Among the key themes discussed at the 2019 ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida, Feb. 4-7th, were asset management, digital transformation, and cybersecurity in asset-intensive industries, and smart cities. This ARC Insight summarizes some key takeaways from these discussions, especially insights on enterprise asset management.
The Importance of Touch and Technology – People Remain Key to IT and OT Success
A key theme in the Forum enterprise asset management (EAM) and field service management (FSM) session, as well as in other keynote and breakout presentations, was the need to keep people at the center of discussions about digital transformation and process improvement. It is often tempting to downplay the importance of “touch” when evaluating ways to make process and performance improvements.
A main point cited was that, all too often, organizations first look to technology-focused solutions to solve most of their problems. This can be self-limiting because a wide variety of factors can influence the success of initiatives. While some problems, particularly those with underlying efficiency challenges, can often be solved with technology, others require the experience and judgement of humans.
Often, these intuitive and “soft” skills will ultimately determine the success or failure of a project or process improvement. Without this insight, a technically correct solution might miss the mark because of corporate culture, insufficient communication, turf battles, or similar challenges.
Asset Management Capabilities Continue to Progress
Asset management software features and capabilities continue to improve, helping elevate the overall state of maintenance and operations management.
Earlier EAM, CMMS, and similar asset management systems in use over the past decade or so offered relatively modest, reactive, and largely manual maintenance capabilities. The next wave of asset management capabilities increased automation and expanded asset management features, including information on asset specifications, design, acquisition, and disposal.
The current wave of APM solutions typically include interoperability with a wide range of enterprise systems, including sensor and Industrial IoT systems, condition monitoring, reliability-centered maintenance (RCM), and predictive maintenance and predictive analytics solutions.
Key EAM and FSM Insights Presented at the Forum
The Digital Transformation in Asset Management and Field Service session at the recent ARC Industry Forum featured presenters from Miami-Dade County (Odilia Hernandez) and AGCO (Greg Toornman). Both offered valuable insight into their use and observations of their EAM and FSM solutions. In addition, supplier representatives from Infor (Navin Kulkarni), Tata Consultancy Services (Anand Pradhan), and Webalo (Lew Roth) offered their thoughts, observations, and suggestions about EAM and FSM capabilities and uses.
Insights from the Miami-Dade County Presentation
Miami-Dade County is an excellent example of an organization that makes full use of its asset management capabilities. A long-time Infor customer, the county uses its EAM system to manage many types of assets across various departments.
The County uses its system in such areas as asset, work, equipment, fleet, facilities, and materials management, as well as call center, mobile, geospatial, and condition assessments and inspections.
Overall, the primary goals of the County’s EAM implementation include:
- Use a common enterprise tool/technology for asset management that would meet the needs of the various County departments in different lines of business with varying missions, goals, and priorities
- Set standards/governance but allow for unique configuration to address departmental business needs in asset and work management
- Upgrade software frequently while adhering to each department's timeline
- Facilitate integration with various departmental and enterprise systems (e.g., ERP, GIS, fueling, and CAD systems).
These capabilities are available to multiple stakeholder departments, including public safety, transportation, recreation and culture, neighborhood and infrastructure, and health and human services. In the County’s EAM implementation, multiple configurations from various departments can use the same database but have their own schema.
Insights from the AGCO Presentation
AGCO is a major innovator and manufacturer of agricultural equipment and solutions. The company’s reach is global through about 4,200 dealers.
AGCO’s key priorities that drive its EAM and FSM initiatives include developing smart machines, enabling asset tracking, and supporting interoperability between customers’ machines and asset management and dealer systems on engine data and machine performance. At the heart of these capabilities are machine-to-machine communication, smart apps, remote software management, and performance optimization.
A primary goal is to achieve widespread connectivity between the company, its dealers, and the equipment. This connectivity provides many benefits, including maximizing performance and uptime since repairs can be planned and scheduled before failures occur.
AGCO and dealer systems can read equipment information and determine when performance is outside or approaching factory limits. This enables needed parts to be sourced and staged and technicians dispatched to make needed repairs or adjustments at an agreed-upon time and place.
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Keywords: EAM, Maintenance, Maintenance Management, Analytics, Predictive Maintenance, Predictive Analytics, ARC Advisory Group.