The Impact of a Poor Quality Asset Hierarchy on Maintenance, Reliability and Operations

Companies need to reorganize their CMMS and EAM Asset Hierarchies for many reasons. Sometimes assets have been organized differently at different sites or locations. This makes it difficult to standardize engineering, maintenance, and operations across multiple facilities. It also makes it difficult to create financial comparisons. Sometimes the systems were set up incorrectly or data was migrated from legacy solutions lacking a hierarchy. Often CMMS and EAM systems were set up with a flat list of equipment. Sometimes locations were created as equipment or equipment was created as a location preventing the effective use of the CMMS or EAM solution. Sometimes there was no agreement or understanding of the concept of the lowest maintainable item. Equipment might be better added as a material spare. There might be too much unnecessary information or maintainable items might be missing. All of this prevents the effective use of the EAM or CMMS solution.

Impact on Maintenance

  • Difficulty planning and scheduling work
  • Difficulty tracking rotating equipment
  • Difficulty implementing IIOT and condition monitoring
  • Difficulty finding and ordering the right parts

Impact on Reliability

  • Difficulty collecting and sharing reliability data for equipment
  • Difficulty implementing FMEA and RCM
  • Difficulty conforming to industry standards like ISO 14224 for oil and gas or RDS-PP or KKS for power generation
  • No way to ensure that the same amount of data is collected for similar equipment
  • Inconsistent practices across sites and business units

Impact on Operations

  • Difficulty implementing Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
  • Difficulty establishing consistency and best practices across multiple sites
  • Difficulty optimizing the supply chain across multiple sites
  • Difficulty comparing facilities when assets are organized differently

Impact on Engineering

  • Difficulty managing the engineering and design cycle across multiple facilities
  • Difficulty tracking versions across multiple facilities
  • Difficulty collecting the information needed to make design and engineering improvements

Why is it so hard to improve your poor quality asset hierarchy? The obvious reason is that it’s very labour intensive to make improvements to a poor quality asset hierarchy in the EAM or CMMS system itself. The same is true of exporting into spreadsheets and reimporting into the EAM and CMMS system. It takes a prohibitive amount of time to make these changes and most companies simply don’t have the resources to do the work. Hiring contractors is one possible solution – but without productivity tools this is also too expensive. In addition, it’s hard to supervise their work and validate the data prior to putting it into production. It’s also important to establish clear corporate policies and standards for the asset hierarchy. Preferably standards based on industry standards like ISO 14224 or RDS-PP or KKS. This also requires experience and an understanding of the standards that your organization may not have.