Extracting value from assets

Many of those surveyed revealed that they faced specific challenges around knowing how to use technology to better manage assets, realise efficiencies and minimise waste. So how can organisations extract value from the digital revolution and change the way they do business?

Digital Asset Management has a key role to play. It involves the use of data and technology to reduce costs, control risks and improve whole life asset performance. There are four key dynamics that create opportunities for infrastructure organisations.

The information gap between the design/construction of assets and the maintenance/operations of assets is closing.

Driven by data standards, BIM, and software applications used in different phase of the asset life-cycle, the disconnect between information in pre-construction and post-construction is evaporating.

Over the life of the asset, most asset owners spend only 20% on design and construction, and the remaining 80% on operations and maintenance. However, historically the information developed during design and construction is not fully utilised to optimise the maintenance and operation of the asset. This is changing, and will drive significant efficiencies in the operations and maintenance of assets, as well as inform the future design.

For example, nameplate data and other “as-built” details for a building can now be captured electronically in the construction phase, and made available for maintenance purposes. Having access to digital blueprints means that before undertaking any major maintenance, contractors can know the details about critical systems such as heating ventilation, and can see what’s behind the walls.

The rise of the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence will drive significant efficiencies in the maintenance and operation of physical assets, as well as opportunities for new business models.

The proliferation of data available from sensor, mobile devices and other sources is growing exponentially, is readily accessible via the Internet of Things, and is made intelligible and useful through advances in Artificial Intelligence.

Mining intelligence from new data sources can improve performance and reduce costs and risks associated with operating and maintaining assets. The availability of this data can also be used to drive new value from assets. Common examples are Uber and Airbnb, both of which drive additional value from common assets (cars and homes) using new business models.

Most asset owners are still grappling with the basics such as what assets they actually have and what condition they are in.

Optimised business processes, supported by a proper implementation of an Enterprise Asset Management system, are essential to drive value from new technologies like the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, or to more fully leverage information available from design and construction. In addition, the right processes supported by a functional system will help drive cost efficiencies and performance outputs. By having such a system, asset owners can easily identify the assets they have and their condition. This allows them to prioritise investment in maintenance, when it happens and who will do it.

Asset owners are under immense pressure to increase asset performance and reduce asset investment. They are increasingly looking to decision support tools to help optimiseinvestment decisions.

The cost of operating and maintaining infrastructure and other assets often far exceeds available funding. Therefore, asset owners need a mechanism to make trade-off decisions about where they invest their limited funding, and to justify the need for additional funds to support. Big data and analytics capabilities now enable such organisations to use decision support tools and trade-off analysis to see where they can optimise returns.

A good example is the owners of rolling stock, who have historically overhauled entire trains whether required or not, rather than having visibility of the state of each component, allowing a targeted approach to maintenance.