However, organizations as a whole usually don’t care about standards, at least not at first, continues Goly. “When talk of a new standard begins, some will say it’s a good idea,” he explains. “Managers will attend conferences or read papers about it and decide that it’s worth pursuing further. That’s how it usually happens. I’ll ask mining companies if they’ve heard of the asset management standards. Some have heard of PAS 55, but few have heard about ISO 55000, except perhaps the largest and most progressive mining companies like those in South Africa or Australia. But, the others quickly become intrigued because they are very asset-intensive industries.”
A small mining expansion project can cost $1 billion. “You can see why it is important to manage assets in the right way,” says Goly. “We’re talking about really big money.”
Compliance within reach
Organizations that have already invested time and financial resources in asset management best practices and software tools will be best positioned for compliance.
“No clients have asked me about the ISO standard yet, and, when I ask them about it, they seem like it’s a distant concept that they are not going to worry about,” says 24/7’s Pardue. “However, we have several clients that already have best practice asset reliability programs. They are already following certain ISO 55000 recommendations and profiting from the operational advantages; they just don’t know it yet.”
Siemens’ Goly agrees. “Although the standard is brand new, I believe that some companies are almost ready to be certified,” he says. “For example, those that use ISO 9000 and other management standards and good practices will find it relatively easy to implement and become compliant with ISO 55000. It could take them just a few months, maybe six or 12 months, to be fully compliant.”
On the other hand, if a large corporation is in its infancy stage in terms of implementing any asset management practices, then it will take a long time. “I’ve seen some companies take 18 months to two years to implement PAS 55,” says Goly.
Software as facilitator
Asset management, condition-based maintenance, and enterprise resource planning systems are among the targets of ISO 55000 because they facilitate compliance (Figure 1). “The software provides the basic tools for standardization, integration, communication, accountability, and metrics in an operating facility,” says 24/7’s Pardue. “A plant cannot do asset management without addressing these basic concerns. Once they have these basics, the plant can implement programs such as condition-based maintenance, serialized tracking, repair tracking, and critical spares management.”
Well-developed asset management systems support key standards criteria, such as the ability to:
- capture consistent and traceable electronic records of an organization’s equipment and facility assets throughout their lifecycles
- provide ready visibility into an asset’s current condition, maintenance history, warranties, and other supporting documents
- streamline the performance and tracking of inspections, tests, and predictive, preventive, and corrective maintenance
- enable the monitoring and measurement of key performance indicators
- support root cause failure analysis and opportunities for continuous improvement.
“Software systems complement the ISO 55000 standard and create value for the organization and its shareholders,” says Iluka’s Heinsius. “For example, we use SAP’s enterprise asset management (EAM) system and the Tango reliability information management system. We can see the health of our assets at any point in time. In fact, everything our operators and field technicians need to know about our most critical assets is available from a smartphone. They can identify trends that lead to failure, drill into the root causes of the failure, take steps to eliminate those issues enterprise-wide, and benefit from less unplanned and break-in work.”
By improving asset reliability, maintenance productivity, and operational performance, the software tools enable an organization’s risk avoidance and value objectives (Figures 2-4). “Gathering, tracking, and leveraging asset information with EAM/CMMS software or reliability information management software enables less emergency work, longer mean times between failure, and improved vendor management,” adds Pardue.
Compliance vs. certification
Some companies will become compliant with the standard and reap its benefits, and yet not follow through with actual certification. Other companies may achieve compliance in certain areas of the organization and not others.
“I would encourage every asset-intensive company to implement ISO 55000 processes, but I don’t think that you have to have certification,” says Siemens’ Goly. “I would say that certification is the icing on the cake, but from my perspective the most important thing is to implement ISO 55000-based processes and follow them.”
Siemens is a good example. “Siemens is compliant with some PAS 55 processes, and yet there was never any intention of becoming certified compliant,” says Goly. “Certain parts of Siemens, particularly the production facilities, may become compliant or even certified with ISO 55000’s recommendations, but otherwise I do not believe that most of the offices will seek to do so.”
Top-down pressure could ultimately lead to an organization’s certification, and being already compliant will simplify the task. “The demand for certification may grow stronger when Wall Street and the shareholders get involved,” explains Goly. “At that point, you’ll need to prove that you follow ISO 55000, which means you’ll need to be audited and certified.”
For those who are new to ISO 55000 and prone to the eventual queries, Goly believes you must first read and become familiar with the ISO 55000 standard, all three parts, and think about the ways that you can benefit from the standard. What value will it deliver? How will it help you to manage operational risks? Because the standard is specifically designed to create value, the learning process will fuel the motivation to justify, seek, and achieve compliance.