In a time where good long-term asset management planning is often being squashed by short-term profit seekers, we need to remind ourselves why maintenance is important to any organization.
Organization Growth and Success is Dependent on Assets
Regardless of industry, every organization has physical assets. These assets may just be an office or a complex infrastructure consisting of buildings, plants, fleets, warehouses, and so on.
The common thread is that without maintenance, stuff breaks down, cause’s downtime, a loss of productivity, increased labor expenses and additional capital expenditures.
As technology has evolved and made assets more complicated, maintenance has been forced to change also. The days of clipboards and manual processes are giving way to more effective and efficient tools.
Top Ten Brilliant Maintenance Ideas
Sometimes the most brilliant ideas are little more than common sense applied to known issues. Each of the ideas below has helped or is helping to change the way maintenance is perceived and performed.
- Organizing assets and asset detail using a CMMS so that their location, description and condition are known at all times.
- Eliminating as much paper work as possible by computerizing as much of the work order lifecycle as possible.
- Use of mobile devices to increase maintenance efficiency.
- Reducing maintenance backlogs by scheduling proactive maintenance such as inspections and preventive maintenance with the time saved from automation and increased mobility.
- Extending the useful lifecycle of assets to minimize capital investment needed for major repairs or replacement.
- Recording the work history of all assets, allowing maintenance management to view trends, set SOPs and make informed repair, replacement and retirement decisions.
- Using the CMMS asset history for knowledge transfer, training and recruitment.
- The realization that the quality of maintenance practices drives profitability, emergency readiness, public image and liability exposure.
- An understanding that properly maintained assets use less energy than those left to run till death.
- Placing human safety and environmental concerns above short-term profits. No one wants to hear about another BP type incident or industrial waste spill caused by poor maintenance.
Ok, I admit it; the last one is still really an idea in progress. However, the point is that asset maintenance does not have to be performed like it was 20, 30 or 40 years ago.
Brilliant maintenance ideas are all around us, organizational executives only have to open their eyes and make a long-term commitment.
What the Future Holds for Asset Maintenance
The need to make assets last longer, use less energy and be more environmentally friendly will lead to the next set of innovations and brilliant ideas.
As a result, the future is likely to see an increase in maintenance visibility as a critical part of complete asset management planning.
The more visible maintenance becomes, the greater the effort to incorporate mainstream use of smart devices and applications.