July 10, 2016

so, improving maintenance strategy or renew the asset?

Should one continue improving maintenance strategy or renew the asset? Which of these two choices is the most cost effective? We don’t want to spend money on improving maintenance strategy when efficiency and safety could be improved by renewing the asset – but then on the other hand, is it not more cost effective to improve the maintenance strategy to improve the reliability and availability of the present asset?

The choice between these two alternatives needs to be addressed jointly by Maintenance, Operations, Safety, Quality and Finance, to ensure a common vision, strategy and cost effective investment. The only way to take a sensible decision with regard to continuing with the existing asset or changing for a new one, and then choosing which new one, is to turn each of these aspects and considerations into $ values. And this where the concept of life cycle costing and whole like costing come in play. ‘Whole Life Costing’ and ‘Life Cycle Costing’ enable assets to be compared in order to choose the most cost effective long term investment. However, they do not address the ‘Optimal total life cycle costing’ and this is the areas and skills that maintenance managers should equip themselves with.

The Maintenance Manager normally has a number of projects that he wishes to motivate with the organization on an annual basis. They are modifications to plant and process, design changes, abnormal maintenance, major maintenance work etc. However, some of these projects may be paid for within the constraints of the maintenance budget, while others need to be motivated for additional expenditure. The latter projects need to join projects motivated by other departments such as Operations, Safety and Quality etc. Therefore, maintenance managers shall learn to compare and prioritize all projects to give the best payback or profitability to the organization.

Maintenance, as one dimension of asset management

O’Hanlon states emphatically that, “Asset management is not about managing assets. It is about delivering valueto an organization through the effective utilizationof its assets.” Clearly, it’s a business imperative for companies to manage their assets effectively, including intellectual property, human and physical assets. While maintenance is an essential element in asset management, however, most seem to be focusing their interpretation of PAS55 and ISO55000 on managing physical assets and maintenance, in particular.

The Institute of Asset Management (IAM) has published Asset Management – An Anatomy. It’s a really good document and it states: “The tools and technologies may be helpful, but the engagement of the workforce, the clarity of leadership, and the collaboration between different departments and functions are the real differentiators of a leading asset management organization.” I couldn’t agree more. It also states, “The enduring objectives of the GFMAM (Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management) are: To bring together, promote and strengthen the maintenance and asset management community worldwide.”

No doubt that the formal issue of ISO55000 would be profitable for maintenance management agencies, and it should be. But companies shall keep in mind that maitenance management alone will never be able to achieve effective asset managment fulfilling business objectives.

resource allocation. This time we talk about people.

Resource allocation (also called resource management) is the process of assigning team members and assets (like hardware) to balance the competing needs and priorities of a team. Management then determines the most effective course of action to maximize the effective use of limited resources and gain the best return on investment. Where resource allocation can break down is with communication. The practice of allocating resources was a foreign concept in the company at that time. Educating people (especially management) was a critical part of getting it accepted as a part of the project planning process.

One way to start communicating this need is to write a formal resource allocation plan with some decisions based on:

- prioritizing tasks and projects

- making business decisions aroud why resources arent allocated to other tasks

To manage resources effectively, the work/life balance of employeesneeds to take into account. A competitive market, the economy, and all kinds of other hidden factors may also complicate resource allocation, therefore allocation resources across functions and projects might be a good way to go.

Resource allocation might always remain a challenge despite advancements in project management practices and platform technologies. However, if leader and the team track the working hours, keep scheduling concerns transparent amongst the team, and ensure communication of resource allocation to management and others, then you’ll position yourselves ahead of the game—and ahead of other teams.

The most vital subject in asset management – health and safety

Health and safety are of paramount importance to any business entities and projects at any work place. Companies must assure the employees at all level that it operates in such a manner so as to achieve the following:

A safe and healthy place to work which has adequate welfare facilities, safe access and egress to and from it and adequate arrangements for dealing with an emergency.

Equipment which is safe to use and work which is safe to undertake.

Arrangements which ensure that products, etc are safe to use, handle, store and transport.

Removing or reducing risks and controlling any hazards that have been identified following risk assessment, to a safe level.

Providing staff with the information, instruction, training and supervision needed to ensure they do the job safely.

Ensuring that staff are consulted with and informed on issues relating to health and safety.

Technical advice provided by staff or where necessary, external consultants, competent to do so.

Maintaining a low rate of injuries and ill health and reducing unnecessary losses and liabilities shall lie in the heart of any running business. People are of great importance to organizations, without the most basic physical health of its employees, no output will be delivered letting alone improved performance.

where does environmental concern originate?

The objective of environmental management is to improve human life quality. It involves the mobilization of resources and the use of government to administer the use of both natural and economic goods and services. It is based on the principles of ecology. It uses systems analysis and conflict resolution to distribute the costs and benefits of development activities throughout the affected populations and seeks to protect the activities of development from natural hazards.

In the complex and interdependent world that we have been given, environmental management is required because the activities of development in one sector affect in both positive and negative ways the quality of life in others. Indeed, if one asks of any "environmental impact" the questions "who caused it?" and "who felt it?,"

Conflicts between natural hazards and development activities will always exist if we continue not to pay attention to the environment. So-called "natural disasters" occur because we have not paid sufficient attention to natural hazardous phenomena. Indeed, the term "natural disaster" is misleading. it places the blame on nature when, in fact, the blame belongs to those who decided that projects to be implemented under the condition of harming the nature. Therefore, environmental concern shall be the core consideration of any business or projects instead of being the tedious documentary compliance and treated as an expense.

Environmental management

Many organisations recognise that improving their environmental performance is not just a matter of compliance. Increasingly, stakeholders and customers expect organisations to demonstrate their commitment to managing and minimising their environmental impacts.

ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that outlines how to put an effective environmental management system in place in your organization. It is designed to help businesses remain commercially successful without overlooking environmental responsibilities and impacts. It can also help organization to grow sustainably while reducing the environmental impact of this growth.

And why is envrionmental management so important? One of the main reasons that environmental management is important is to promote health and safety within the workplace.Even workplaces that are not considered dangerous have other risks associated with them, and with effective management, those risks can be lowered significantly.

June 12, 2016

Product Lifecycle Management needs CxO's attention

In industry, PLM is the process of managing the product and the product data during the entire lifecycle – from the concept, through design and manufacturing, to service and disposal. PLM integrates people, data, processes and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies. In their effort to improve PLM capabilities, executives often invest large amounts of money in modern software with the promise of significant returns. However, not appreciating PLM as a strategic business approach, or having CxOs who are unwilling to understand PLM, can have devastating implications or even close down its PLM program despite previous investments of tens of millions.

The common mistake for failure is that the project was run as an IT project rather than as an initiative to improve the company’s business approach. Not only did this result in an inappropriate project management setup but, perhaps worse, the company had no clear idea of what the value of the PLM initiative was. This is a common problem. Most companies tend to put too little effort into building their PLM strategy and determining the business benefits before embarking on the implementation phase. Therefore, it may lead to the situation that the project team has to jumped into a solution, a large number of undesirable customizations has to be made and the implementation effort soon focuses on the wrong things – solving and discussing problems rather than focusing on achieving business benefits.

service management or/and facility management

Service management should be seen as a key component of the successful facility manager of the future. Every individual, no matter where they are in an organisation and no matter what they do, needs to be respected, appreciated and developed in order to be productive and efficient – not necessarily have a career path, although many will. But some frontliners are perfectly happy staying in their job for their entire work life as they have other priorities in life than pursuing a career – and that’s fair enough; but every person still need to know that their work means something, that their efforts doesn’t go unnoticed and that they are in fact appreciated. If we stick to this kind of thinking - service resources as commodities, trying to squeeze an additional 2 to 3 m2 out to make our service staff run faster – will create a pretty linear relation to how many hours are put into the contract, compared to the value it creates.

Strong leadership skills with the ability to create employee motivation, engagement, respect and development are key ingredients in any successful service model. Adding to this team spirit, individualised training and development plans, multi-skilling and job-rotation are some of the new aspects of Service Management. With these on hand facility manager will have a winning formula on how to differentiate FM and how to create long-term sustainable value.

Service Management is critical for the future success of Facility Management and we all need to improve our game in this area – for our customers, our employees and thereby for our own future. It up to us to get this right and, if we do, the potential is massive.

Facility management… machine or people?

For a business to operate successfully, there must be multiple processes in place that support the core business of an operation-and that's where facility management comes in.

In Facility management, we are often educated to think in linear terms – input vs. output – continuously optimising the production system and the resources allocated, sometimes even referring to staff as if they were commodities. However, employees are not commodities, they are not just resources …they are people. When I look at the FM industry today, I believe that we have become too “numbers driven”. Not least after the financial crises, far too many discussions take place around numbers and about tweaking the last few percentages of efficiency out of a contract to justifying a decrease in operating expenditures. Somuch so, that we sometime forget what Facility management is all about: Helping the organisation we serve to stay competitive and focused. No matter how technical we have made the Facility Management profession, it is still predominantly a people business– carried out by people for people occupying/working in the facilities we so diligently maintain and serve.

Generally speaking, I believe the Facility Management industry needs to further mature its leadership skills and fully understand the psychology behind workforce management. I really like the famous Ritz-Carlton slogan; “We are ladies and gentlemen – serving ladies and gentlemen”.I am sure everybody can see and feel the real message: Ritz Carlton employees are the opposite of commodity service staff and their staff are empowered to act on any given situation they encounter in the interface with a guest and use their own common sense to relieve a situation.

Why do Knowledge management fail?

knowledge is power, especially in the Internet age. That's why companies are trying to figure out precisely what their customers want and how to get it to them before the competitors. Whatever you call it - knowledge management or something else - it's the bedrock that's supporting today's corporate strategies. Trouble is, Most knowledge management projects simply don't hit their stated goals and objectives.Some researchers peg the failure rate of knowledge management projects at 50%. It doesn't mean they fail totally - it means that they don't accomplish what they set out to do.

We have been presented and talked about the people focus and information focus during KM presentation in WaveRiders. However, the most common error, in the real world, is failing to coordinate efforts between information technology and human resources. Don't fall into the trap of framing the KM effort as either a technology problem or a people problem. It isn't an either/or situation - KM needs both to succeed.

Except for not changing organizaitonal culture and performance measurement systems that we have been talked about. There is another issue we haven't mentioned - building the grand database in the sky to house all your company's knowledge. Instead, we should think about "communities of practice". Figure out who works together regularly because they have a job in common and then find out what they want or need to know to be more successful or to save time. Then provide that information - through databases, easy-to-use front-end tools and other means - so users can act on the information. Remember, it can only be defined as "knowledge" if and only if someone actually does something with it.

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