How to Leverage Your Asset Performance Management Process to Lower Your TCO

June 12, 2018

Consider for a moment just how effective your plant’s asset performance management process actually is. Detailed rules and streamlined asset management procedures will not only lower your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), but also improve plant safety for each employee. Organizing—and enforcing—your procedures isn’t always easy, though.

Even the most experienced manager may struggle to implement efficient, easy-to-follow processes. As a Plant Operations Manager, your job is particularly rigorous. You juggle hundreds of different tasks—and constant communication with multiple Field Operators—every single day. Your plant’s TCO can quickly begin to skyrocket without impeccable performance management systems in place.

Whether you’re struggling to collect and analyze data from the field or you simply want to make the most out of your Field Operators’ valuable time, there is a solution. Here are three easy steps that you can take right now to improve your asset performance management process—and lower your company’s TCO.

How to Leverage Your Asset Performance Management Process in 3 Steps

The asset performance management process involves a diverse ecosystem of software, applications, assets, and other tools designed to make daily plant operations as seamless and profitable as possible. Each plant’s process is bound to be unique and custom-made based on your industry’s particular requirements.managing plant asset performance

Regardless of industry, though, there are a few things asset performance management should aim to accomplish:

  • Prevent unexpected plant downtime
  • Minimize maintenance costs
  • Create a safe environment for employees.

To ensure that your asset performance management process supports each of these complex needs at the lowest TCO possible, follow these three simple steps:

  1. Improve your data collection process.
  2. Use frequent asset maintenance to prevent unexpected downtime.
  3. Collect digital data to find a cost-effective warranty for your assets.

Step 1: Improve Your Asset Performance Management Process via Data Collection

Although the digital age has brought about some significant advances in the asset performance management process, about 40 percent of all process data is still collected manually on paper. This is a major problem for Plant Operations Managers—not to mention for their plant’s TCO.

When you collect data from the field on a piece of paper, this information is essentially stranded until the Field Operator can make it back to the control room to update the team with the latest readings. What’s worse, if something happens to that piece of paper from the time the data is collected in the field to the moment the numbers or readings are analyzed, you could lose essential information, possibly resulting in an eventual system failure. Closing this data collection loop should be your top priority as a Plant Operations Manager.

Switching to mobile software data collection will lower your TCO by:

  • Making the most out of your Field Operators’ time: Field Operators are among the hardest working employees in any plant. They’re required to make frequent rounds to keep essential assets like pumps and motors running smoothly. A software-driven asset performance management process allows them to record readings quickly, saving hours of time a week.
  • Eliminating the cost of manual data input: You won’t have to pay your Operators to perform unnecessary tasks, hire additional staff to file and organize paperwork, or transcribe from paper to yet another spreadsheet.
  • Ensuring that every piece of data is recorded: You’ll never lose data due to missing paperwork or poor filing systems or error-prone transcribing. Having accurate digital historical data records empowers you to catch potential asset problems early—before they result in unexpected downtime.

Making the switch from manual data collection to a digital collection process could have a positive impact on your bottom line, potentially resulting in a significant decrease in your plant’s TCO.

Step 2: Prevent Unexpected Downtime with Streamlined Performance Management

Asset downtime is one of a Plant Operations Manager’s worst nightmares. When an asset fails, it has significant repercussions for the entire company. You may have to shut the entire plant down temporarily until you’re able to repair the asset, especially if there are safety issues involved (such as when a critical pump fails in a power station).

And, some assets get more expensive to repair the longer you wait. A motor may only require a minor $1,000 in standard maintenance, but if you fail to identify and make the repair, the motor may become even more damaged over time. That initial $1,000 repair could easily become a $60,000 motor replacement.

Your performance management process plays a huge role in asset failure prevention.

How can you prevent this from happening to your own plant? Your performance management process plays a huge role in asset failure prevention. Think of it as your first line of defense against plant downtime. While you can’t guarantee that an asset will never fail, you can identify potential problems more quickly and take immediate action before they get out of control.

You can reduce the likelihood of unexpected downtime (and consequently increased TCO) by:

  • Using software to track the health of your assets: With digital data records, you’re more likely to catch early signs of problems before they result in complete asset failure. By comparison, inputting and analyzing data on paper takes much longer, which increases the risk of unexpected downtime.
  • Receiving important actionable data immediately: With mobile data, your Field Operators no longer hold onto vital information until they can reach a control room. This makes it easier to quickly flag an asset, diagnose the problem, and take action before it impacts the entire system.
  • Performing frequent maintenance checks on assets: Maintenance costs are much lower than replacement costs. Catching potential problems early using thorough digital data collection prevents you from having to replace an expensive piece of equipment unnecessarily.

By using digital data collection to your advantage, you can help prevent unexpected downtime, which, in turn, could lower your plant’s TCO in the future.

Step 3: Use Digital Asset Performance Data to Analyze Manufacturer Warranties

One final way that you can use your asset performance management process to lower TCO is by leveraging lower maintenance costs to find an asset warranty that’s more cost-effective. Now that your maintenance costs are lower and you’re experiencing less downtime, you won’t have to pay for extensive warranties that you’ll never have to use. Reliable and consistent asset performance allows you to choose a manufacturer warranty that covers normal wear and tear in the equipment without paying for extended coverage.

How to Refine Your Asset Performance Management Process

By refining the process of your asset performance management via highly efficient digital data collection techniques, you’ll have the tools to capitalize on your Field Operators’ valuable time, be less likely to experience asset downtime, and make more informed decisions about warranty coverage for your equipment.

These three factors combined could significantly lower your plant’s TCO, allowing you to put those saved funds toward other needed improvements—or perhaps even a future plant expansion. Management methods inevitably have a major impact on your bottom line. By making these simple changes now, you’ll set yourself up for greater success in the future.

Request a demo of our GoPlant digital operator rounds system today. After you sign up, our experts will talk you through industry-specific features, allowing you to experience for yourself how quick and easy it is to convert your operator rounds forms into the GoPlant software system.

The GoPlant system reduces plant downtime and improves the health of your assets without requiring any previous programming experience or knowledge from your team. Our system can help you improve your asset performance management process through simple, efficient data entry software that streamlines the entire data collection process. Get in touch with our team today.

Image courtesy Unsplash user American Public Power Association