The overriding benefit we provide to enterprise business as operators of producing plants is production operational continuity—maximum output, greatest efficiency, best product margin.

Too often we get so wrapped up in our technology discussions that we forget the objectives. It’s not all about technology. It is all about using the appropriate technology to help build better businesses that serve customers well.

Editors face another problem writing articles about the industry. Marketing communications professionals delight in lining up interviews with appropriate people in their companies. The person interviewed has a story to tell. But most editors (I guess, I wasn’t one) have the theme and outline of the story already in mind, and they also have limited space. Therefore, they are looking for quotes they can pull out to support their theses, while the actual quote may only be a paragraph gleaned from a 30-45 minute interview.

So, Tim Sowell of Schneider Electric recently talked about an interview:

Basically the editor wanted to understand about “big data” being applied in a particular industry, again it was someone with a technology concept the market is throwing about vs really understanding the business / operational challenge the industry is facing.

But Sowell pointed to his recent theme about business needs:

  • Operational Continuity: Maintaining their producing plants at the maximum output, with greatest efficiency, and best product margin
  • Agility: to supply the market with the correct product at the right quality, and right price and the right time in an every dynamic market
  • Asset Management/ Utilization: This is both fixed, mobile capital assets (non breathing assets, such as plants, trucks, ships) and the human assets (breathing assets).

I have been writing a long white paper focusing on these issues from an interoperable standards point of view. We’re looking especially at the lifecycle of critical assets. These observations from Sowell reflect the trends we’re experiencing.

We find that, as globalization increases, the buying and selling of capital assets increasingly happen, introducing of challenge of  how do incorporate existing systems, automation, and practices into your overall value chain to provide the above “Operational Continuity” and “Agility”. Same when the asset is sold how you disengage it cleanly especially with IP in the products and process. Combine this with the dynamic Human Asset landscape where human assets are moving regularly between plants and locations. Causing on a site not to have the required experience to make decisions, but people are in a role of having to make the decisions. YES the asset world for both capital assets and human assets is shifting form traditional stability in both classes for the last 20 years to one of both dynamic.

He makes a crucial point. The importance of tying lifecycle asset management to operational continuity.

What are you doing with asset management?

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