Management of physical assets can be very complex. It requires a blend of financial, engineering, maintenance and risk management skills, not to mention the technical skills of maintaining and operating the assets themselves. Doing this well also requires a great deal of information and it must be accurate information.
Today we hear talk of “resilience” replacing “sustainability”. Development must be resilient to the threats we’ve largely created for ourselves from energy instability, unpredictability in climate change, greater extremes of weather, rising sea levels, etc. The impacts are already evident – risks to food supplies, flooding in cities and low lying lands, massive fires in areas unaccustomed to long dry spells, desertification, reduced or compromised water supplies, etc. Resilience will provide us with the ability to bounce back to a more or less normal state after suffering damage or misfortune.
Businesses focus on the products they produce, the services they deliver. Likewise, governments and other bodies focus on whatever they deliver. Making sure we choose the best option when we are considering a new system, making sure we design the most cost effective maintenance program, making sure we have a plan for refurbishment and replacement, etc., are not top of mind in most organizations. Even organizations that make extensive use of physical assets (e.g.: a mine, an electric utility) tend to focus their attention on what they do, not what they do it with.
Physical assets are often taken for granted and the more reliable they get, the more that tends to happen. The more complex they get, the more there is that can go wrong. We make better use of materials through very sophisticated engineering – leaving less room for error. Managing assets today is more complex than it was 10, 20, 50, 100 or more years ago. Yet in many organizations, the management of those assets is still carried out as it was years ago. Managers responsible for those assets learned their business years ago.
This international standard challenges their thinking and drives a search for new solutions to problems that some organizations may not even be aware they have (until it is too late). ISO 55000 / 55001 and 55002 stirs this pot, challenges the status quo and leads to a whole new regime of asset care.
While ISO 5500X is still new and undoubtedly will change as experience is gained, it is here to stay. Interest in it is growing in all sectors. Even the private sector with its strong profit focus is looking at it from the perspective of finding ways to leverage it into lower costs and increased outputs at lower risks (hence lower financing and insurance costs).
We have released a new book titled – ISO55000, Whats Not To Like? It’s brief, easy to read and provides a very good primer for those who are getting into Asset Management.