Beyond Maintenance Management

Uptime now goes Beyond Maintenance Management. 

Maintenance, is already a big enough challenge for many of us, yet beyond lies the realm of Asset Management. Back in 2004, As the second edition of Uptime was being written, the UK was introducing a specification for Asset Management and requiring network utilities to implement it. Drivers included the justification of rates charged to customers by these natural monopolies, the need to convince regulators that good asset management was indeed being practiced and to avoid failures that were increasingly becoming more serious and more publicized. The UK’s Publicly Available Specifications, PAS 55-1 and -2, were the first in this field. Those specifications underwent revision a few years later (2008) and early implementations were successful. The Institute of Asset Management (IAM) in the UK became the primary proponent of PAS 55 and the driving force behind a movement to create a new international standard. Along the way, various documents were written to explain asset management and various national and international groups were formed to promote good asset management – some from national groups that were focused predominantly on maintenance.

In early 2014, as this edition of Uptime was being written, the International Standards Organization published the first global standards for Asset Management – ISO 55000, 55001, and 55002. They cover the “minimum” that must be done to be doing good Asset Management. Going beyond those there is further coverage in documents published by the IAM, Australia’s Asset Management Council (AMC), and the Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management (GFMAM).

Asset Management:

The topic of Asset Management is beyond the narrow scope of Maintenance Management although there are many who would call maintenance management, “asset management”. Maintenance is about sustaining the capability of the assets we own. Engineering puts those assets into place. Finance pays for it all. Human resources ensure we have the right people with the right skills and competencies to do it all. Blending those together you get a far more holistic perspective on the whole life cycle of our physical assets. That is what Asset Management does – it provides a balance of performance, cost, and risk so we can achieve our organizational objectives.

It’s evident today as we see bridges collapse, utility failures that darken large parts of entire continents, trains derailing with disturbing frequency, flood protection that can no longer cope with the impacts of global climate changes, companies that shut down productive capacity and move it overseas only to realize they should have kept some of it when the value of their currency shifts. Good asset management helps us forecast demands on our assets and on the financing for them, well into the future. It won’t guarantee that we foresee everything, but it takes us much further than we tend to look today. It certainly goes well beyond the time-constrained perspective of Life Cycle Costing (LCC), Discounted Cash Flows (DCF), and Return on Investments (ROI) that tend to remain at best, only medium term in their focus.

This new chapter is intended to help build awareness of this important discipline of asset management that we are all a part of. Maintenance can no longer remain in the hands of those who are not prepared to make a leap in their professional capabilities, knowledge, and outlooks. It is a field for professionals and that is very evident when looking at the broad scope and depth needed in asset management today.

Implementing Uptime:

For years, John Campbell and his consulting practice, mine, and those of many firms have benefited from helping companies implement good maintenance management (and now good asset management). We continue to be agents of change. There were no secrets to doing it, our customers have always been experts at what they do, but not at changing what they do. They have worked for years, entire careers, in the same industry or company. They haven’t seen what others do and may not have been exposed to better practices that could help them improve. Many thought they were doing well before someone came along and showed them that was indeed room to improve. New managers, often transplanted from other plants, other companies, and sometimes other industries would often be unhappy with the performance they had inherited so they want improvement. Maintenance managers, often very experienced were at a loss as to how to do better and what to do differently given the constraints they were all too used to living with the day-to-day.

In this 3rd edition, I’ve added a chapter on implementing Uptime as a tool for those who might want to improve but find themselves stuck or without funds to acquire outside help. It deals with the business case – all too often one of the stumbling blocks that prevent companies from even starting. It shows how Hoshin Kanri can be used effectively and discusses the relative merits of using an assessment or training as your starting point and proposes a new approach, one that we’ve found very useful for arriving quickly at improvement ideas and avoiding major change management resistance. It discusses project and sustainment – governance, change management, initiative overload, action teams, and the role of middle management. This chapter deals with many management issues that often get in the way, prevent you from starting, derail your efforts or render it all useless not long after you’re done.

You probably can’t implement all of Uptime’s content without some sort of outside help, but this chapter will give you a lot of insight into what is needed. You will need to decide what you can do well yourself and where you might want help but it should also enable you to make informed decisions.

Uptime is within your grasp – the book contains many keys, valuable lessons, and helpful tips. It is my sincere hope that you will find it helpful. This subject of maintenance and asset management has been a passion of mine for my entire career – I hope that some of that can rub off on others and that Uptime will yet again be a valuable reference for those who choose excellence in our field.

I hope this has been helpful in providing an easy-to-read small section of what you’ll find in Uptime and sparked your interest in both the book and the model of excellence it presents. Here’s to all of you who have read this, “more Uptime”!

Get your copy of Uptime: Strategies for Excellence in Maintenance Management, Third Edition, today.