Companies taking their first steps toward preventive maintenance often start with homemade maintenance spreadsheets. A maintenance spreadsheet lets you log work orders, document upcoming maintenance cycles, and use filters to manipulate the data and produce lists of work completed. The issue is, spreadsheets don’t talk to each other and can’t send notifications to technicians in the field. This means that maintenance managers and technicians must rely on other systems like email, phone, pagers, offline trackers, or even sticky notes to get a full picture of the work that needs to be done.
While they add more value than just pen and paper, spreadsheets have obvious limitations.
Manipulate data and produce lists of completed work
It may be more difficult to customizeIt may be susceptible to cyber attacks
Limited access that lives on personal drivesUsually leads to a physical paper trail
Nine advantages of a CMMS over a maintenance spreadsheet
1. Automated preventive maintenance triggers.
Preventive maintenance software helps reduce human error by ensuring PMs are triggered when they are due in compliance with regulatory or manufacturer requirements. A good CMMS system can also activate PMs based on a number of maintenance triggers including time, meter, and event.
2. Auditing and compliance.
A CMMS digitizes your paper trail. Work orders are documented electronically as you go, even if you are working offline. This simplifies things in case of an audit.
3. Analysis and reporting.
A CMMS will report on maintenance key performance indicators (KPIs) such as MTBF, MTTF, and availability with little effort. KPIs are used to evaluate current operations’ effectiveness, make organizational and personnel decisions, and determine whether assets need to be repaired or replaced. Built-in reports enable you to refine maintenance processes and improve asset availability, ultimately improving your bottom line.
Maintenance spreadsheets live on a personal drive on a desktop computer, with limited access. With a cloud-based CMMS, the data is stored on a remote server and can be accessed from anywhere over the internet. Most modern CMMS software also comes with a mobile app so you can access your CMMS via your phone or tablet in the field.
Plan, control, forecast, measure performance, evaluate, and report all from one system.
6. Real-time information.
See your organization’s maintenance activities in real-time. Managers can see which assets are offline, who is working on what, and what still needs to be done.
Work requests submitted into the system can instantly be sent to the correct people. Technicians receive notifications automatically so they know what work is due.
8. Centralized database.
Your CMMS is a database of all equipment information, documents, manuals, schematics and images, and materials. No need for your technicians to carry around bulky schematics or manuals. Over time, this becomes a repository for historical data on your assets, giving you a fuller picture of an asset’s performance.
9. Supply chain management.
A CMMS will automatically track parts inventory, manage suppliers and vendors effortlessly and help you keep inventory costs optimized. When parts are consumed during work orders, the CMMS depletes stock levels in real-time. There’s no need to go back to the desk and update those stock cards. If the stock falls below minimum levels, the system will notify the required users or suppliers to start the reordering process.
Spreadsheets might be cheaper in the short term, but a CMMS will save you costs in the long run
While a maintenance spreadsheet is the cheaper option in the short term, it’s inflexible and doesn’t react to what is going on in your facility. Its ability to minimize the costs associated with downtime, stocking parts, and management reporting time is low, at best.
A CMMS streamlines and automates all of this, and many solutions can be customized to suit your maintenance processes, no matter the size of your organization. Any business can effectively deploy a CMMS in any market sector for efficient asset management.
Switching to new maintenance management software can be a daunting task for so many reasons. There’s always a learning curve, it can be expensive, and there’s no guarantee that everyone in your organization will be on board.
But making the switch doesn’t have to be painful as long as you have the right software provider. At Fiix, we spend a lot of time talking to maintenance managers about why they do and don’t want maintenance software. From those conversations, we’ve collected the four biggest concerns for anyone adopting a CMMS, and paired each concern with solutions and resources to help navigate the transition.
Four barriers to adopting a CMMS and how to overcome them
Budget and cost are the number-one barriers for anyone considering switching to maintenance management software. It’s an investment, no matter which way you cut it. But modern, cloud-based software is far less expensive than on-premise software.
On top of the relatively low cost of the software itself, a CMMS can have a huge impact on your bottom line. It can help turn your maintenance department from a cost center into a value center since the software helps you gather data on assets, and make more educated decisions about where and when to use maintenance resources.
Outlining the financial benefits of maintenance management software helps get buy-in from senior executives. But oftentimes, the people who really see the benefit of maintenance software—the maintenance managers and technicians who use it on a day-to-day basis—don’t have the time to build a really compelling business case.
First and foremost, do your research. You know your company and your maintenance team, so you’re in the best position to choose maintenance management software that will help, not hinder daily operations. Resources like Capterra and G2 are great for comparing different vendors and will help you ensure you get a solution appropriate for your company size and technical know-how.
Luckily, this is an easy problem to solve. We went ahead and created a resource to help you sell maintenance management software to the higher-ups at your organization.
3. Installation and setup
In terms of installation, cloud-based software is relatively straightforward because there’s no on-site installation. Once you buy your software, it’s just a matter of logging in and you’re good to go.
But how easy it is to import assets really depends on your specific maintenance management software. There are a lot of CMMS vendors, and their products run the gamut from very simple to requiring dedicated IT help to set up.
With Fiix, you can easily import existing assets and data from CSV or Excel, which makes setup really straightforward. We also have a huge number of resources to help you navigate the first few days and weeks with your CMMS, including an amazing team of customer success specialists who are here to support you along the way.
Getting the maintenance team on board
You can’t just drop new software on your maintenance team and expect them to adapt. Bad change management can lead to resistance, which can delay or even halt software implementation.
We’ve addressed this particular challenge before. Basically, there are three simple ways to help manage resistance to change which are detailed below:
Keep your people informed throughout the process. No one likes being told things are changing once the ball is already rolling. Get input from your maintenance team right from the start, so you can get a CMMS with features that bolster your team’s productivity. Be sure to stress that it’s mostly business as usual, and be clear about what parts of the routine will change to help people adjust to the transition.
Be specific about the benefits of maintenance management software. A CMMS can have a huge, positive impact on the day-to-day job of maintenance technicians and on how your facility runs as a whole.
Never skip training. There is nothing as good as hands-on experience to help a new system seem a lot less daunting. Check out our training page and support center to see what kind of support we offer both during and after implementation.
Although there are barriers to adopting maintenance software, they’re well worth facing for the long-term value the software adds to your team
Although there may be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to implementing maintenance software, the long-term value for your organization is unmatched. Purchasing a CMMS for example can result in fewer equipment breakdowns, longer asset life, better compliance standards, and much more.
A technical postmortem is a retrospective of a failure. It’s a preventative step that can help you quickly identify and address issues with your assets, systems, or other technology platforms so they don’t happen again. They are commonly used in maintenance but also have applications in software development and design as well.
What is a technical postmortem?
A technical postmortem is a retrospective analysis of events that resulted in a technical failure.
The purpose of a technical postmortem is to:
Find out what went wrong and why
Identify trouble areas
Determine what can be done to prevent future failures
Create best practices for your business
Inform process improvements, mitigate future risks, and promote iterative best practices
4 questions to ask during a technical postmortem
This postmortem outline is not meant to be comprehensive but to serve as a starting point for your technical postmortem. These questions generate discussion about what went well, what the team struggled with during the failure, and what the team would do differently moving forward.
Here’s what you and your team should be asking during a technical postmortem:
1. What happened?
You can’t analyze what you don’t understand, so establishing a clear understanding of what went wrong is crucial.
2. Why did it happen?
Identify the major events that led to the failure and try isolating the root causes for the failure. Determine if the events are the underlying causes of the failure, or if they initiate a process that leads to the technical failure. Some underlying causes can include defects in design, process, or poor maintenance practices.
Look strictly at the technical causes of the failure and examine the underlying management and team environment. Sometimes team members ignore warning signs of impending failure due to the organizational culture, time crunches, and budget pressure.
3. How did we respond and recover?
How your team responds to failure can determine how quickly you identify the root cause and fix it. A major technical failure can have a direct impact on shareholder value, revenues, market share, and brand equity, so a quick recovery is paramount.
A useful technical postmortem requires a reasonable level of honesty, insight, and cooperation from the organization. The outcome of the postmortem should be to recognize what worked and fix the processes that didn’t. Remember, the idea is to learn from your successes and failures, not just to document them.
4. How can we prevent similar unexpected issues from occurring again?
Unexpected technical issues do arise in mission-critical or complex hardware systems. However, the key to prevention is technical planning to prevent problems from affecting the entire system. Each of the failures uncovered in step two represents a risk going forward, so schedule regular inspections or system checks in your maintenance management software.
When a risk is detected, certain actions should be triggered immediately to prevent similar failures. Planning must also consider the business process and management responses the team initiates when a failure occurs. A complete postmortem addresses both technical and management issues.
Don’t turn your postmortem into a blame game. Instead, management has to develop a reputation for listening openly to input and not punishing people for being honest. A well-run postmortem can help a maintenance team create a culture of continuous improvement.
The benefits of conducting a technical postmortem
As we can see from our example, a technical postmortem has a series of positive benefits including a detailed analysis of why an asset failed. It can help you avoid future problems by identifying issues that are present before any kind of launch.
Improving the way your team approaches new projects
Learning from mistakes so they don’t happen again
Gaining insights into how other teams have handled similar situations
Some next steps after your technical postmortem is completed
After a technical postmortem is conducted and the project is concluded there is a postmortem meeting. This meeting is intended to understand the project from start to finish and determine what can be optimized and improved for the next postmortem. Generally, the project manager and team attend these meetings, but it’s open for anyone part of the project to join.
Tips and tricks to keep in mind during and after your technical postmortem
A postmortem can help you become more effective by learning from mistakes and focusing on what worked best, but it’s up to you to structure the meeting to get the most out of it. A way to structure your meeting is by setting a clear agenda, beginning with a recap of the project objectives, reviewing the results and whether or not the project met the set objectives, and lastly, analyzing the successes and failures and why they occurred.
You can ensure that your technical postmortem is successful by carefully preparing in advance, analyzing the failure systematically, producing actionable findings, and actively sharing the results.
Don’t let the momentum fade with your team. Schedule the postmortem right after the end of the project. A technical postmortem should occur within one to two weeks of the technical failure.
Make sure to store your postmortems in the asset record in a CMMS so they can be easily found in the future to prevent similar failures going forward.
A technical postmortem is an important tool for maintaining and improving your systems
A technical postmortem is a tool that allows you to learn from mistakes, identify the root cause of a problem, and improve your systems. It may sound like an abstract concept, but it’s actually quite simple: you document what went wrong and use that information to prevent the same issue from happening again.
Maybe you’re at a stressful point in your business and the maintenance team is struggling to keep up. Your team suggests purchasing maintenance management software. But what type is best for your company?
There’s a lot of different software available—from computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) to enterprise asset management (EAM)—and it can be hard to choose which one is right for you. In this article, we’ll break down the differences between CMMS and EAM software so that you can decide which will benefit your business most.
What is a CMMS?
A CMMS is a software solution that can help you manage maintenance and asset. It’s useful for many industries, including manufacturing, construction, utilities, and transportation. A CMMS can be used to track maintenance requirements and work orders.
A CMMS will also allow you to create an inventory of assets such as tools or machinery that need to be maintained or repaired. This allows you to keep track of each item’s condition so that when it comes time for them to be serviced or replaced, they will have a history regarding the cost-effectiveness of doing so, versus simply buying new ones at a full retail price every time one breaks down.
What is EAM software?
Enterprise asset management (EAM) software is a tool that can be used to track the maintenance of all types of assets, from small equipment to large industrial machines. It allows you to keep track of what your assets are, where they are located, how much they cost, and when they need maintenance. EAM software allows you to easily generate reports on this information so that you can see at-a-glance which assets need repair or replacement.
What is the difference between CMMS and EAM?
The CMMS originated as a punch-card system used to manage work orders in the 1960s. But despite its relatively low-tech beginnings, the technology has come a long way. Today, it allows maintenance teams to easily keep a centralized record of all assets and equipment they are responsible for, as well as schedule and track maintenance activities and keep a detailed record of the work they’ve performed. Generally speaking, the purpose of a CMMS is to manage all maintenance activities during the operational part of an asset’s life—all the time that it’s working as a productive part of a facility.
In contrast with a CMMS, EAM software provides a view of an organization’s assets and infrastructure throughout the entire lifecycle, from creation or procurement to disposal. So while an EAM can technically provide the same capabilities that a CMMS does, there are additional features available through an EAM that may overlap with an organization’s ERP, or may not be a requirement at all for the team purchasing maintenance management software.
CMMS vs. EAM
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and enterprise asset management (EAM) software share some similarities but are used in different ways and for different purposes. Below is a table that illustrates some of the differences:
A CMMS automates the collection and analysis of data to optimize maintenance operations. It can also be used to manage preventive maintenance activities.
An EAM software automates and analyzes data to help optimize maintenance operations as well as provide visibility into all crucial assets across an organization.
Provides a single source of truth for all assetsReduces the risk of equipment failureImproves productivity and employee morale
Provides clear asset identification and managementImproves business processes through automation
Monitors and optimizes scheduling work orders, purchasing inventory, and asset maintenance
Monitors, tracks and locates all critical assets, as well as monitors facility conditions
When it comes to technology it’s important to know what your options are
One of the difficulties of delineating a CMMS from an EAM software is that the gap between the two categories is more narrow than ever. Thanks to its start as a punch-card system, CMMS software is often seen as more rudimentary and less feature-rich than its EAM cousin. But when it comes to the capabilities shared between a CMMS and EAM, their quality and depth are more or less equal. The primary difference lies in scope.
Many CMMS solutions integrate with software like ERP systems in ways that allow them to perform similarly to EAM software, while still offering a user-friendly experience. The best course of action is to learn all you can about the solutions available to your team and determine which features are most important to help you hit your maintenance KPIs.
It’s about time you started taking care of your equipment. It’s not just about whether or not you’re working with the latest and greatest, it’s about making sure that what you have is up and running as efficiently as possible. You don’t want to find out that your equipment needs repair in the middle of a critical operation, or worse: when it breaks down completely. That can lead to lost time, money, and even injury.
But why does this happen?
A lot of facilities and maintenance managers find it challenging to manage their preventive maintenance programs without using spreadsheets—but spreadsheets can be time-consuming, get lost among other paperwork, or be downright frustrating.
Preventive maintenance (sometimes called preventative) software enables managers to schedule maintenance, send alerts to the right people when a job is due, and increase resource access and allocation. It also keeps equipment operating efficiently, increases the safety of employees, and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road. In this article, we will discuss preventive maintenance software, why its used, examples, and some important things to consider when implementing it at your organization.
What is preventive maintenance software (and who uses it)?
Preventive maintenance software is used to help schedule ongoing preventive maintenance work. It allows companies to be proactive about their maintenance, rather than reactive. It’s often used by maintenance and plant managers and other industrial and maintenance personnel. It’s used because it’s one of the best solutions to avoid unexpected repairs. By planning your preventive maintenance schedule, you can be proactive about the regular checkups that keep your equipment running smoothly.
Three steps to consider when choosing a preventive maintenance software
1. Understand at what level your organization manages preventive maintenance
Before choosing your preventive maintenance software it’s important to first understand at what level your organization manages preventive maintenance. If you have a large company with many different sites, it would be beneficial for you to use something like a CMMS. This will allow your sites and teams access to the same information and data.
Whereas, a good fit for a smaller organization may be a single-site solution. The next step to consider is how much money you want to spend or can spend on a solution. While there are programs that are low cost, and sometimes free, others may need more funding to run properly and improve your processes.
2. Assess your needs vs. your wants
When choosing the right preventive maintenance software, it’s important to first assess your wants and needs. This means reviewing your processes and seeing how they can be improved with the software. Think about what features the software has that can improve efficiencies for your team and maintenance process, and ask yourself:
What are my goals?
How much time do I have to dedicate to a project? (Consider if there’s already a system that needs improving)
What kind of data do I want to track? (Think about how many assets you have, and how many technicians and managers you employ)
3. Stick to the financial budget
Every maintenance team needs to stick to its financial budget, and choosing preventive maintenance software can be costly. When you’re making a decision consider the budget you have available and the structure of the business. This will help you determine the best solution. In addition, it’s important to keep future scenarios in mind, and financial forecast and plan for things like: business growth, new facilities, and economic downturns.
Types of preventive maintenance software
Preventive maintenance software comes in all shapes and sizes, from extremely specialized systems to giant platforms connecting maintenance to other business units. Below are the most common types of preventive maintenance software.
1. Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS)
CMMS software and maintenance apps help maintenance teams keep detailed and centralized records of all assets, equipment, and completed work. A CMMS allows facilities to plan, track, and optimize work orders, inventory, and everything associated with maintenance.
A CMMS manages all the maintenance activities that take place during the operational part of an asset’s life. At the same time, this type of preventive maintenance software works as a productive part of a facility.
All CMMS preventive maintenance software can be divided into two groups: Cloud-based CMMS software and on-premise CMMS software.
2. Enterprise asset management (EAM)
EAM software provides a holistic view of an organization’s physical assets and infrastructure throughout its entire lifecycle, from design and procurement to operation, maintenance, disposal, and replacement. EAM systems record asset information, manage work orders, coordinate inventory purchasing and usage, organize labor, track contracts, measure costs, and spending, and calculate KPIs.
3. Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
Here’s how ERP software works: every company has different business units that make it function, like accounting, human resources, and maintenance. ERP software takes everything these different departments do and connects them, so the entire organization has the same processes and information.
Because there is one central place for all data, it means an accountant, a salesperson, a maintenance technician, and a CEO can all use the system for their day-to-day activities while relying on the same information to plan, assess, and complete those activities. By collecting transactional data from multiple sources, ERP systems eliminate data duplication, offer data integrity, and provide a single source of truth.
While it’s not exactly maintenance software, ERP systems are part of the larger maintenance technology ecosystem. It’s important for maintenance technology to be able to integrate with an ERP system to help keep accurate inventory levels and keep your finance team in the loop. Many other preventive maintenance technologies are used in asset-heavy production and manufacturing facilities.
Steps to take when integrating preventive maintenance software at your organization
Integrating any type of new technology or software into an existing workplace can be challenging, but taking the right steps will make the process much easier for everyone involved in using the new technology. Here are the steps to follow when implementing a new preventive maintenance software:
Recognize that integration is a process, not an event. Integrating preventive maintenance software involves a lot of planning, and preparation, as well as addressing technical challenges that may occur prior to the implementation and cause risk, and a plan of action for when and if those challenges occur.
Plan at the right level. You will inevitably ask yourself if it makes sense to integrate this software with the existing systems or processes, but you need to plan ahead for the future as well. For example, if you’re integrating a CMMS for multiple facilities and warehouses, you can easily integrate them together from day one—rather than having two separate systems talking to each other through other means (like an email).
Recognize that acceptance of the new software won’t always be smooth. Read that again. It’s hard for managers to recognize that their team may not embrace the new software with open arms. You may face challenges and questions about the software, why it’s being used, and how exactly it’s going to save time and money. Be prepared to address these concerns and work with your team to get into the new processes. With time, your team will recognize how valuable software like a CMMS or ERP really is.
The right maintenance software can help your company save money and reduce downtime
By implementing preventive maintenance software your team can become more proactive about your maintenance. The first step is to assess where preventive maintenance occurs in your organization, and next, you need to review your current needs and wants so that when you find the right software for your organization there are no surprises.
This article outlines what is an asset management policy, why an asset management policy is important, and how to build and implement an asset management policy.
A facility’s assets are the lifeblood of the company, especially in production. As long as they are healthy and working away, every part of the organization can remain strong and productive.
While assets are the lifeblood, people are the heart. Every member of an organization can make an impact on equipment with the decisions they make. Executives invest, engineers design, managers plan, technicians care for and operators use.
Because decision-making and asset efficiency are so intertwined, there should be guidelines connecting them. That’s where an asset management policy comes in.
What is asset management? To understand what an asset management policy is, why an asset management policy is important, and how to create an asset management policy, the first step is to understand what asset management is itself.
Asset management refers to any assets that are used in the regular operation of an organization. An asset refers to physical objects, such as buildings, equipment, or raw materials, as well as intangible things, such as staff or money. Asset management includes assets used for maintenance, like machinery and spare parts, as well as assets used by the entire organization, such as computers, people, and infrastructure.
Managing these assets means applying a systematic approach to maintaining their lifecycle in a way that optimizes value. This includes having a strategy in place to develop, operate, maintain, upgrade and dispose of assets in the best possible way.
At the end of the day, asset management involves applying deliberate processes to the design, use and maintenance of physical and intangible assets so their value is maximized, from beginning to end.
Benefits of asset management Asset management involves applying deliberate processes to the design, use, and maintenance of physical and intangible assets so that their value is maximized, from beginning to end. There are a variety of benefits gained from proper asset management, including:
Improving the viability and predictability of cash flows
Extending an asset’s life cycle
Ensuring assets fulfill their necessary function
Supporting improvement and business growth
Supporting establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an asset management system
An asset management policy is one of the core requirements of ISO 55001:2014 certification and is a cornerstone of a solid and complete asset management strategy. It is like a compass pointing everyone at your organization in the right direction when making decisions about assets. An asset management policy provides a set of guiding principles, intentions, goals and methods for asset management.
The policy provides a template for decision-making so people can achieve the best possible outcomes for each task while meeting the organization’s goals. When applied as a core pillar of business, it acts like a mission statement. It not only embeds asset management into the culture of a facility, but also serves as a sign of the organization’s commitment to efficiency and sustainability to those outside the company.
A great asset management policy for production-heavy facilities contains the following:
They are general and contain broad principles.
They identify roles and responsibilities, including policy implementation.
They outline how asset management is integrated within the organization.
They establish defined goals, service levels, inventory guidelines and standards of maintenance.
What is the ISO 55001 standard?
ISO 55001 is an asset management system standard followed by organizations around the globe. It applies to all types of assets and company structures. The main objective of the ISO 55001 standard is to help organizations more effectively manage asset life cycles. The ISO 55001 standard helps organizations have better control over daily asset management activities, achieve higher return with their assets, and reduce the total cost of risk related to asset management.
Why do you need an asset management policy?
Organizations need an asset management policy because it enables you to meet the stakeholder, business and legal requirements of the ISO 5500 standard for asset management. An asset management policy helps align your operation with international standards, save money and time, and by better managing your assets, you will be able to utilize them more effectively and efficiently while delivering added value to the business.
It’s also important to develop an asset management policy because it signifies that the organization is committed to implementing asset management as a business model and promoting asset improvement. It also communicates what the organization defines as good practices of asset management, and sets strong direction and clear expectations for continual business improvement activities.
Benefits of an asset management policy
Building an asset management policy can be a big task, so the payoff has to be worth all the work. Fortunately, there are lots of potential benefits that come from creating these guidelines.
1. Standardization and efficiency
Creating an asset management policy eliminates any ambiguity or gaps in asset knowledge. It is concise and sets a strong direction and clear expectations. The document uses language that allows everyone at your organization to see how it relates to them, their role and their goals. It also encourages constant improvement.
When these elements are established, complete alignment within a facility can be achieved. Everyone can work together towards the same goals and use the same guidelines for their work. Unity and efficiency are created across the entire organization. When asset decisions are standardized and efficient, it can lead to all sorts of important benefits for every business unit, but especially for the maintenance team. Backlog is reduced, costs go down, inventory is easier to manage and more.
2. Reliability and safety
An asset management policy highlights best practices that are specific to the organization it is made for. Because of this, it fosters operational excellence and eliminates any room for people to stray from their best work. It ensures that nothing is left to chance when it comes to handling assets.
This has a direct impact on the success of the maintenance operation. By setting clear expectations, everyone on the team understands and executes processes and procedure that yield the best results for assets. This is when equipment and people reach their full potential. Maintenance is optimized so assets experience peak reliability and less unplanned maintenance. Tasks are also done with an eye towards being the best in all areas, which means health and safety aren’t sacrificed for speed or cost.
3. Executive sponsorship
Asset management has traditionally been seen as the sole domain of the maintenance team. But because everyone at an organization has an impact on assets, this narrow view has made exceptional asset management difficult to achieve. Having executive sponsorship for the document gives it immense power and makes everyone accountable. This fosters awareness of the importance of asset management throughout the company.
Every member of an organization can make an impact on equipment with the decisions they make. Executives invest, reliability engineers design, managers plan and technicians execute.
Having an executive on board can also help communicate the organization’s commitment to exceptional asset management to external stakeholders. Customers, shareholders and partners will understand that these best-in-class principles are part of the DNA of the business. This can go a long way to boosting awareness and trust in a brand and its leadership.
Executive backing can also provide reinforcement for a maintenance team stretched too thin. A strong policy creates allies within the organization who the maintenance team can rely on to ensure assets are front and centre in decision-making.
How to develop an asset management policy and strategy
An asset management policy typically includes four larger sections: Intent, scope, principles, and responsibilities. The most successful policy documents are straightforward, concise, and easy to understand.
Intent means that the asset management policy document should clearly communicate the intended purpose and outcomes of the policy. Scope means that the policy document should describe the assets and services covered by the policy. The statement of principles provides direction on how to apply asset management within the organization. Responsibilities identify who is responsible for approving the asset management policy, providing resources to implement the policy, setting priorities, and leading the implementation of the asset management policy.
What should be included in an asset management policy?
The following are the most important elements of an effective asset management policy. An example of an asset management policy using these elements can be seen below.
1. Summarize the intent
This should be the first section of your asset management policy. It sets the tone for the rest of the document by grounding asset management in the overarching goals of the organization. Establish the aim of the organization clearly and succinctly. Use the company’s mission statement or core values as your starting point. Tie asset management to this statement with a brief declaration of its importance in achieving the goals of the organization. This section should be one to three sentences.
2. State the scope
This section describes the assets, services and business units or roles that the policy applies to. Spend time thinking about all assets, services and people that could be affected by this policy. Talk to members of every business unit to understand what assets they are responsible for and their importance. This section is critically important as it eliminates ambiguity, begins to establish expectations and reinforces accountability. This section should be two to five sentences.
3. Articulate the intended outcomes
This section describes the high-level objectives for asset management at your organization. This further defines the goals you want to achieve with this policy and your complete asset management strategy. It should summarize the rationale behind the policy and more specific objectives as they relate to assets and asset management, such as improved reliability or increased accountability. This section should be three to five sentences.
4. Lay out the principles of asset management
This section outlines any guiding principles, practices and general rules for asset management. It serves as a blueprint for decision-making and provides direction on how to apply the asset management policy to everyday tasks. It should also provide some very general examples of how the principles should be applied, like the delivery of resources and reporting standards. If someone is unsure of how to make a decision regarding asset management, this section should be able to point them in the right direction. This section should be four to six sentences.
5. Define responsibilities
This is an important part of your asset management policy. It designates who is responsible for all aspects of the policy and asset management in general, including approval, allocation of resources, implementation, defining priorities and any other relevant, high-level actions. This section should be two to four sentences.
6. Continual improvement and regulatory compliance
Part of a great asset management policy is stating the organization’s commitment to continual improvement of its program, and maintaining compliance with third-party standards. This helps reduce complacency and enables the plan to be an evolving, actionable strategy rather than a vague, forgettable document.
As your facility grows, auditing requirements change, technology advances, and processes need to be updated. That’s why it is extremely important to make a promise of continual improvement. It strengthens your facility’s never-ending quest to improve in all areas, which benefits everyone from a safety and financial standpoint. This section should be two to four sentences.
7. Supplement with additional resources
Finish the asset management policy by adding clarifying information and further reading. This section includes a list of administrative details and contacts, such as the effective date of the policy, the policy owner and the signature of the executive sponsor. It also includes any related documents, such as a health and safety policy, associated regulations and standards, like ISO 55001, and definitions, terms and abbreviations that readers may not be familiar with.
8. Create, review and refine with stakeholders
Building an asset management policy is a long process. It’s going to take a few drafts to get it right. It’s critical to collaborate with key stakeholders from all business units when creating, reviewing and refining the guidelines. Identify a sponsor in senior management who can lend support and oversight to the project. Make it short, easily digestible and consistent with other policies your organization has, such as a health and safety policy. Above all else, make sure you take the time to frequently review and update the strategy, even after it has been published.
Asset management policy template
The following is a basic asset management policy template. The template can be adjusted to the specific industry and organization.
This policy seeks to outline the guidelines and practices that govern decisions on asset management at (Insert Company) to ensure (Insert Company) accomplishes its mission of providing high-quality products in a sustainable and safe environment.
This asset management policy applies to all assets owned by (Insert Company) and all aspects of each asset, including design, construction, operation, maintenance and disposal. This policy applies to all employees, contractors and consultants at (Insert Company). In addition, (Insert Company) may rely on natural assets or other assets it does not own. Where operations are supported by these assets, we will work collaboratively with the asset owners and promote the principles outlined in this policy.
(Insert Company) provides a wide range of products and services to customers that require ownership and responsible operation and maintenance of physical assets including land, buildings, equipment, transportation, and waste. The intent of this policy is to ensure all employees and functions of (Insert Company) are aligned with the goals of (Insert Company) as they relate to asset management and to ensure assets are managed in a manner that maximizes benefits, reduces risk and provides satisfactory levels of service to customers in a safe and sustainable manner.
In managing the assets belonging to (Insert Company), we are committed to:
Taking steps to connect the appropriate departments, functions, and support activities in order to build effective working relationships and encourage information-sharing.
Using asset management decision-making to drive optimum value for customers.
Ensuring decisions are made collaboratively. Ensure decisions consider all life-cycle stages and interrelationships between asset, operational and service performance.
Focusing on decision-making that recognizes the interconnected nature of asset systems and how decisions about one set of assets may potentially interact with or affect assets controlled by other departments and functions.
Application of policy
(Insert Company) will develop and maintain appropriate plans for the renewal, purchase, construction and decommissioning of assets. This includes:
Developing long-term projections of investment needs and applying rigorous analysis, including consideration of risk, to identify short-term needs.
Implementing processes to ensure investments address needs efficiently and effectively, and address operational budget implications of capital investments.
Exploring efficiency opportunities where appropriate, including new technologies.
Analyzing investment plans and associated funding requirements and putting in place mechanisms to ensure long-term financial sustainability.
Evaluating relevant asset investment decisions based on consideration of the costs associated with managing an asset through its entire lifecycle.
Developing prioritized capital investment plans that reflect community and stakeholder expectations with regard to the level of service and other strategic objectives.
Commitment to continuous improvement and compliance
(Insert Company) views continual improvement and compliance with legislation and internationally-recognized standards as a key part of our asset management approach. Our commitment to achieving these goals include:
Driving innovation in the development of tools, techniques, and solutions.
Monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of asset management processes and the wider asset management system in supporting the delivery of strategic objectives.
Assessing competencies necessary to implement proper asset management and providing support, education, and training to fulfil these competencies.
Reviewing this policy and making any necessary adjustments on an annual basis.
Roles and responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities for executing this policy include the following:
The executive committee is responsible for approving asset management policy, articulating organizational values, defining priorities, approving funding and resources to implement the asset management policy and associated requirements, and approving asset funding through multi-year and long-range financial plans.
The chief reliability officer is responsible for leading the implementation of this policy across the organization.
Departmental managers are responsible for leading the adoption of this policy within their departments and allocating appropriate resources to its implementation.
All staff involved in the application of asset management are responsible for observing the requirements of this policy.
January 22, 2019
All policies and schedules of (Insert Company)
Last review date – Next review date
01/22/2019 – 01/22/2020
Version, File reference
1.0, (Insert file number)
Approved by and approval signature
(Insert CEO name and signature)
Related documents and associated regulations and standards
ISO 55001:2014 Asset management systems – Requirements; and
ISO 55002 Asset management systems – Guidelines for application of ISO 55001
How to implement an asset management policy
To ensure your asset management policy is implemented properly, and with the desired impact, there are three key steps to follow: Ensuring communication and accessibility, tracking and improving, and leveraging maintenance management software. By following these three steps, you’ll be able to make the principles and procedures outlined in your asset management policy a part of your organization’s DNA. If the principles are quickly forgotten, asset management will continue to be an afterthought and asset performance will fail to reach its full potential. Below are further details on each step for how to implement an asset management policy.
1. Communication and accessibility
Communication is vital to the success of your asset management policy. You must communicate the policy to all staff, especially intent and next steps. If no one is aware of how they are affected by the policy, there will be no accountability and implementation will be difficult to achieve. Consider creating a shorter, one-page document outlining key elements so all employees can read and understand it easily.
It’s also crucial to make the asset management policy accessible. Post it around your workplace and make sure it’s visible. Make it available to view in a variety of formats, like team briefs or a short video. And ensure employees who have suggestions for revising the policy can do so without too much trouble.
2. Tracking and improving
Every project needs a leader so plans are executed and tasks are completed. An asset management policy is no different. Identify a member of staff who will champion the plan and develop a strategy for implementation. This person may be you or a committee that divides the work and responsibilities. This project owner ensures the implementation plan is being followed, answers any questions from staff and fine-tunes processes.
. . . an asset management policy fosters operational excellence and eliminates any room for people to stray from their best work. It ensures that nothing is left to chance when it comes to handling assets.
A commitment to continual improvement is embedded in your asset management policy and it should be kept. The individual or committee tasked with owning the strategy should also spend time looking for ways to improve the policy. This can take the form of an annual review, regular stakeholder meetings or other forums that identify and implement improvements.
3. Leveraging software
Communicating and tracking anything is difficult to do without a system to do it with. That’s where software can come in handy. Having a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is one digital solution that can help make the implementation of your policy much easier while increasing its impact.
Having professional maintenance software allows facilities to capture more information, use powerful tools to analyze these metrics and apply their findings with fewer headaches. There are lots of data capture tools available through software, like checklists, work order histories and in-depth reports. These tools make it easier and more accurate to determine the progression and impact of policy implementation. For example, a checklist can outline the proper steps for repairing an asset and can also include any guidelines or wording from the asset management policy. Using software, this checklist can be digitized, attached to an asset and tracked, so technicians can be frequently reminded of the policy and live it.
Finally, CMMS software makes it easy to access a digital version of the most up to date document so staff doesn’t have to go hunting through their emails or a file cabinet to find the policy whenever they need to consult it. This also makes communicating updates to the policy much easier so everyone knows what has changed and what those changes mean for them.