Where is Your True North?

This blog will address what I feel are the more practical aspects and user considerations of what it takes to implement and manage an Enterprise Asset Management System (EAMS) in facilities or processing plants.  There are many challenges to making an EAMS work but a key component in today’s world is how do you simplify the user experience.  Steve Job’s showed us how to take that concept to reality.  Expectations from users are high – There is an App for that.  Where are we providing a similar user experience in our Maximo world?

That being said lets back up a minute and talk about the real reason we use Maximo:  Achieving Plant and Facilities Excellence.

Implementing Maximo is a daunting task.  There are a broad scope of applications, functionality within those applications, configurability options, software/hardware requirements, system administration support skills, and reporting options.  Business process re-engineering is also required to match the business needs with the software design.  The standard challenges associated with implementing and upgrading Maximo include:

  • The drive to quickly demonstrate short-term gains
  • Lack of a consistent standard for obtaining KPI measures
  • Ineffective preventive maintenance management planning
  • Inconsistent management of plant outages
  • Lack of understanding the concepts of reliability-based maintenance
  • Configuration of the asset-based work management system
  • Restrictions imposed by corporate IT governance-related mandates
  • Training and resistance to the technology
  • Integration with other core applications

The point being that there are many ways to go off the trail and into the wilderness.  So do you have any idea where your true North is? Do you have a Compass?  Here is a compass to the three things you should focus on to ensure excellence in plant and facilities maintenance:

  1. Asset reliability
  2. Streamlined business processes
  3. Optimized information technology

Asset Reliability
If your equipment or facilities are not up and running you are not in business!  Doing the right things at the right time, with eyes on what matters most better be your primary objective.  Focus here should be on asset failures that could result in:

  • Loss of life or serious personal injury
  • Regulatory compliance violations
  • Adverse effect on the environment
  • Loss of revenue or productivity

Streamlining Business Processes
The credibility of your business depends on collecting accurate data and establishing crystal clear work directions.  Focus on collecting accurate data, no more, no less. Remove un-necessary steps in your business processes that impede productivity.  Constantly question why you do, what you do, how you do it, and who does it.  Peel the onion, get down to the essence of your business processes and close the gap between perception and reality.

Optimizing IT (Information Technology)
Making good decisions relies upon having accurate and timely information. Focus on optimizing the use of dashboards, start centers, smart phones, tablets, and handheld devices to push and pull data in ways that are intuitive to the way you work.  Everyone from the person turning wrenches to the executive in the corner office reaps the benefits of timely and accurate data that is relative to their jobs.  Improve the user experience by making it easy, making it work ‘like I do’, and Optimizing IT.

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About Randy McDaniel:
Randy has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the California State University at Fullerton and has spent over 35 years in the field of maintenance engineering, maintenance planning, capital projects construction, and facilities maintenance. His industry experience includes oil refineries, petrochemical plants, universities, steel mills, assembly plants, lumber mills, and utility plants.

He has spent time as a Maximo senior consultant providing business process re-engineering assessments and managing Maximo implementations. A vocal advocate of Maximo, Randy has been the Chairman of the Southern California Maximo Users Group since 1998 where he often presents best practices, tips and other real life Maximo experiences.

Currently Randy is the Maximo System Administrator and Facilities Management Information Systems Integration Manager at the University of California Los Angeles. He manages the implementation of Maximo and provides IT integration direction and vision for the General Services business unit.

This post originally appeared on the Tivoli User Community boards on January 29, 2013, and is reprinted with permission of the author