Efficient Plant May 2019 - 40

column | seeking reliability

Find
Competitive
Advantage
With Asset
Management

M

Increasing strategic impact

OST PEOPLE THINK of
reliable asset management as
maintenance. This is natural.
How many, though, also think of it as an
opportunity to create a competitive advantage? Let's explore.
Some years back, researchers Robert H.
Hayes and Steven C. Wheelwright created a
model showing how operational excellence
can create a competitive advantage. As shown
in the accompanying chart, I've adapted their
model in terms of reliable asset management.
Hayes and Wheelwright defined the
Drew D. Troyer, CRE, CMRP
following four stages for creating competitive
Contributing Editor
advantage through improved operational
capability (which included reliable asset management for asset-intensive manufacturing,
process, and mining industries):
 Internally Neutral. This type of
organization is internally focused. From an
asset-management perspective, the Internally-Neutral organization usually only corrects
its worst problems and typically in a reactive
Drew Troyer is a senior manager with
fashion. From a competitive perspective, its
T.A. Cook Consultants Inc.,
actions are neutral: These organizations don't
The Woodlands, TX.
create or contribute to establishing a competiEmail d.troyer@tacook.com.
tive advantage in their respective industries.
Externally Neutral.
These organizations begin
Stage 4:
to look around. They read
Create a
Strategic crosscompetitive
functional EAM
books and articles and
advantage
Increasing
value
Stage
3:
Proactive
attend conferences and
contribution
Link EAM and
maintenance and
Using EAM to beat
strategy
reliability
meetings. They're learning
competitors
Stage 2:
Preventive
how others, including their
Adopt industry
and predictive
Seeing value of EAM to the
best practice
maintenance
organization
competitors, are performing
Stage 1:
Reactive
various activities, such as
Correct worst
Starting to get EAM
maintenance
problems
predictive and preventive
Internally
Externally
Internally
Externally
Neutral
Neutral
Supportive
Supportive
maintenance and planning
© Drew Troyer
work management, among
Increasing
operational
capabilities
All rights reserved
others. As such, they're
external in their focus,
The chart illustrates how reliable asset management
helps create a competitive advantage. It's based on Drew
which is good, but still neuTroyer's adaptation of a Hayes and Wheelwright model
tral as it relates to creating
on how operational excellence can do the same.
a competitive advantage.

40

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

That's because the Externally-Neutral
organization is always behind the competitor
against which it benchmarks.
 Internally Supportive. This type of
organization has really turned a corner. It has
figured out that its design/procurement, sales
and marketing, operations, and maintenance
functional groups don't compete against each
other, nor should they. It also has determined that reliable asset management is a
team effort, i.e., assets must be designed and
procured for reliability, we can't sell things
that we can't make, we can't operate the assets
beyond their limits, and we must maintain
assets effectively. The Internally-Supportive
organization clearly understands the importance of working as a team toward a common
goal and has policies, strategies, procedures,
and practices to support it.
 Externally Supportive. These organizations are the advanced players in the
reliable-asset-management world. As they
become increasingly effective and efficient
at managing their assets, compared to the
competition, they discover they're better
at surviving market downturns than their
competitors. According to the Hayes and
Wheelwright model, during a market downturn, poor asset operators may find themselves in tough cash positions and struggling
to pay their bills. The effective asset manager,
however, is still getting by. In some instances,
where it makes sense, the effective and Externally-Supportive reliable asset manager can
go shopping and possibly pick up additional
plants, divisions, even entire companies
at bargain-basement prices, as opposed to
increasing capacity through conventional
expansive capital.
The point of this discussion is simple:
Don't limit your asset-management process
to just doing maintenance better. Leverage
it as a tool to set your operations apart from
your competitors in the market. EP

MAY 2019


http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant May 2019

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