Is your EAM module holding you back?
Many large ERP vendors claim that the functional footprint of their Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) modules will soon approach the footprint of Maximo Asset Management, an EAM market leader for over 15 years. In reality, the gap between Maximo Asset Management and current ERP solutions is wide and is likely to increase in some important areas.
Maximo Asset Management uses agile development and a continuous delivery process to quickly develop functional enhancements to the application and bring them to market. These extensions are often organized according to industries or asset classes. They provide significant value for industries that have specific enterprise asset management requirements, as shown in Figure 1.
|Regulated industries||Calibration, corrective action, health safety and environment, risk assessment and regulatory compliance|
|Utilities||Compatible units estimating, linear assets, spatial, location based services, smart meter asset management|
|Transportation||Warranty management, fuel management, linear assets, campaigns|
|Nuclear Power||Tech specs, permits, duty stations, Surveillance testing, procurement engineer|
|Oil & Gas||management of change, knowledge management, investigations, compliance management|
Figure 1: Industry-specific enterprise asset management requirements
Does your EAM strategy support your business requirements?
The market has shifted its view of enterprise asset management as an internal function, to a view that enterprise asset management is a support service to the business. This helps the business maximize return on assets against limited resources and within a compliance framework. Further, this alignment ensures high reliability at a lower cost. EAM management solutions are designed around the people using them. They provide the user experience that drives the engineers to use the system. These systems empower the user, which in turn, drives higher quality data. Without 100 percent acceptance of the system, it not only becomes worthless, it can also become dangerous.
This danger can be highlighted by the following example. In electric utilities, before certain work can be done, the area where the people are working needs to be powered down. The procedure to ensure that workers are entering an area that is not electrified is called lockout/tagout. If the system doesn’t get used because it is too cumbersome or hard to use, worker safety can be jeopardized. Granted, what usually happens is that the engineers will develop a renegade application to handle the requirement. By doing so, management won’t always know that there is a systems deficiency.
- The Maximo Asset Management software portfolio has solutions that provide industry-specific functionality for nuclear power, utilities, oil & gas, life sciences, aviation and transportation
- The Maximo Asset Management rational consolidation capability provides businesses with a single set of processes for lower levels of risk and higher levels of standardization. In addition, it helps IT achieve lower cost of ownership, increased agility and a platform that supports greater data visibility and process control.
What is rational consolidation?
When it comes to maximizing your return from asset and service management software systems, there are two primary ways that you can add dollars to the bottom line: productivity gains and lowering the total cost of ownership of the technology itself.
Improved productivity is the reason why you implement software systems in the first place. In essence, you are using these systems to create a competitive advantage for your organization. Software systems enable organizations to improve upon current operations to: reduce cost, improve revenue generation, mitigate risk, manage regulatory compliance and maintain a competitive edge.
Less is better
Consolidating applications can yield significant savings. The logic is simple — if you can operate better with fewer systems and resources, it is a win for everyone. At the same time, it is important to recognize that consolidating for the sake of consolidation is a fool’s game. In fact, there is a tipping point where consolidation no longer provides a meaningful return and can actually erode savings and productivity gains.
A system consolidation strategy and program requires financial and human resources, thus a hard benefit must be recognized to justify the investment. One should expect three primary benefits from a successful strategy and program implementation: improved operational efficiency, lower overall total cost of IT system ownership and agility. These benefits will come in many shapes and sizes based upon the state of your business prior to consolidating systems, and the period of time over which a program is implemented. The benefits from a successful consolidation are real and should not be understated, as your competition is likely to have their own system consolidation program in place.
- Improved Operational Efficiency: Take your average employee and imagine how many systems he or she might touch during a typical day. How about the maintenance mechanic who uses one system for work management, one for ordering parts, and yet another for reporting his or her time at the end of a shift? Imagine the time spent if these were three distinct systems with differing user interfaces, and the duplication of data that must occur. Imagine a streamlined process in which the mechanic utilizes one system that supports the deliverables and objectives set forth by their work requirements. A rational grouping of systems clearly enables all workers leveraging information technology to be more efficient and effective, whether maintaining a nuclear power plant or supporting mission readiness requirements for the military.
- Lower Overall Total Cost of Ownership: Take the example above with the maintenance mechanic – how much is it costing you to maintain the three systems vs. one? Take into account maintenance fees, upgrade costs, integration costs, IT efficiency, etc. IT provides a service to the business, and hence directly supports operational efficiency and effectiveness. However, IT departments can improve their service and likely lower their costs of doing so via a system consolidation program; provided they perform the balancing act of lowering cost of ownership while respecting the needs of the business (do not exceed the tipping point). Hard dollar savings can be found in: reduction of data storage and scope, reduction in personnel costs as IT administrators can do more (thanks to technology standards), reduction in software licenses and maintenance fees, and reduction in business continuity/data backup expenses, etc.
- Agility: Competitive advantage is a broad term that indicates strength over one’s competition, be it another company in your industry or a new entrant. It is no secret that technology can be applied to create competitive advantage; you just need to find the right pieces at the right time.
On the path to agile
A system consolidation program can move you towards an agile IT infrastructure, based upon standards that will support the business better by providing a streamlined and integrated set of rational systems, coupled with a likely decrease in investment requirements.
The myth that a single ERP solution is enough to operate and maintain enterprise assets is about to be debunked. Find out why combining ERP with a flexible EAM solution adds more value, and reduces risk. Get the facts behind the myths of ERP solutions and understand the value and capabilities enterprise asset management solutions.
Learn more at: Your asset intensive business could be at risk.