by Brandon Most, Portfolio Director
This is Part 2 of a two-part series; check out Part 1
In an earlier post, I discussed the primary goals for companies that manage substantial infrastructure assets, as well as the value of taking a proactive approach to asset management. In this post, I want to speak in more depth about the importance of establishing a proactive approach.
When organizations establish a genuinely proactive approach to asset lifecycle management, the benefits far exceed the costs. With the right solution, these benefits include improved operating margins, streamlined team collaboration and issues management and resolution, early risk detection, and rapid diagnosis of emerging issues.
Framing your challenges
When evaluating asset management solutions, remember that your needs will differ from everyone else’s. You’ll want to frame your solution. Assess it in the context of your organization. To do this, I find it helpful to consider two vital factors: your people and your processes.
First, your people. Will the solution complement your team’s skills and aspirations? Or will it simply take over the tasks your team enjoys today, and thus make them feel underappreciated? Shore up your success by getting honest feedback and buy-in from your team before you pitch the solution to management.
Second, your processes. Which processes work well today, and which need improvement? What are the best processes to automate? Which are best left alone? It’s just as important to avoid messing up what isn’t broken, as it is to change the processes that just aren’t delivering.
Things to look for
Once you’ve framed the challenges, you can compare solutions with a better sense of direction and purpose. With your particular challenges, opportunities, and environment in mind, some features and functionality to look for include:
- Rapid anomaly identification & resolution: How effectively does the solution allow you to uncover potential issues before they strike? Does it leverage advanced pattern recognition techniques – such as neural networks and regression – to detect performance degradation and assess risk?
- Centralized alerting, discussion thread & scorecard: Does the solution support centralized notifications? What about an issue scorecard, that is, a crisp, tabular view of all issues, for easy prioritization? Finally, look for solutions with integrated discussion threads, to communicate and document issue tracking and resolution status.
- Real-time custom dashboards & reporting: Does the solution allows you to customize dynamic reports that update in real-time?
- Holistic management of issues & alerts across time: Can you manage all issues and alerts in real time? Can you look back in time to see commonalities across issues and anomalies?
- Issues management email integration: Does the solution streamline issues management through email integration? How much value will your team get from the ability respond quickly to issues, and update diagnostic and remediation status directly by email?
Not all solutions are created equal
If you’re looking for a Monitoring & Diagnostics solution, remember that one size does not fit all. Finding the optimal solution requires a solid understanding of your existing monitoring and diagnostics processes and dynamics at the outset, as well as a healthy understanding of the solutions available.
One more crucial factor: for utility and large-infrastructure organizations, in-depth domain expertise – often available as an optional service – can determine program success or failure.
Taking a proactive approach leads to significant savings
Organizations who adopt such a proactive approach are seeing substantial benefits. Great River Energy, for example, has benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings through a combination of extended asset life, reduced outages and other efficiencies. Without a truly proactive approach to asset management that includes the ability to monitor, analyze, diagnose and resolve issues quickly and easily, they likely couldn’t recognize this value. Another such example is Minnesota Power, which implemented advanced data analytics to drive continuous process improvement to transform their operations from reactive to proactive. Taking a proactive approach allowed Minnesota Power to save $2 million through early issues detection.
Atonix Digital Monitoring & Diagnostics, powered by the ASSET360 platform, offers a secure, cloud-based asset management solution informed by over 30 years of utility operations experience from Black & Veatch, a global leader in human infrastructure engineering and consulting services. Learn more by visiting our Monitoring & Diagnostics product page.