21 March 2013

Challenges and Issues of Engineering Asset Management

Asset Management is the coordinated activities of an organisation to realise value from the physical assets it owns and uses. While Asset Management is not new, new approaches to, and the new profession of, Asset Management, are required to meet the demands of operators, shareholders and customers.

Owners are demanding greater value, for less overall cost, from their assets. New technologies enable higher performance and greater safety, but at a price. Initial purchase costs are rising, leading to longer periods in service. Maintenance requires a more highly skilled, and so more expensive, workforce.

New Approaches
Asset operators are adopting new approaches to Asset Management. Increasingly they are owning, and maintaining, fewer assets and increasingly relying on complex organisational structures to provide them. Much greater coordination and sharing of data and resources, across multiple organisations is required, to make decisions to the benefit of all those involved in owning, using and benefiting from the assets.

In September 2012 the Cambridge Service Alliance brought together leading industry practitioners to discuss the challenges and opportunities that Asset Management must face over the next five to ten years. These experts identified the barriers and enablers to efficient Asset Management, and discussed the challenges that must be overcome to make better use of scarce and expensive assets.

Improving Asset Management practice
The group identified four key areas that must be adopted or utilized more effectively to improve Asset Management practice:

  1. Effective decision making. Improving decision making across the organisation, through better use of longer term financial, and non-financial, metrics to deliver value for all involved in managing assets.
  2. Organisational changes. Organisations must evolve to enable better decision making and share knowledge and skills, breaking down silos and boundaries resulting from functional specialism and multiple cost centres.
  3. Data capture, sharing and standards. Improving the quality and availability of the information available for decision making.
  4. Predictive analytics. New information technologies are available to improve Asset Management, but several barriers prevent their effective use.
This text is an extract from the recently published 'Engineering Asset Management - Issues and Challenges' Executive Briefing released by the Cambridge Service Alliance.  The full Executive Briefing is available here.

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