As a recap to the introductory post on the Laws of Enterprise Asset Management, the first law focuses on protecting people regardless of the work activity or task. No matter how much a system or process promises an improvement in uptime, efficiency, and profitability, it is all overridden if someone gets injured, sick, or killed. People are the priority.

In this post, we continue the discussion on the laws and provide an overview of the next three laws that set the foundation for asset management: knowing the true goal, obsessing over the basics, and embracing technology. Without a foundation, an operation is less likely to find a successful path to asset management. Let’s look at these laws now to help you plot the correct course forward.


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Setting the Foundation for Asset Management

Law #2: Know the True Goal

Sound EAM decisions are driven by “the goal.” No asset exists in isolation. Rather, each asset should be managed according to its contribution, or potential contribution, to the larger objectives of the system. As ISO 55000 states, “What constitutes value will depend on these objectives, the nature and purpose of the organization, and the needs and expectations of its stakeholders.”

In practice, this principle means that identical assets in two differently configured systems may need to be managed differently.

  • They may be run at different speeds or over a longer part of the day.
  • Their software may be upgraded at varying times or they may be maintained at different intervals, as long they don’t create a hazard.
  • They may even be given substantially different asset life cycles, depending on what role each of them plays.

Nearly every decision about the management of an asset is properly determined by asking, “Does this maximize the productivity of the system?” instead of, “Does this maximize the output of the asset?”

Law #3: Obsess Over the Basics

People who show up ill or sluggish to their doctors’ offices expect to walk out with a prescription, preferably the latest and greatest intervention. What every medical professional understands, but struggles to communicate to their patients is that sophisticated interventions rarely compensate for basic health habits like good sleep, balanced diet, and exercise.

The same is true in operating a complex enterprise. A technical document such as ISO 55000 is largely concerned with the basics of EAM. “Assets are owned and operated to create value; decisions, plans, and activities should create alignment; and leadership and culture are crucial to competence management of the assets, according to the standard.

Attending to these issues creates a high level of assurance that a facility or system will run as intended. At SEAM Group, we often find that clients are eager to learn about the most sophisticated innovations and technologies before understanding, addressing, and mastering the basics. We regularly counsel them that those tools underperform and cause frustration without the basic aspects well established.

Law #4: Embrace the Technology

Many organizations often believe that modern technology is a luxury—an avoidable expense if costs are an issue. There is a misconception that complicated operations were managed for decades through paper-and-pen logs and, later, with spreadsheets that can capture and process large amounts of data. The problem with this logic is that the asset capabilities have improved, the tolerances within which they best operate have tightened, and the interdependencies among the assets have increased that optimal performance requires a modern EAM system.

Technology appropriate to current levels of system complexity is the foundation for long-term optimal performance. Going without solid technology often costs more than the technology itself when you factor in unintended downtime, maintenance, and – occasionally but tragically – accidents and incidents.

Start the Journey to Better Asset Management

To succeed at enterprise asset management, organizations must understand and practice its core principles. While the laws above are foundational in nature, they are just the first few steps in the journey. Download the full white paper on the 9 Laws of Enterprise Asset Management for a comprehensive guide to improving operational and safety performance at your organization.

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