Every asset failure has a cause. Maybe it was defective from day 1. Maybe a component was stressed beyond its intended specs. Or maybe the asset was used far longer than its intended lifespan, and eventual failure was inevitable.
No matter the many causes of an asset failure, it causes production slowdowns and other problems with workflow and efficiency. Here’s a look at how asset failure can restrict your company’s productivity.
1. Not Tracking Lifespans of Assets
When a company has a high number of asset failures, it indicates a lack of attention to tracking the natural lifespan of its assets. Every individual item in an organization has a limited time period of use.
In accounting, it’s called an asset’s useful life. In product design, the most common term is product lifetime. In the tech world, it’s called end-of-life date. All of these terms describe a known period within which an asset is most reliable and productive. See a diagram of a simple product lifecycle below.
If a company doesn’t track these lifespans, they’ll be constantly caught off guard as assets fail. Software will suddenly need upgrades. Machines will completely break down. The company’s main products and services will be difficult to deliver on time due to workflow interruptions.
2. Missing Preventive Maintenance
Another aspect of this problem is a lack of preventive maintenance, also known as predictive maintenance. Preventive maintenance is a proactive approach to avoiding asset failure. Without it, assets will seem to fail suddenly – but actually, there are many signs of impending failure before it happens.
Preventive maintenance allows time to detect problems and fix them before they become worse. It detects a wide range of maintenance issues including overheating, buckling, creep, wear, breakages, lack of power, erosion, and other glaring indications that assets are over-stressed and approaching failure.
Ideally, a company will have a detailed maintenance schedule that includes organized checks of all assets and their components. Even when an asset isn’t yet showing any signs of wear, routine checks should continue as a preventive measure.
3. Ignoring or Not Tracking TCO
Every company wants to get the best return on investment (ROI) from its assets as possible. Whether it’s a $300 iPad or a $3 million production facility, a company looks for maximum ROI on its expenditure. The simple formula is CapEx + OpEx = TCO. But it can and should get much more complicated than that.
This requires a complex set of objectives that are focused on asset performance and assignment of costs. This is the total cost of ownership (TCO) – the cost of maintaining an asset over its lifetime. From selecting and buying individual assets to investing in long-term maintenance, each decision affects how productive assets can be.
There are also trade-offs involved. You can invest in higher-quality assets and hope for a longer useful life, or you can save money on the initial investment and accept that you might have higher maintenance costs later. Either way, it’s about limiting asset failure and tracking the TCO.
How Stave improves Asset Management
Stave AssetPath allows a company to maintain the best possible productivity by carefully tracking assets, creating a preventive maintenance schedule, and maximizing uptime. It limits asset failure and allows a company to operate more predictably and efficiently.
Over time, it can reduce inventory costs by more than 20% and typically brings benefits equivalent of up to 20% of the total spending portfolio within 3 to 5 years.
Try AssetPath for free in the ServiceNow store.