Asset management: Is your company the best at managing equipment, parts?

A new survey by Aberdeen Group Inc. measures the value of visibility and provides data that can help manufacturers benchmark their own operations.

By Control Engineering Staff May 16, 2007

Boston, MA–Manufacturing plants with a lot of equipment and spare parts have been investing heavily in asset management and maintenance software over the years. While these investments have measurable returns on investment, the opportunity cost of not having real time visibility to assets on the factory floor is not as well-known. A new survey by Aberdeen Group Inc . measures the value of visibility and provides data that can help manufacturers benchmark their own operations.

To compete effectively, says Aberdeen, it is not enough that manufacturing enterprises have real-time visibility to asset data; they need to incorporate the real time information into the overall business processes to ensure that factories are loaded correctly and optimal spare parts inventory is maintained at each factory. Why?

In one case, a manufacturer faced with increasing spare parts inventory holding cost implemented real time integration across plant floor automation and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems. After initially implementing it at one plant, the company adopted this across the enterprise and realized a one-third reduction in spare parts inventory costs in a matter of months. This resulted in the several million dollars of working capital savings, while meeting asset utilization goals.

By benchmarking over 200 manufacturing enterprises, Aberdeen Group will categorize and analyze those manufacturers which are among the top 20% of performers in weighted average across a range of KPIs (key performance indicators). Engineers and business managers who contribute their company’s perspective will receive a free copy of Aberdeen’s previous benchmark report (“The Enterprise Value of Plant floor Visibility: Empowering Executive Decision Makers”) as well as the EAM report, which encompasses the new data.

“By examining specifically how best in class manufacturers align to the hypothesized PACE framework, Aberdeen will be able to identify the specific strategic actions, business capabilities, and technology enablers that foster best in class performance. Additionally, these insights will allow Aberdeen to correlate these best in class results to “required actions” for manufacturers still aspiring to best in class performance levels,” said Heather DalleTezze, research analyst.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents to previous research cited improving asset utilization as a key strategy for reducing manufacturing costs overall. The key benefits of successful real time asset management are:

• Improved overall equipment effectiveness

• Reduced spare parts inventory holding costs

• Improved on-time delivery.

Are companies that leverage capabilities to integrate business systems with plant floor automation across the value chain in real time better positioned to perform at Best-in-Class levels? Contribute your experience to find out.

—Edited by Renee Robbins , editorial director, Control Engineering Weekly News
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