Water Journal : Water Journal November 2013
WATER NOVEMBER 2013 34 Feature Article INTRODUCTION Two words -- Asset Management -- can send shivers through some people when tasked with this challenge. It's a massive subject, not clearly de ned and somewhat scary to tackle. One de nition, suggested by the Institute of Asset Management, is that "Asset Management is the management of (primarily) physical assets (their selection, maintenance, inspection and renewal) [and it] plays a key role in determining the operational performance and pro tability of industries that operate assets as part of their core business. Additional categories of assets covered by the scope of this discipline include information, nance, competence and other intangibles insofar as they relate to asset management decisions. "Asset Management is the art and science of making the right decisions and optimising these processes. A common objective is to minimise the whole of life cost of assets, but there may be other critical factors such as risk or business continuity to be considered objectively in this decision-making. This emerging professional discipline deals with the optimal management of physical asset systems and their life cycles. It represents a cross- disciplinary collaboration to achieve best net, sustained value-for- money in the selection, design/acquisition, operations, maintenance and renewal/disposal of physical infrastructure and equipment." But you are probably still none the wiser as to where to start Asset Management in your business. This article describes TRILITY's own experience and its experiences with clients, and shares one approach to a daunting subject. TRILITY'S EXPERIENCE TRILITY has been providing Asset Management services since its inception more than 20 years ago. Our recent investment in a business-wide change to SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) and enhancement of the Plant Maintenance module of SAP demonstrates our commitment to staying up to date and having the right tools to do the job. We partner with many clients over various mid- to long-term contracts, ranging from State Government, to water authorities, to local councils and developers. Some clients have many Asset Management resources while others have very few. Some have advanced Asset Management thinking, while others do not know where to begin. Some clients are data-rich but information-poor. Some need resources in the eld to collect data; and some need speci c in-house resources to prepare plans. The focus of this article is to take the reader through the process used when businesses do not know where to begin on their asset management journey. GETTING THE RIGHT HELP There are many individuals and companies that offer assistance to commence asset management, so it is important to get the right help. It goes without saying that you need to spend your money wisely and make sure you get the right advice, as changing direction later can be very costly. When looking for assistance, we recommend that you nd a company that manages an asset portfolio with similar asset types to yours, and of varying ages. This ensures they are experienced in the management of your types of assets, in all phases of their life. Approaches and deliverables need to have a strong grounding in reality and be developed with empathy for your situation. Strategies and tactics need to be developed from rst principles, meaning they can be easily aligned to suit your objectives and service levels. The decision processes used in Asset Management need to take the same approach as other decisions made in your business. These decisions are usually based on risk management and whole-of-life principles, meaning you can be con dent that short-term decisions are aligned to optimal long-term outcomes. Quick wins are an essential part of any change management. Therefore, a company that uses its systems and procedures on its own assets can apply them rapidly to your situation and produce results in short timeframes. THE PROCESS The Asset Management Process can be depicted in many different ways. Figure 1 shows a simpli ed representation of the process for the purpose of this article. These core elements, found in all models, are described in detail in the following sections. INPUTS Inputs to the process come from a variety of sources. These (for a water business) include: ASSET MANAGEMENT: IT'S NOT THAT HARD Ask for help, keep it simple and just get started, advises Matt Gulliver, Asset Manager with TRILITY. Inputs Analysis Planning Documented Plans Execution and Delivery Figure 1. The Asset Management Process.
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