June 02, 2016

So little knowledge for too many assets

One of the most common phrases spoken in the business world is "people are our greatest asset", a statement which, in my opinion, is never truly acted upon. The evidence points out that investment into people is often considered as a cost, and hence not truly implemented to the standard necessary.

Asset management has so many different definitions, all hovering around systematic activities and processes through which organisations optimally manage their physical assets and their associated performance. But who manages these assets? This task lies in the hands of the people within the organisations, with their own individual skill sets, combining together through teamwork and a shared understanding. This is the integration of adequate knowledge management to help support this. Knowledge management is the efficient handling of information and resources in the context of an organisation. Efficient, reliable management of this knowledge is necessary in order to be able to store and apply any generated information from anywhere in the organisation.

From my previous experiences, I usually find the majority of improvements to do with Asset Management in manufacturing (as an engineer) to have come from the operators/technicians and engineers themselves. They are the ones who experience problems and observe opportunities for improvements to processes and products as well. It is hence highly important that there is a channel and pathway mechanism in place for the transfer of this knowledge to other areas in the organisation. This knowledge front is often regarded as unimportant, and not enough emphasis placed on the benefits that this can provide to the organisation as a whole and to the individuals themselves. Taking note from Deming, this in effect will help break down barriers between departments and encourage two way communication, increasing effectiveness and productivity.

As Benjamin Franklin once stated: "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest"..


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