In today's constantly changing business landscape, every organization needs to optimize its machines, fleets and other assets. Asset performance management software can give companies a better understanding of how well an asset is functioning and help take care of issues before they occur.
Asset performance management can help improve a company's bottom line by potentially reducing costs, making devices more reliable and improving customer relations. It enables optimal decision-making.
Here's a closer look at asset performance management and how it could potentially benefit organizations.
Benefits of asset performance management
1. Fighting downtime
Downtime can be a huge problem for companies, resulting in increased costs and subpar customer service because of delays.
Avoiding downtime is one of asset performance management's foundational capabilities, said Paul Miller, an analyst at Forrester Research.
"If an expensive machine is broken, it isn't delivering value," he noted.
A computerized maintenance management system provides basic job scheduling for field service, Miller said. It can help companies keep track of, for example, a particular pump being offline. By contrast, asset performance management gives a view of the whole system, which improves the chances of avoiding downtime.
Asset performance management's predictive maintenance capabilities help companies plan an asset's upkeep. That ability to go beyond scheduled maintenance can provide immediate cost savings and boost productivity by reducing downtime, Miller said.
2. Helping stockpile critical inventory
Inventory management is also crucial to a company's success.
Knowing that a machine has broken or is soon likely to become so is a good start, Miller said. But you also need to know whether you have spare parts or if you can get them.
Asset performance management can share not only if a potentially important company asset is broken but whether the company currently has the needed new part in stock.
3. Properly allocating staff resources
Asset performance management software's data can help implement staff resources efficiently.
For example, waking an engineer in the middle of the night to conduct a repair doesn't make any sense if they can carry out the repair quickly during a short period of downtime during normal hours, Miller said. Similarly, bringing someone on site when parts aren't available accomplishes little.
Asset performance management provides the data to help navigate these situations.
4. Giving a bird's-eye view
Asset performance management's capability to deliver a complete system view can help prevent equipment crises.
Paying attention to the smallest system element is crucial, Miller said, because a seemingly inexpensive valve could cause an expensive problem.
"That $10 valve could take down the whole operations; so, increasingly, asset performance management is helping to clarify the business implications of asset maintenance," Miller said.
5. Optimizing processes
Because asset performance management delivers insights based on operational data, it's a good fit for companies that have already achieved basic performance objectives and want to improve processes even further.
"Many companies went from doing things on paper to digitizing and then implementing planned maintenance and then condition-based maintenance," said Juliana Beauvais, an analyst at market research firm IDC. "APM is about the next percentage point of improvement."
6. Reducing risk
Asset performance management can help cut down on risks such as worker injury. A malfunctioning piece of equipment, for instance, could injure its operator.
Asset performance management can prevent similarly problematic situations by sharing which assets require attention so assets are repaired before crises occur, Beauvais said.