The 7 deadly sins of asset management are what some people may call mistakes and others refer to them as negative barriers to success. However, the reality is asset-intensive organizations must balance the mix of subcultures, management styles, and shareholder desires with operational realities in order to sustain production of goods and services at a reasonable margin. To achieve a higher level of asset maintenance and management, the harmful effects of the 7 deadly sins listed below need to be mitigated.

Pride: Thinking you have nothing left to learn about your assets

Pride as a deadly sin refers to a narcissistic pattern of behavior from asset maintenance executives that are unable to acknowledge a need for Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) improvement. Pride can be as small as ignoring maintenance team suggestions for work order improvements or tunnel vision that is developed by overdeveloped egos that are blind to the need for change and use better, more efficient tools such as an EAMsystem. Recognizable by increasing labor costs, employee turnover, greater capital repairs and a Can’t Do Attitude.

Greed: Poor asset maintenance to save money

The easiest of the 7 deadly sins of asset management to identify. Just look at the headlines behind many of the tragedies of major disasters. The Gulf Oil spill comes to mind as a perfect example of how safety, preventive maintenance, and common sense were swept aside to save millions of dollars in operational costs. Greed can also be identified as a short-term mindset. For example, a facility under cash flow pressure decides it is easier and faster to slash headcount for quick relief versus addressing the operational inefficiencies. Recognizable by red hands and unemployment lines.

Sloth: Slow to adopt technology for asset management

Sloth can be best be described as a resistance to change. Many facility and plant operations have performed asset maintenance functions the same way for decades. When this occurs new ideas such as integrating technology that can automate manual maintenance processes go largely ignored. It also means that swift adjustments to remain competitive cannot be implemented without resistance. Sloth is one of the main reasons organizations must bring in turnaround specialists. Recognizable by the slogans We have always done it this way and If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Envy: Failing to improve maintenance management

Envy is the most difficult asset management sins to identify, yet it can be a complete show stopper. Envy leads maintenance managers and staff on a path to make the boss happy but not necessarily make good decisions for the useful lifecycle of an asset. The result is asset neglect, unplanned work orders and major capital replacements. Eventually it all backfires when an asset fails unexpectedly causing substantial downtime and major capital dollars to fix. Recognizable by brown noses and no established preventive maintenance program.

Lust: Neglecting maintenance to obtain new assets

Lust is when management spends more time pursuing new assets instead of taking care of the ones you have. New toys always look shiny and fun but are often not needed when current assets are properly maintained with an EAM system. Extreme lust is allowing assets to fail in order to get a new replacement. Lust often surfaces after trade shows and product demonstrations. Recognizable by too many maintenance magazines on the table and excessive downtime.

Gluttony: Terrible asset energy efficiency

Poorly maintained equipment becomes a glutton for more energy to function as the asset must worker harder to achieve the desired operating levels. The increase in energy use can normally be avoided through proper asset maintenance. When assets become energy hogs two things will happen. First, utility costs will go up which is important when energy costs account for 30-50 percent of operating expenses, Secondly, assets will fail sooner due to the extra stress in achieving operating targets. Gluttony increases operating expenses and shortens the useful lifecycle of assets. Recognizable by high energy costs.

Wrath: Bad asset capital budgets

Wrath can be defined as what will happen when shareholders and owners realize you are not effectively managing the lifecycle of assets. Clues to owners that something is amiss include unbudgeted capital expenditures, unplanned downtime, an inability to identify where your assets are, what their condition is or their asset maintenance history. The worst sign of all is when the shareholders have to explain a tragedy that has occurred due to a lack of asset management or neglect (example: BP and Gulf Oil spill). Recognizable by the colors black and blue and of course pink slips.

Bonus Sin: Apathy When good asset management isn’t on your radar

Apathy is when you know how to make your maintenance operations better but simply do not care enough to do something about it.

“Acedia (Latin, acedia) (from Greek ακηδία) is the neglect to take care of something that one should do. It is translated to apathetic listlessness; depression without joy. … apathy was considered a refusal to help others in time of need.”

Source: Wikipedia

Enterprise Asset Management Can Help

No one person or organization is perfect and there are countless barriers to great asset management. The good news is there is help. An Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system is a software solution that can manage the complete work order lifecycleas well as provide the tools for long term capital budget planning. A properly implemented EAM solution can help automate time consuming work order lifecycle processes freeing up valuable time for preventive maintenance and inspections.

More importantly, an EAM system creates a databank of asset information that allows management to track an assets complete history from purchase to retirement. Included in the asset database are a total history of work orders, work requests, who did the work, what the results were, condition of assets, location and everything else needed to make intelligent operating decisions. EAM eliminates the excuses for not taking care of assets. Better asset management and maintenance will mitigate the 7 deadly sins.

Tells us your analogies for the 7 deadly sins. If you enjoyed this article you may also want to read: