Contractor May Affect Your Safety Performance at Plant!

Why is contractor management important?

Using contractors involves an outside organization that will create risk to the site company. The contractors who are unfamiliar with the facility may create process hazards to the company. Thus companies must recognize and address challenges associated with using contractors; and select contractors based on stringent criteria. Only then can the company ensure safety of all people (onsite and offsite).

Contractor management is a system of controls to ensure that contracted services support safe facility operations. This element addresses the selection, acquisition, use, and monitoring of such contracted services. Systems must be established for qualifying firms based upon not only their technical capabilities, but also their safety programs and safety records.

The boundaries of authority and responsibilities must be clearly defined for any contractor that works at the facility. Periodic monitoring of contractor safety performance and auditing of contractor management systems is required. After completion of the work, evaluation of the safety performance should help to determine whether the contractor can be used again in any future work.

Contractors are not familiar with the facility safety controls and procedures hence the company needs to train them to understand the safety controls and procedures prior to them starting their work. The company must also make contractor to aware that they treat safety seriously and the contractors must adhere to all safety rules, guidelines, procedures, etc. while performing their job. Training must be provided to contractors if they are handling critical tasks that may create major process safety hazards.

Don’t treat contractor management as a petty issue, it can create process safety hazards if it is not well managed.

The Six Pillars of A Predictive Maintenance Program

Technology often gets all the credit when it comes to predictive maintenance. That’s unfair. Technology is important, but it’s only a small piece of a great predictive maintenance program.

The organizational culture has to be right. New processes need to be tested and refined. Data needs to be expertly managed.

In short, the journey to predictive maintenance is slow, but worth it if it’s done right.

This article is all about building a predictive maintenance program that will last. We explore the six pillars of a strong predictive maintenance program, how you can develop each area, and how to use them to achieve predictive maintenance.

A short refresher on predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance (PdM) lives in the same family as maintenance-strategies/preventative-maintenance/”>preventive maintenance. They’re both proactive types of maintenance—work is done on an asset before something bad happens to it, not after a failure has shut it down.

The difference between preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance lies in the methods used, the amount of lead-time you have for a task, and the precision of scheduling. PdM uses condition-monitoring tools and techniques and asset information to track the real-time and historical equipment performance so you can anticipate failure before it happens.

Since predictive maintenance aims to give you an ideal window for proactive maintenance tasks, it can help minimize the time equipment is being maintained, the production hours lost to maintenance, and the cost of spare parts and supplies. We outline maintenance-strategies/”>where predictive maintenance fits in your overall maintenance strategy here.

The six pillars of a predictive maintenance program

A sturdy predictive maintenance program is built on six pillars: People, data, processes, tools and parts, equipment, and technology. If one pillar is not stable or is left to rot, your whole program can crumble.

The six pillars of a PdM program (People, Data, Processes, Tools and parts, Equipment, Technology)

People: Culture eats strategy for breakfast

The long journey to predictive maintenance always starts with people.

“It doesn’t matter if your predictive maintenance plan looks good on paper if you don’t have buy-in from the people who are doing the work,” says Fiix’s solutions engineer Jason Afara.

“In other words, culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Every other pillar of a predictive maintenance program needs people to build and maintain it. Data needs interpreting. Technology needs setting up and managing. That’s why everyone in your organization should understand how PdM works, why it’s important and what they can do to make it successful.

Getting people at your facility onboard with the (many) changes that come with predictive maintenance is absolutely essential, but not always easy. This article from Software Advice offers some great tips on change management, getting buy-in from your maintenance team, and creating a great culture at your facility.

Technology is like a dash of salt in a predictive maintenance program—it ties the other ingredients together and makes them shine.

Data: The link between past, present and future

A predictive maintenance program needs a lot of information to be successful.

“Without the data, you can’t predict anything. If you don’t have a baseline about what’s normal for a pump or a conveyor, you can’t identify or predict anomalies,” says Bryan Sapot, CEO of SensrTrx.

But with quantity also comes the need for quality.

“If you don’t have good information coming from the plant floor, it won’t matter how good your algorithms are, you won’t be able to make good decisions with it,” says Jared Evans, the chief operating officer at MAJiK Systems.

Data is the link between current asset performance and the future state of the asset. That’s why everything, from throughput to failure modes and beyond, must be constantly updated. These numbers also have to be accurate everywhere. If they’re different from system to system, it’ll throw your whole program into disarray.

Or as Jason puts it, “If you have bad data coming from your machines and software, it’s like the weatherperson telling you it’s sunny out when it’s actually raining. You’ll step into the rain and get soaked.”

Processes: A steady hand on the predictive maintenance ship

Simply put, your processes are the way you work—how your maintenance-teams-can-avoid-the-top-osha-violations/” >maintenance team plans and does the things it needs to do every day to be successful. An effective predictive maintenance program helps make your whole operation predictable so it can maximize everything from working hours to asset performance.

Processes in a predictive maintenance program are people-driven and equipment-driven.

People processes involve the way your maintenance team goes about their work. They outline how staff interact with machines, data, each other, and everything else.

“You need to understand who is responsible for what, how frequently you review data and tasks, how you communicate, and how you plan, escalate, and complete tasks,” says Jason.

When it comes to equipment processes, Jared says it’s crucial to know what processes your equipment completes, how to capture asset data, and how the data maps to future performance.

If you have bad data coming from your machines and software, it’s like the weatherperson telling you it’s sunny out when it’s actually raining. You’ll step into the rain and get soaked.

Tools and parts: Trusty sidekicks ready for the spotlight

Tools and parts play a huge role in allowing predictive maintenance to go from a far-away dream to a realistic goal.

“Predictive maintenance isn’t new,” says Jason. “The difference between 20 or 30 years ago and now is that we have the tools and understanding of parts to do it better and with fewer costs.”

Tools are the instruments used to measure the condition of assets, like infrared cameras, and the tools needed to inspect or repair equipment. Parts are the different components of equipment, but not just any old parts will do for predictive maintenance, as we’ll see below.

Equipment: Not all machines were made for predictive maintenance

Anyone who says reactive maintenance can be totally eliminated has never had their windshield cracked by a stray pebble. While this isn’t exactly an on-the-job example, the lesson still applies to the shop floor: You can’t anticipate everything.

It’s important to know which of your equipment allows you to anticipate failure on it when setting up a predictive maintenance program

“The assets that fit into a predictive maintenance program are the ones that provide good condition data with enough lead-time to catch problems before total failure,” says Jason.

Jason also recommends applying predictive maintenance to your most critical assets with the most observable failure modes because of the time and money needed to build a PdM program.

If you’re looking for information on choosing the best equipment for your predictive maintenance program, check out this starter pack of resources (PF track with balanced maintenance strategies, P-F curve, condition-based maintenance blogs)

Technology: The glue that keeps the other elements together

Technology is like a dash of salt in a predictive maintenance program—it ties the other ingredients together and makes them shine. It helps you manage, facilitate, and optimize the other pillars of predictive maintenance.

“Technology gives you an extra set of eyes,” says Bryan, “so you can collect real-time data without having someone on your team constantly looking at the information.”

This is a big job, one that can’t be done by a single piece of technology.

“Predictive maintenance requires you to pull together so many different data sources,” says Jared.

“You need to know what products are being run and when, the cost of all your activities, when maintenance was last done. The list goes on. You need several pieces of technology to capture all this data, store it, and make sense of it.”

There are lots of different technologies that can be used to manage a predictive maintenance program, from ERPs to MES systems and CMMS software. We explored the most common of these technologies here.

How to build a predictive maintenance program

How to make each pillar shine infographic

Predictive maintenance: Part of a balanced strategy

The best way to think of predictive maintenance is like a bowl of cereal in an old TV commercial: It’s part of a balanced breakfast (or maintenance strategy). Predictive maintenance isn’t the only strategy to strive for. Instead, it should supplement your overall maintenance program.

“Predictive maintenance will never replace all other forms of maintenance,” says Jason.

“Creating a predictive maintenance program isn’t about making a checklist. You can’t just tick off a bunch of tasks, flip a few switches and be completely predictive. It’s a journey. It might take 10 years to go 10% predictive.”

A predictive maintenance program won’t solve all your problems. But there are some serious benefits to having one, like a more reliable operation that allows everyone at your organization to grow and be more efficient.

Taking advantage of those benefits relies on building on key maintenance fundamentals. When those fundamentals are strong, you’ll have a strategy that’ll weather any challenge thrown at it.

Steps and Methods to Conduct a Process Hazard Analysis

How to use Process Safety Analysis to the benefit of your process plant?

What is Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)? A PHA is required for any industrial process that makes use of hazardous chemicals. Its purpose is to identify the significance of scenarios (potential causes and consequences) that could result in fires, explosions, chemical spills and the release of toxic chemicals. It focuses on factors that might affect the process (equipment, instrumentation, utilities, human actions (routine and non-routine), and external factors).

Steps in the PHA Process

Methods for Conducting the PHA:

  • What-if Study – for review of an uncomplicated processes;
  • Checklist – for a more complicated process using a checklist;
  • Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) – a structured method to analyze possible deviations in design conditions;
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) – a systematic study of component failures that could conceivably affect the safety of the operation;
  • Fault Tree Analysis – either a qualitative or a quantitative model of all the undesirable outcomes, that could result from a specific initiating event; or
  • An appropriate equivalent method.

The process hazard analysis is best performed by a team with expertise in engineering and process operations. The PHA team should include:

  • Employees who have experience with and knowledge of the process being evaluated; and
  • Team leader who has knowledgeable in the specific PSM analysis methodology being used in the evaluation.

It is advised that,  at least every five years after the completion of the initial process hazard analysis or whenever there is a change in process, the process hazard analysis must be updated and revalidated by a qualified team to ensure that the hazard analysis is consistent with the current process.

It’s Broken, Call Maintenance – A work request process that’s more than just tickets

We believe that your work request process should not only enable anyone in your organization to communicate issues to the maintenance team clearly and with ease, it should act as a catalyst for other departments to support the maintenance function.

That’s why we’ve specifically designed the Fiix work request portal to enable anyone within your organization to participate in maintenance in two key ways – without needing a login:

  • Enhanced visibility. By giving guests enhanced visibility to all work requests and allowing them to search and track work requests, they have an increased sense of ownership in the process, assisting you in achieving a total productive maintenance (TPM) culture.
  • Providing additional context. Through customization of the request form, guests can provide additional context based on their area of expertise. This will move you closer towards a reliability-centered maintenance reality by prompting guests to pause and think about why a defect or failure occurred when submitting a work request.

When other roles are encouraged to work in conjunction with the maintenance-teams-can-avoid-the-top-osha-violations/” >maintenance team through your work request portal, there are productivity gains for the maintenance team as well, including:

  • Fewer status updates. When guest users are able to search, sort, and track their own and other peoples’ requests, it means less time spent responding to status updates from other departments.
  • Fewer submitted requests. When guest users can see other submitted work requests, they avoid creating duplicate tickets and can select multiple assets on the same work request.
  • Increased clarity of requests. The maintenance team can customize the fields on your work request form and set mandatory fields to ensure you have the critical information you need without a lot of back and forth.

For information on configuring and launching your work request portal, please visit the help center. Or keep reading to learn how this simple update to your work request process can enable TPM and play a critical role in FMEA.

Enhanced visibility enabling everyone to keep maintenance at the forefront

This philosophy, that everyone in your facility should contribute to maintenance, is called maintenance-strategies/total-productive-maintenance/”>total productive maintenance or TPM. This approach is proven to lead to fewer breakdowns, a safer workplace, and better overall performance.

So, if the concept is so widely accepted, why are more facilities not practicing TPM? There are two big barriers that many organizations struggle with when it comes to TPM:

  1. Most organizations struggle with cross-functional empathy and the communication that is required to achieve a TPM culture.
  2. Different departments working in silos means critical information gets lost at shift change.

This is where you can take advantage of the work request portal to encourage everyone to have a shared responsibility for maintenance.

For example, equipment operators know exactly how their equipment ticks, so they are often in the best position to identify leading-edge issues before they become failures. The Fiix work request portal makes it easy for operators to submit a work request, track the status of their request, and view all other submitted work requests without requiring a CMMS login.

Autonomous maintenance in conjunction with the work request portal can facilitate cross-functional communication that actually leads to improved productivity, safer work environments, and fewer stoppages or breakdowns.

Capturing failure codes on your way towards reliability-centered maintenance

Your work request process can also play a critical role in your broader failure modes effects analysis (FMEA) process. The work request portal allows you to design and customize how you want stakeholders to be involved in the capturing and analysis of failure modes. This information can optimize your preventative maintenance methods by adjusting intervals or tasks, eliminating unnecessary PMs, or adding new ones.

failure code is a shorthand that can be cross-referenced to better understand why an asset failed during production. The benefits of adding a failure code field to your work request form are two-fold.

  • Immediate benefit: In order to assign a failure code, we must pause and think about why a defect or failure occurred before jumping right to fixing the issue and missing out on this critical opportunity for improvement.
  • Future benefit: Your CMMS will hold valuable data that can unlock identification and prioritization of failures modes to move you closer towards a maintenance-strategies/reliability-centered-maintenance/”>reliability-centered maintenance strategy.

Improved understanding and transparency of failure modes across the organization can lead to better work practices, training opportunities, and expedited troubleshooting.


Through your CMMS there is an opportunity for your work request process to be more than just a ticket system. The Fiix work request portal can assist you in getting to your best maintenance strategy by enabling a TPM culture and playing a critical role in your FMEA process.


Process Safety – Don’t Wait for A Catastrophe, Manage It!

Process Safety Management

Do you know what is Process Safety Management and why is it important to your process facilities?

Well, Process Safety Management (PSM) is the proactive identification, evaluation and mitigation or prevention of chemical releases that could occur as a result of failures in processes, procedures, or equipment (OSHA, U.S.). When applied correctly, process safety management could aid to prevent fires, explosions and the release of hazardous chemicals that could pose a safety risk to workers or the general public.

OSHA has introduced 14 elements of PSM:

Let’s understand briefly and go through each of the 14 elements of PSM!

Employee Involvement

Employee is the human asset of the company and they are also the ones to determine the safety of a plant. Hence employee participation in PSM programs are important. Employee participation is for employees, production, maintenance, and staff to be involved in all aspects of the PSM program at your site, and to have representation in the development, discussion, and eventual solution to issues around the process hazard analysis.

Process Safety Information

According to OSHA’s PSM mandates, “The employer shall complete a compilation of written process safety information before conducting any process safety hazard analysis required by the standard.” It means that all workers should be able to access and understand the technical data regarding the highly-hazardous-chemicals-related risks they face on the job.

Process Hazard Analysis

Process Hazard Analysis requires that engineers and maintenance leaders analyze the consequences of safety failures. This process analysis will be conducted as a team and includes at least one person “who has experience and knowledge specific to the process being evaluated” and is “knowledgeable in the specific process hazard analysis methodology being used.”

Operating Procedures

Startups following a turnaround, and after an emergency shutdown is included in this element. Standard Operating Procedures of these events should be documented and practiced by the operation and maintenance-teams-can-avoid-the-top-osha-violations/” >maintenance team.


Workers who carry out processes involving highly hazardous chemicals need to be well-trained, and their training should have been accomplished through a competent source and be well-documented.


Contractors must be well-informed of the hazards they face. Under the PSM National Emphasis Program, “The employer, when electing a contractor, shall obtain and evaluate information regarding the contract employer’s safety performance and programs. The employer shall inform contract employers of the known potential fire, explosion or toxic release hazards related to the contractor’s work and the process.”

Pre-startup Safety Review

OSHA expects employers to perform pre-startup safety reviews for both new and modified facilities even for a change in a single component.

Mechanical Integrity

Periodic, documented inspections are required for several systems, including pressure vessels and storage tanks, piping systems, relief and vent systems and devices, pumps, controls, etc. The inspectors conducting these inspections must not only be officially trained, their testing procedures must follow “recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices,” according to OSHA.

Hot Work Permit

Every employer needs to issue permits to employees and contractors who perform high-temperature work (e.g. welding) near covered processes. They also need to train their personnel to post and file these permits.

Management of Change

Many organizations choose to issue an MOC for every change because there are many details, and questions that maintenance and engineering have to answer satisfactorily to make this a safe process. Prior to any change, the following are considered:

  • The technical basis for the proposed change
  • Impact of change on safety and health
  • Modifications to operating procedures
  • Necessary time period for the change
  • Authorization requirements for the proposed change

Incident Investigation

An investigation is performed into all incidents that result in, or could reasonably have resulted in, a catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemicals (HHC).

Emergency Planning and Response

It requires employers to establish and implement an emergency action plan, including a plan to handle small releases.

Compliance Audits

According to the PSM-NEP, “Employers shall certify that they have evaluated compliance with the provisions of this section at least every three years to verify that the procedures and practices developed under the standard are adequate and are being followed.” It is also a requirement to retain the last two most recent audit reports.

Trade Secrets

Some companies attempted to protect proprietary information by keeping process details from their employees. To enhance worker safety, the “trade secrets” which may affect their health and safety are divulged to the workers.

Now that you have the basic knowledge about the 14 elements of PSM, find out how to manage them!

Turning Data into Decisions

Today’s asset tracking technology gives us the power to know more about our equipment than ever before. If just thinking about all that data (and its potential) gives you a buzz, you’re not alone.

But there’s a catch: This wave of asset data looks a lot like a tsunami when you get too close.

Data is supposed to make things easier. But it’s hard work extracting good quality data from assets, analyzing it, and putting it to good use. In fact, it’s common to spend 80% of your time simply collecting, cleaning, and organizing data.

This article attempts to ease that hassle by providing best practices for asset tracking. It also looks at tips for using data more efficiently once you have it.

What is asset tracking?

Asset tracking is the act of monitoring the usage, performance, and costs of a fixed asset, such as a bottling machine.

Today’s asset tracking technology gives us the power to know more about our equipment than ever before…But there’s a catch: This wave of asset data looks a lot like a tsunami when you get too close.

Here’s how Fiix’s solutions engineer Jason Afara defined asset tracking during his years as a maintenance manager:

“I looked at asset tracking as a way to measure the performance of my fixed, production-intensive assets,” says Jason.

“My end goal was to see the financial impact of maintenance on a piece of equipment. That included everything from downtime to labour, to parts, and how all that impacted production. Ultimately, this information helped me keep assets healthy and forecast an accurate budget.”

This a huge step in building a more efficient asset-management-services-malaysia/” >asset management program. The information you track these critical assets will influence the way you manage parts, create processes, and more.

Asset tracking metrics: What you should measure

The first step of a successful asset tracking program is knowing what information you need.

We have to give a disclaimer here: This won’t be a definitive list of asset tracking metrics. Every facility and business is going to measure things differently. Instead, we’ll look at some broader KPIs so you can decide for yourself what metrics make sense to you.

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“One of the subjects we talked about at the start of almost every meeting was safety,” says Jason speaking of his experience on the shop floor.

“Safety was a part of every discussion about asset tracking, the performance of equipment, and the success of our facility.”

Health, safety, and compliance metrics usually focus on stats like the number of accidents and the number of hours lost. While this data has its merit, there a few other metrics that help you track how well your facility is at getting ahead of safety risks:

  • Percentage of safety audits and compliance tasks completed on time
  • Percentage of sub-standard conditions identified and corrected
  • Percentage of employees with adequate training

Being able to track this data on each asset improves everything from uptime to onboarding and audit compliance so you can work safer and with fewer disruptions.


“The only language everyone understands is money,” says Juan Ruiz, an operations manager at a manufacturing facility.

The bottom line resonates with everyone from the CEO to technicians. That’s why a lot of asset tracking data is about dollars and cents.

“If you can translate all your equipment problems equipment into dollar signs and show how to solve it, it goes a long way to justifying your strategy and the costs that go with it,” says Juan.

So how does this trickle down into the data you collect from assets? Jason suggests starting with downtime more generally and then targeting the root cause of that downtime.

“When there’s downtime, you’re paying people to stand around and losing money from lost production,” says Jason.

“You need to identify bad actors on the floor and focus on fixing their root problems.”

Juan likes to focus on metrics like mean time between failure and mean time to repair to keep costs low.

“If you can understand what happens in that time between failures and repairs, you can understand where to improve your recovery process and your recovery time,” says Juan

“Ultimately, different industries are going to have different metrics, but they need to be rooted in reliability and the useful life of equipment to control costs.”

Throughput and Quality

“There’s always a need to balance the quality and quantity of production with costs,” says Jason.

“If you’re putting 100 units a minute through a machine, but can only use 90 of them, your capacity and uptime numbers a lot less meaningful.”

Tracking throughput and quality is the fuel for long-term planning.

“When you have data across two or three years, you’ll be able to see where your equipment is in its lifecycle, how healthy it is, when to repair, replace, or upgrade it, and how demand from customers changes performance,” says Juan.

“From there, you can forecast your plant’s long-term capacity.”

The classic metric for measuring throughput and quality is overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). OEE looks at the availability, performance, and quality of equipment to determine operational efficiency.

OEE can be used in two ways.

The first is to find the assets that are underperforming and identify the reason why. Is the problem caused by a new product running on the machine? Is it because of misalignment parts? Does the whole production process need to be rethought?

The other is to make a more informed choice when purchasing new equipment. If the current machine has a 70% OEE, the machine replacing it with should be above that mark.

Asset tracking tools

Knowing how each asset tracking system works together is critical to surviving the tidal wave of data and coming out on the other side with information that drives meaningful improvements.

“The biggest challenge… is being inundated with data and not knowing how to sort through it and use it effectively and efficiently,” says Joe Kuhn, CMRP, owner of Lean Reliability.

“The data points you in the right direction, but you have to verify that data, recognize where the opportunity is…and then actually do the job.”

Equipment maintenance logs

Equipment maintenance logs are often an untapped source of asset information. We explored the data-driven potential of maintenance-log/”>equipment maintenance logs, but here’s a quick rundown of some best practices for extracting numbers from them:

  1. Use a standard maintenance log template for every asset. This creates a steady baseline for each machine, eliminates errors, and makes data analysis easier.
  2. Keep your logs in a designated location, preferably on a cloud-based CMMS, for quick access and a lower risk of losing them.
  3. Always exchange logs between shift changes so everyone has the data they need to be safer and productive.

Six ways you can use equipment maintenance logs to make data-driven decisions

Maintenance software and technology

We could write hundreds of words about different types of maintenance software and what each asset tracking system has to offer (and we did), but we’ll stick to a shorter list here:

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CMMS software helps maintenance teams keep detailed and centralized records of assets and work so they can plan, track, and optimize

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EAM software provides a holistic view of your physical assets and infrastructure through their entire lifecycle, from design and procurement to disposal and replacement

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APM solutions tie together different tools and applications (like the IoT and AI) to improve the reliability and availability of assets, plants, systems, and infrastructure

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ERP“>ERP software takes transactional data from every business unit and connects them, so everyone has the same processes and information

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MES technology controls all activities on the production floor to create high-quality items quickly with fewer costs

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Data collectors (SCADA, PLCs, sensors) allow manufacturers to control industrial processes by monitoring and processing real-time asset data and recording it in log files

There are a couple important things to keep in mind when buying, implementing, and using asset management software.

  1. They’re tools, not silver bullets: Without the proper people, processes, and culture in place, the potential benefits of maintenance technology are lost.“The main goal of all the tools…is to make better decisions with the information we have,” says Joe. “Technology is a tool. If you don’t use the tool to achieve fundamental business results, it doesn’t help you. A KPI without action doesn’t mean anything.”
  2. They have to talk to each other: When you integrate systems, you allow them to share information and work together. You may have sensors, PLCs, a CMMS, and ERP“>ERP software, but if they aren’t integrated, they’re much less effective. Data will be difficult to collect and analyze, less accurate, and deliver a lower ROI.

The PDCA model: Bring the data to life

One of the most effective ways to use asset tracking data in your maintenance program is with the PDCA model: Plan, Do, Check, and Act.


This step is all about creating your maintenance and asset tracking roadmap.

“You have to have a target to aim for,” says Juan.

“You need to set up an asset performance target for the year and track against that number.”

The next phase is to develop processes and methods for hitting that number. This includes:


Once you have your plan, it’s time to execute it. Do what you said you’d do. This is when having asset tracking tools and processes in place is crucial as it creates a baseline for the next step.


After you’ve been following your plan for a while, it’s time for a check-in. Make sure:

  1. You’re actually doing what you said you’d do
  2. What you see in your records matches real life (and there’s no pencil whipping)
  3. The plan is leading to positive outcomes

Jason and Juan say that frequent reporting is a key part of this phase.

“Schedule automated reports to yourself every day,” says Jason.

“You can’t be there 24/7, so reports are key to knowing how assets are running at all times.”

Jason also found it valuable to conduct in-person audits of asset performance. It helped him ensure data was clean, accurate, and true to what was happening on the floor.

Find the areas where your plan has broken down by looking at red flags in your KPIs (safety, costs, throughput, and quality). Link them to maintenance metrics and drill down on tasks that aren’t working. Are there too many or too few PMs on an asset? Are your condition-monitoring baselines off?


The final step is to act on the information you’ve gathered. There are four options for each part of your plan:

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Eliminate the ineffective task

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Modify the task to improve outcomes

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Find ways to optimize the task for further gains

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Claim victory and ask, “What’s next?”

Using the data to design with reliability in mind

At this point, you could call it a day and go home proud. But there are other ways to use your hard-earned asset data to improve your operation. One huge area is designing for reliability-maintenance-and-reliability-fiix/”>reliability.

One example comes to mind for Juan when he thinks about equipment design. The story starts when his organization was designing an expensive replacement for an older machine.

“We analyzed all the faults that happened on the asset and saw 20% of them were creating 80% of downtime. The reason was that the machine wasn’t able to run some of the new products.”

The data allowed Juan’s maintenance-teams-can-avoid-the-top-osha-violations/” >team to trace downtime to specific maintenance tasks. This led them to identify defective parts that were causing problems. The machine was redesigned with these parts in mind. The result was equipment that had a longer life cycle, required fewer resources to maintain, a higher availability, and produced higher quality products.

This example just skims the surface of what’s possible. If you want to learn more about using asset data for equipment design and life cycle management, check out this Plant Services article by Certified Reliability Engineer Michael Blanchard.

Learn to love the numbers: Why asset tracking matters

Asset tracking data might not be easy to get, but once you have it, you want to spend it wisely. It’s important to have the right measurements, tools, and processes in place. This allows you to get clean data and make the most of it without spending too much time. Getting just one of these elements right takes time. It’s a journey. Just remember to embrace the power of numbers to impact the success of both maintenance success and the entire organization.