Your EAM business processes have a shelf life: What to do about it

Posted by Joe Lonjin on November 4, 2020

optimizing maintenance processes driving continuous improvement

Time and resource constraints, shifting work communication methods, new strategic goals and operational objectives, and system upgrades are just a few of the process adjustments that asset intensive organizations are facing in today’s environment. We often look to our people, processes and technology to carry us through the next phase of maintenance operations.

But are you providing the necessary framework for success?

Most organizations have a comprehensive documented business process—a process that is often developed and then put on the shelf. However, when the people and technology parts of the alignment are updated or altered, the business processes must also be re-configured against industry standards and best practices to meet the new needs and drive continuous improvement.

An indicator that your business processes need adjustment is often visible. For instance, are you seeing issues arise such as increased downtime, overspend on budget, a lack of materials, frustrated employees, etc.? These are indications that your business process is breaking down.

Your business process has a shelf life! Basic scientific principles reinforce the need for re-evaluation if one or more variables change.  These variables might be a system upgrade, new personnel, a reduced workforce or, particularly relevant to this year, shifting to a remote workforce. In today’s environment, people may be performing roles outside their past job description or communicating in different ways.

For instance, in these atypical times, managers and supervisors might work remotely while technicians and operators are on site. Does your process hold up to the use of virtual communications? Where are the gaps?

It’s the answers to, and the process of discussing, these kinds of questions that drive continuous improvement to maintain effective operations.

EAM Maturity Assessment - What is it?

Every business challenge brings an opportunity for improvement. If time and resource constraints are an issue, look for a trusted advisor. Maybe your processes have never been optimized or you do not know where to start due to ample opportunities for improvement. If so, seek external help from industry experts to perform a third party assessment, in this case specifically one focused on enterprise asset management or EAM.

This is a comprehensive review of your business processes, systems and organizational performance—essentially evaluators identify specific items to improve and develop a roadmap. The assessment can also provide a deeper analysis of specific and cross-functional processes based on your needs, which helps identify and improve key business areas that are preventing you from reaching your goals. An assessment can help benchmark current processes, monitor data quality and assess if current methods are moving initiatives in the right direction.

An EAM assessment performed by an external resource can often be completed in a matter of weeks, and depending on the scope and scale of the business process—as compared to internal assessments that can take six months or a year. If you look for external support, make sure your partner has strategic expertise and direct business experience in your industry, so that your organization can draw from real-world best practices that empower your team.

Look for an EAM assessment resource that can also address risks and help fix the gaps to work toward improvement. This includes a proven methodology, process, and systems in order to measure and continuously deliver value.

Bottom line, whether you manage business processes internally or with external support, these documented procedures and practices cannot be written and then put on the shelf. They must be integrated in your systems and day-to-day operations and will always be integral to your organizations continuous improvement effort—own them.

Learn more about EAM Maturity Assessments

Topics: continuous improvement, maintenance program optimization

Written by Joe Lonjin

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