Asset Management Tools

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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For many contemporary businesses, having the right asset management tools can mean the difference between cost-effective maintenance and wasted resources. As physical assets become more and more complex, the cost of having and managing those assets also rises. This fact became apparent to the commercial aviation industry in 1970, and the resulting studies introduced ideas that would become the basis of modern maintenance practices.

Members of major aircraft manufacturers, the FAA, and the major airlines, all of whom wished to find more reliable, cost-effective maintenance, formed the aviation study groups. Old strategies and asset management tools such as fixed-interval overhauls were not only expensive, but there was no concrete evidence supporting the claims that fixed-interval maintenance strategies made the aircraft any safer or more reliable. The findings of the groups, known as MSGs, were first published in the early 70s, and revised at least once before submitted to the government in 1978.

The report submitted to the government directly affected the way that many asset managers approached maintenance, causing a shift in asset management theory and practice. RCM, as the new approach was called (for Reliability Centered Maintenance), used asset management tools such as FMEAs and RCFAs to determine the causes and effects of failure modes. Under RCM, there has been a general shift in asset management tactics from maintaining the asset to maintaining the function of the asset.

Promoting Modern Asset Management Tools

There are a few companies that are dedicated to promoting RCM by helping businesses implement RCM processes in their maintenance strategies. Usually, the companies will train managers, users, and executives so that they have the proper asset management tools to design new, comprehensive maintenance plans. In many cases, the training also involves periods of on-site consultation as well as software toolkits.

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