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5 Ways to Improve Performance and Profit in Asset-Intensive Industries

by John Benders | insiderPROFILES

July 1, 2011

If your company in an asset-intensive industry, like mining, oil and gas, energy, utilities, or transit, then you likely face unique challenges in delivering sustainable gains in performance and profit. John Benders, Vice President of Asset Intensive Industry Solutions at Mincom, offers five key tips that asset-intensive companies should consider.
 
   

John Benders

Mincom recommends that asset-intensive companies consider five key tips to deliver sustainable gains in performance and profit.
John Benders, Vice President, Asset Intensive Industry Solutions, Mincom

Companies in asset-intensive industries — like mining, oil and gas, energy, utilities, rail, and transit — face a unique set of challenges. For example, the overall performance of these companies depends on the performance of their critical assets, like draglines for mining companies; generators and transmission lines for utilities; and rail lines for railway companies. When those assets are not running or are otherwise unavailable, the company is not making money. Additionally, companies in asset-intensive industries intrinsically require larger capital expenditures than non-asset-intensive companies, and their financial performance is largely dependent on the return they get from those investments. Finally, these assets are typically spread across a wide geographic area and are overseen by a field-based workforce. They are subject to the physical elements and environmental stress, which can affect their ROI.

These realities make it more challenging for companies in asset-intensive industries to deliver sustainable gains in performance and profit. To help, Mincom, a leading provider of enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions with 30 years of experience, provides solutions to address these challenges while ensuring that critical financial and purchasing information is maintained within the SAP system. Mincom recommends that asset-intensive companies consider five key tips.

1. Improve Asset Availability and Performance

Managing assets based on risk and criticality can help companies better prioritize work and enable maintenance organizations to more strategically manage assets. By undergoing a risk and criticality assessment, these organizations can identify their crucial assets and the required parts for those assets. This allows them to prioritize work and inventory accordingly and ensure that the most important maintenance is done first. Implementing reliability-centered, preventive, and predictive maintenance programs can further increase asset availability and performance.

2. Optimize the MRO Supply Chain

A maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) strategy starts with analyzing why certain parts are stocked in the first place. Accurately assessing the criticality of parts to their respective assets and adjusting stock levels accordingly frees up capital. Providing digital parts manuals at the point of maintenance via mobile devices expedites parts identification, ordering, and maintenance processes. Integrating detailed parts information into a vendor portal provides access to vendor scorecards, lead-time metrics, and vendor performance data to help determine which parts need to be stocked on-site. Companies should also be sure to integrate the information captured on these mobile devices into their SAP systems to keep day-to-day management of optimization configurations up to date.

3. Improve Decision Making at the Point of Maintenance

Field maintenance productivity often suffers from a lack of real-time management visibility, automation tools, and real-time planning and tracking. Mincom’s Mobile Inspector solution provides real-time visibility into what workers are doing and drives collaboration and operational decision making. With this solution, workers can identify problems and note specific parts or tools required to rectify them, preventing field workers from arriving on the scene with the wrong parts.

4. Address Safety Issues at the Point of Potential Incident

Safety starts with empowering workers with information at the point of performance. For example, companies might provide field workers with a context-sensitive personal risk assessment that they must complete before they can receive a work task; doing this ensures adherence to safe work practices.

Other strategies include incorporating inspections before work starts, ensuring that assets are available and safe to perform work, and providing monitoring credentials. All of these strategies can be streamlined by putting information and best-practice safety processes in the hands of maintenance workers on-site through mobile technologies.

5. Standardize

Standardizing on a framework, like the British Standards Institution’s PAS 55, for example, provides a roadmap for managing assets throughout their life cycle. Such a framework helps asset-intensive companies make clearer connections between strategic organizational plans and the day-to-day realities of asset and work management.

Learn More

For more details on these and other ways to improve operational performance and profit in an asset-intensive organization, download the full Mincom white paper at www.mincom.com/fiveways.

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