Confucius – the Maintenance Manager Sharing KPIs leads to improvement
Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, taught us an important lesson in regard to cooperation, leadership and growth: ‘Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand’. Confucius died in 479 BC, so this was not about data, KPI insights and asset performance. However, it is well worth to philosophise about this.
With KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you can monitor, analyse and improve the performance of your organisation and your assets. But which KPIs are relevant? What does a certain number mean? And isn't drawing up a good KPI dashboard extremely labour-intensive?
To give an answer to the last question: No, it is actually very simple, provided the Enterprise Asset Management system (EAM) is properly filled. This starts with a solid Asset Register. A complete listing of your physical resources. Relevant information is linked to these assets, including technical characteristics, costs, failures and resolution times. But also, maintenance and inspection plans. This information is processed in the EAM system.
The information we collect in our EAM system – whether this is complete or not – there is value in it, which we are not yet making sufficient use of. We have input from years, without extracting valuable output from it, says Mark Haarman, managing partner of Mainnovation.
– When the EAM system is properly set up, the dashboard is automatically generated. ‘It is almost a matter of 'plug and play' for the existing EAM system.
Back to Confucius. By the way, this is also the man who said: ‘Study the past, if you would define the future’ and 2.500 years later this philosophy is surprisingly applicable. After all, with modern techniques we can study 'the past' well. The insights and knowledge about the current state and performance of the assets, provides tools to be able to define actions for the future.
– By targeting KPIs, we uncover the improvement potential. We measure and monitor, register the required data and we can adjust and improve.
Dashboard for the entire organisation
Mainnovations VDMXL Control Panel (VCP) is a KPI dashboard not only for management, but for the entire maintenance and asset management department. The VCP is built in modern Business Intelligence-software, and it is integrated with the EAM system of the company.
– With data from SAP EAM, IBM Maximo, Infor EAM or Ultimo, the 12 KPIs are calculated and visualized in real time. In addition, the Control Panel contains a separate dashboard for six underlying PIs for each KPI, Haarman notes.
The dashboard can be set up based on personal preferences.
– A planner needs different insights than a mechanic, a maintenance manager or the CFO of a company. With this dashboard, everyone gets the control instruments that are relevant to him or her.
The VCP can therefore be used at all levels of the company. And Confucius has very nicely indicated why this is important. ‘ Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand ’ he says.
When employees understand why results are the way they are, they start thinking about how these results can be improved. So, by actively involving them, by giving them more insight, the technical department changes from a cost center to a business function that continuously adds value to the operating result. We strongly believe this, says Haarman.
Working together on value creation
The dashboard, and all 72 (K)PIs incorporated, is based on Mainnovation's VDMXL methodology. This powerful control philosophy, which is aiming for creating value with good maintenance and asset management, has proven itself worldwide with large and small companies in various industries.
With the valuable management information from the VCP, it is therefore possible to monitor and continuously improve and learn.
The maintenance department thus becomes an improvement engine for the organisation and contributes to value creation.
– This starts with insight and involvement. This leads to ownership and responsibility. Then improving and creating value is no longer a top-down affair, says Haarman.
– The entire organisation is involved. Confucius was thus far ahead of his time. He would have been a very ta-
lented maintenance manager.
Visual inspection is one of the most basic and oldest maintenance interventions. Skilled technicians traverse facilities to identify structural flaws, surface wear and tear, cracks, leakages, corrosion, buckling of welds and other structural members. The main goal of visual inspection is to identify defects that may impede the performance of an asset. After recognizing the flaws, technicians take the initiative to fix them before they worsen and result in asset damage or accidents.
If you haven't considered going digital in your manufacturing operations, it's probably just a matter of time until you do. Since digital technologies are making historic changes across industries, it has become impossible to avoid digital transformation. Organizations have little choice but to evolve and adopt these technologies, or they stand the risk of not surviving the future.