Enhancing Efficiency & Maximizing Returns: The Power of Operational Asset Management
In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, organizations face mounting pressure to optimize their operations, reduce costs, and maximize their return on investments. A crucial aspect that directly impacts a company's financial performance is its operational assets. Effective management of these assets is vital to ensure seamless operations, mitigate risks, and drive sustainable growth.
This article explores the significance of operational asset management and highlights key strategies to enhance efficiency and maximize returns.
Understanding Operational Asset Management:
Operational asset management refers to the systematic approach of monitoring, maintaining, and optimizing an organization's physical assets throughout their lifecycle.These assets can range from machinery, equipment, and vehicles to IT infrastructure, buildings, and other tangible resources that play a critical role in day-to-day operations. The primary goals of operational assetmanagement are to ensure these assets are utilised at their optimum level, down time is minimized, their useful life is maximised, and value continues to be generated for the organization.
Operational assets vary depending on the industry and the nature of the business, but they are distinct from financial assets, which are investments made by the company for the purpose of generating financial returns. Unlike financial assets, operational assets directly contribute to the core operations of the business and are instrumental in achieving organizational objectives.
It may seem somewhat counter-intuitive, but all operational assets can be considered as dynamic-by-nature, exhibiting characteristics from one or more of the following categories:
· Mobility - assets are designed to move around your territory, and/or
· Transactional - an asset’s purpose is to process transactions, and/or
· Aging - All assets have an aging profile overtime
The Vital Dimension:
In addition to the physical details of Operational Assets, it is important to consider how the assets get used within the organization's operations. If you can gain an understanding of how assets are utilized, you can better optimise their performance and maximize their contribution to the organization's objectives. Further, if you can achieve that understanding in real-time, you can ensure their optimal utilization, maintenance, and replacement as needed.
Focusing on asset performance, capability, and throughput, assists with unlocking the full potential of operational assets. With an emphasis on optimization, enhancement, and continuous improvement in these areas, businesses can achieve higher productivity, increased capacity, and improved operational outcomes.
Key Strategies for Effective Operational Asset Management:
Assessing the utilization of operational assets involves evaluating how frequently and effectively they are put to use. Factors such as uptime, downtime, operating hours, and capacity utilization are critical to identifying opportunities for improved scheduling, increased efficiency, and potential areas for asset consolidation or redeployment.
Asset Allocation & Deployment:
Proper allocation and deployment of assets involves strategically assigning resources to various operations, projects, or locations based on demand, priority, and operational requirements. Efficient asset deployment ensures that the right assets are available at the right time and in the right place, minimizing unnecessary downtime and delays.
Integration with Workflows & Processes:
Operational assets should be seamlessly integrated into the organization's workflows and operational processes. This involves aligning asset usage with standard operating procedures (SOP's) and optimizing asset availability to support a timely response to operations demands.
Training & Skill Development:
Effective utilization of operational assets often requires skilled operators or technicians who are trained to operate, maintain, and troubleshoot the assets. Comprehensive training and skill development programs ensure that employees have the necessary knowledge and expertise to utilize assets efficiently and safely, reducing the risk of errors, accidents, or asset misuse.
Monitoring & Performance Evaluation:
Regular monitoring and performance evaluation of operational assets allows organizations to track their usage patterns, identify areas for improvement, and optimize asset utilization. This can be done through the analysis of operational data, key performance indicators (KPIs), and feedback from operators or users. Real-time monitoring enables proactive adjustments and decision-making to enhance asset performance and productivity.
Advancements in technology, such as sensors, automation, and asset management software, provide opportunities for enhanced asset usage and optimization. Integrating technology solutions can enable real-time asset tracking, remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, and data-driven insights to improve operational asset utilization and performance.
How to optimize your Operational Asset performance
Once you have developed your operational asset management approach, you can do several things to optimize it. At the core of optimising Operational asset performance, is the ability to visualise everything about them in real-time and then utilise the insights gained to make effective decisions.
Here are five tips to getyou started with optimising your Operational assets.
Automate where possible
Automating as much as you can will save a lot of time and effort. Software tools facilitate the automation of tasks such as tracking, reporting, auditing and alerting when thresholds are breached.
Make use of data insights gained (in real-time)
Data can be a valuable asset in itself. Use real-time data analytics to help you make informed decisions about managing and deploying your assets.
Establish alerts & notifications
Alerts and notifications help to ensure you are always aware of changes to your assets. For example, you could establish an alert to notify you if an asset has moved (or not moved), or changed in any way.
Keep it as simple as possible
Keep your asset management process as simple as possible to make it easier to manage. This can help you to streamline your processes and assist in continuous improvement.
Operational asset management is a continuous process, so it’s essential to regularly review and update your lifecycle process to see how it’s performing and if any enhancements are possible. It will also ensure that you are getting the best out of new technologies as they become available.
By considering the vital dimension of asset usage, organizations can effectively leverage their Operational assets to drive improved productivity. Aligning asset utilization with operational workflows, investing in training and skill development, and embracing technological advancements are essential steps to unlock the full potential of operational assets within an organization.