards for Asset Management Implementation are Weak and Uncompetitive.
Standards are weak because we’re not sure what success looks like with the software we’ve purchased. With so much changing radically with how we manage our businesses it seems asset management should be changing radically as well to support transformation efforts. How can we tell we are competitive? If we look in other areas it seems easier. Try picking up a professional athlete’s bat or racket, a professional musician’s guitar or drum sticks, and seeing if you can perform to the same standard as the pro. Get a group together and try to compete with their team. It would be crazy to think you could compete, right? This shouldn’t be surprising. What is surprising is we expect teams and their use of enterprise asset management software to be somehow different or, more often, we have lower expectations. Both are recipes for failure in today’s hyper-competitive world. With the focus on speed and efficiency, it’s unclear how today’s asset management solutions are producing measurable help.
It’s Time to Get Real!
Past success is no indicator of future success. We all need to be checking our thinking because the solutions that used to work are no longer sufficient in today’s drastically different competitive landscape.
When Sente began in the asset management game 20 years ago most companies were satisfied tracking their assets, avoiding write-offs and audit findings, decreasing downtime. While we weren’t satisfied producing simply that, most companies were. We partnered with the ones that weren’t. Today’s competitive situation means companies need to get more from their assets and their people and do it fast! Today’s competitive standards obsolete traditional asset management standards and require new capabilities for speed, efficiency and innovation.
New Competitive Standards Demand a Different Approach
Today competitive advantage goes to those who beat their competition with a steady flow of new and unique products and services that their competition can’t match. This means they have to manage their highly complex work environment to be agile and responsive and ensure their human capital and capital equipment is laser-focused on the mission, not distracted managing support functions, searching for equipment, or getting the right tools. For asset-intensive businesses the cost of not managing this well is especially high.
Asset Management Must Become a Team Sport
Economists say equipment and facilities aren’t assets unless they are making money. Competitive standards are driving all parts of today’s enterprise to change and asset management is no exception. When enterprises are tasked with producing products twice as fast, the importance of collaboration and coordination between departments is critical. Since asset returns are driven by individuals and teams developing and producing products using those assets, the solution needs to be aimed at helping the users. Just like a racecar driver needs a pit crew to keep their car running, they also need capability in the car and strategies with their race team to win the race. Asset management is no different. The focus must change from simply controlling and maintaining assets to a much bigger focus.
Focuses and Benefits of the Team Approach
When moving from a “control and compliance” mindset focused on “assets” to a “speed & agility” mindset focused on “people using assets” the approach must necessarily change. The “team approach” includes not only the current people “managing” the assets, but also the users of the assets, their management, suppliers of the assets and services associated with them (maintenance, calibration, etc.), purchasing, finance, and quality. Practices must be tailored to be useful to each of the team members in this new paradigm. Asset management can’t be disconnected activity they are doing, and it’s not “team for team’s sake”. Every person has an important role to play and they have to see how their efforts contribute directly, both positively and negatively, to speed and cost-effectiveness. Team members must be focused on building trust and satisfying each other.
The benefits of this approach are significant: 2X to 4X increases to utilization, 2X increases to speed, 40 to 60% reduction in equipment obsolescence risk across an inventory of equipment half the cost. Increased speed, reduced risk, and lower cost. Win. Win. Win.
Implications of the Team Approach to Training and Implementation
With a larger focus on building trust and satisfaction between teammates, training must include this as a focus. It starts with making sure each member first understands the implications of fulfilling their role in the success of the team and the company. One way trust is built and maintained is through transparency and clear communications and ultimately through keeping commitments. While a number of commitments remain the same, there are additional commitments that enable trust to build. As trust builds and the asset management system is fully adopted many historical problems, like data accuracy, go away. Speed and competitiveness accelerate as everyone on the team make better decisions with accurate data and robust workflows enabling better coordination among team members.
Asset Management Software Must Support the Team Approach
The standard today is that most departments have their own software tool, spreadsheet, or whiteboard and none of them are integrated facilitating cross-functional processes or data sharing. To produce game-changing results and foster the team approach requires the following capabilities.
- Integrated Workflows that CONNECT every member of the team.
- Contextual Knowledge used in the workflows to POWER faster and more trustworthy decision making
- Acceleration Algorithms that identify and help eliminate ineffective and costly team behaviors
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