The Pursuit of Excellence - That was so Yesterday

I recently came across a rather profound statement that got me thinking about the asset management world and how very applicable it is:

Yesterday's Excellence


Today's Standard


Tomorrow's Mediocrity

Wow. This is without question one of the more powerful statements that I can and hope to pass along to folks within the asset management realm.

I find that, as an industry, we are caught within the gravitational pull of legacy. We've done it this way for X number of years and it's worked, why should we change things? Just because you've done something well in the past doesn't mean that it's going to be a gateway to the future. Given the exponential change that is happening in our world, why should asset management be devoid of improvement?

When you've reached a certain level of excellence, many times organizations become comfortable, and ultimately, stagnant. The level and comfort of complacency sets in and opportunities are missed.

Have you implemented any of the more famous maintenance methodologies? FMEA? RCM? RCM2? TPM? Are you focusing on predictive maintenance activities? Do you know when your equipment is going to fail? Do you chart out your OEE (overall equipment effectiveness)? I ask all of these rhetorical questions not to suggest that you need to do all of these things or any of them for that matter - more to point out that even if you are utilizing the asset management tools mentioned, there is still opportunity to improve. As an organization you need to consider all of the available tools and technology available within your sphere of operation, ALWAYS. Any opportunities that you find need to be effectively and clearly identified and prioritized as they pertain to your overall business goals.

With this mindset, I'm not suggesting you test the water with both feet. You need to maintain the day to day but explore within your area of influence how to leave things just a little bit better than you found them. It's a hard concept to accept - assets age and deteriorate - we know that. But this is more about the process surrounding that asset - you want to make the 'best life' for it, give it the care and attention it needs and ensure it's purpose is being met. A great example I can think of is thermography. This technology didn't exist until the 50's (sure it dates back to 400 BC when Hippocrates would rub some mud on the body and see what dried first) - it's application for the tracking of troop movements being a significant benefit to armies around the world. Fast forward to today - thermography is used for many different things and condition monitoring being one of the more important advances within the field of asset management. Detect roof leak locations, facade problems, window gasket failures, motor bearing issues, panel board breaker problems. Point being, the technology is there and has proven to save thousands of dollars in a multitude of different ways.

So as the new years starts, ask yourself the important question - are you going to live in yesterday's excellence or strive towards a goal of continual process improvement?