Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) System Data – Cleansing the Augean Stables
Let’s agree that the EAM Data is our organizations’ “Augean Stables”. And, we the Maintenance & Reliability professionals are “the Hercules”. It’s dirty, smelly & massive. But it is only we who can dare to cleanse it. We are the Hercules of today’s organizations.
Before venturing into the details of how to go about this exercise, it is important to identify when exactly you need to go after your EAM Data. There can be some telling signs.
- Is your EAM Data reflective of your actual state of Operations & Maintenance activities? You are facing regular breakdowns on some assets but your failure reporting does not reflect it.
- You planned a maintenance activity & just when you go to the stores to collect required spares, realise that you are missing out on some spares required for the job.
- Your asset hierarchy is not consistent with industry standards or your own corporate guidelines. A classic example is wrong ‘class / sub-class’ attributes assigned at different levels (e.g. a Motor Operated Valve appearing as a Low Voltage Electrical Motor).
Another good time to cleanse your EAM Data is when your organization decides to either upgrade your existing EAM or migrate to another EAM. However, in such cases your legacy data should be handled carefully as it could be more prone to errors & in many cases cannot be subjected to proper testing.
So now let us see how we can achieve this Herculean feat:
Just as the Hercules had to get the buy-in from Augean for cleaning his stable, we need to have the Managements’ buy-in to cleanse the EAM data. The whole exercise can run into grounds without the Executive Sponsorship. Any desired change brings with it opposition & friction. Just like any organizational change or initiative, your EAM data cleansing efforts can’t be successful if you don’t have the backing of your Management.
To get your Management behind your initiative, you need to demonstrate them the significance of the EAM data, the pain points & the expected outcome in terms of improvement on Safety / Integrity fronts, Return-on-Investment (RoI), anticipated Cost Savings or Revenue Increase etc.
The EAM data cleansing journey requires travelling in a body. Develop a multi-disciplinary team comprising of Reliability, Maintenance & Operations professionals. Get all the team members to fully understand the issues at hand, their expected contribution in individual & collective capacity alongwith the vision for the future once the exercise is complete.
Since, the efforts put-in for this exercise are above their normal duty, the team members should also be rewarded for their performance upon meeting the desired results.
Outside help through external Consultants also comes in handy, as they can bring in a fresh perspective & see the things differently.
Considering the wide scope of EAM & the magnitude of its data, it is advisable to start with identifying focus areas & prioritizing them in terms of their criticality for the desired results.
Remember, it’s a war comprising of many battles. You can’t win it if you try to attack on all fronts at the same time.
For a global Oil & Gas Exploration & Production company, the most important focus area for their South East Asia operations was management of their Integrity Critical Elements. So, the logical way was to focus on this particular area & then to move on to other areas.
If your desired result is reducing the O&M Cost, you should start with focusing on the assets eating the bulk of your O&M budget (remember the golden Pareto principle).
The efficient way would be to start from the asset hierarchy for your focus area & review the entire data cycle for it; which would include the Asset Register, Maintenance Plans, Grouping & Scheduling of plans, Work Instructions (Task Lists), Bill of Materials, Spares, Tools, Workload Calculations, Planning & Scheduling practices. This way you can cleanse the entire data relevant to your focus area.
It is also important that all team members agree & concur to the significance of the prioritization of issues.
Monitoring & Progress Measurement
Regular progress monitoring & quality checks are important to ensure that you are on the right track.
This can be done through developing some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Quality Checks & a mutually agreed timeline which is not only realistic but also challenging for your team to be at their best.
Some suggested KPIs can be:
- Total Number of Assets identified
- Number of Assets reviewed & updated in Asset Register
- Number of Assets reviewed for criticality
- Number of applicable Generic Work Instructions
- Number of Specific Work Instructions
- Number of Maintenance Plans to be reviewed
- % Optimization of Maintenance Plans including Workload calculations
A staging or test area should be developed to test the results of changes made to the data. To ensure the quality of work, Quality Checks should be employed to examine the deliverables at this stage. For instance, once a team member carried out a review & modification on the Spares for a specific asset, a senior resource can be assigned to check it for completeness & accuracy by simulating the outcome in the staging area.
Regular monitoring of the KPIs & Quality Checks shall ensure that you stay on course. This will also give confidence to your team & the Management that desired results are achievable.
Remember, EAM Data cleansing requires patience & consistent effort. Expect to get surprises along the way as you progress deep in this ‘Stable’. Always be open to new ideas & envision how your EAM Data should look like at the end of this exercise.
The featured image is a mosaic from Roman Spain, 201–250 CE depicting Hercules carrying out the 5thof his 12 Labours; Cleaning the stables of King Augean comprising of over 1,000 different divine cattle producing an enormous amount of dung. The stable had not been cleaned for over 30 years & Hercules was tasked to clean it in one day. Ref: Wikipedia