Lifecycle asset management is quickly becoming a mantra in asset dependent industries, with the asset management system (AMS) itself a cornerstone of the effort. Implemented strategically, the asset management system can yield plenty of benefits, including effective resource allocation. But improved safety has to rank high on the list. The question remains, though: how to get safety benefits from your asset management system?
What are the safety benefits of an asset management system?
The typical read on the asset management system is that it gives companies a common language and frame of reference (in the form of documentation of key processes and procedures) as they work on infrastructural problems.
Those problems are likely to grow across diverse supply chains, where they are amplified. After all, our modern supply chains have an unfortunate tendency to reduce visibility and create siloes. That only exacerbates safety risk.
Breaking down those siloes is one of the goals of the asset management system. Done right, it helps companies better gauge their safety risk.
From there, senior stakeholders can make structured, asset-related decisions, balancing factors like performance, risk, and cost. Those decisions, then, inspire confidence in your stakeholders.
Ensuring your asset management system is optimised for safety
Of course, everything hinges on getting the asset management system right in the first place. And that’s no mean feat, especially if your asset management program took a back seat to generalised crisis response during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Standards on the market, however, will help companies get over that crucial hump. International standard, ISO 55001, in particular, specifies requirements for a best-practice asset management system. It’s applicable to all asset types, in organisations of all shapes and sizes, in all markets. So, what do you need to know?
Well, if your company once implemented PAS55: 2008, it has a head start. Similar in approach to ISO 55001, the specification provides detailed guidance and best practices in all facets of physical asset management, through the entire lifecycle of physical assets.
Despite the similarities, the value you’d get from ISO 55001 is still enormous – doubly so if you are looking for a system to manage non-physical assets. What is it: ISO standards make use of the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, which helps ensure continuous improvement.
Implementing ISO 55001: the asset management system requirement
Getting to the heart of ISO 55001: the asset management system standard is flexible by design – not one size fits all. Its requirements are generic. Which means application is up to an individual organisation’s own operating environment.
How to implement? First things first: determine external and internal issues that might affect your ability to achieve intended outcome(s) for the asset management system. Document those objectives in your strategic asset management plan (SAMP). And ensure that that SAMP aligns with larger organisational safety objectives.
A final matter: ISO 55001 places the onus squarely on your company to understand and document its needs and the expectations of its stakeholders. In practical terms, your Asset team should come up with the following:
- List of stakeholders relevant to the asset management system
- The requirements and expectations those stakeholders have
- Criteria for asset management decision making going forward
- Stakeholder requirements for recording and reporting the financial and non-financial information that’s relevant to asset management
That team must also determine the full scope and applicability of the asset management system, where it interacts with other systems (safety management and otherwise). The scope of the system should be aligned with the SAMP and existing asset management policy.
So, what do the remaining clauses say? Download our Guide to Understanding ISO 55001 to find out: