Public and private organisations invest vast sums of money in assets. These might be infrastructure, utilities, buildings and machinery in sectors such as oil, gas, chemical, utilities, engineering, transport and manufacturing. If you sweat your assets too much they may fail and incur expensive repair and loss of product/ service costs. If your asset is underutilised then capital is tied up unnecessarily. Asset management is not just about maintenance and keeping downtime to a minimum. It is about optimising the performance and minimising the cost of ownership throughout the lifecycle of the asset.

 Any manager will try to avoid an error that could cost the company a penalty fine for not meeting product quality or a service level agreement through poor asset management. But better managers will agree that doing only just enough to keep the company out of trouble with customers or legislators is a rather weak and reactive approach.

There is a better way. The ISO 55000 way, as John Saysell, a director with the MCP Consulting Group, explains.  The ISO 55000 standards are practical tools for the manager who is not satisfied with mere compliance with legislation – which may be perceived as a cost of doing maintenance. They’re for the proactive manager with the breadth of vision to understand that implementing a strategic approach to asset management can deliver a return on investment. Implementing an ISO 55000 based asset management system will give you far more than just confidence that you are complying with legislation.

ISO 55000 is the best known and most credible asset management standard. It shows that a business takes a lot of care when it comes to specifying, purchasing, operating, maintaining and disposing of its assets. Thousands of businesses around the world are looking to this certification, but why?  This article looks at eleven ways in which achieving ISO 55000 certification can benefit a business.

1    Improved chance of winning contracts

Having ISO 55000 certification can go a long way to helping a business to secure partnerships with both the public and private sectors. With public sector tenders, certification to ISO 55000 is a strong signal that a business is well-run and credible, removing the need for extensive due diligence.  Similarly, many private sector organisations may make it a requirement for their suppliers to be certified to ISO 55000.  It signifies that asset management is taken seriously.

2    Consistent, prioritised and auditable risk management

Better understanding and usage of data and information to provide informed and consistent decisions. Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritisation of risks. In ideal risk management, a prioritisation process is followed whereby the risks with the greatest loss (or impact) and the greatest probability of occurring are handled first, and risks with lower probability of occurrence and lower loss are handled in descending order. It will also enhance the reputation of your organisation.

3    Reduced product/service problems

ISO 55000 certified businesses are better prepared to deal with the unexpected. For instance, if a product or service is not up to scratch, there will be processes in place that help to ensure that the problem is dealt with efficiently and does not recur.

4    Better management

Appropriate analysis and reporting is a key factor in running a business well.  The ISO 55000 standard helps businesses to get this right. It also demonstrates compliance.

5    Continuous improvement

Measuring against ‘the right’ KPIs provides the foundation for improvements to be made year on year.

6    Increased consistency in business practices

Implementing the practices required by the standard will offer the type of consistency that benefits everyone, including customers. It ensures that processes within a business are common (instead of departmental silos) and understood, which helps employees be clearer on the tasks involved. No business wants unnecessary paperwork and yet many are burdened by precisely that.  The discipline inherent in the ISO 55000 standard means that business processes should be streamlined.  Regular reviews mean that processes should not go to seed.

7    Enhanced employee satisfaction and job security

Staff enjoy greater job satisfaction and feel more secure about their jobs in a business where processes are well-defined and clearly managed. Greater engagement of the workforce, including leadership, communications and cross-disciplinary teamwork.

8    Lower costs

Achieving and maintaining certification to ISO 55000 may lead to lower insurance premiums. This is because insurers recognise that these businesses have appropriate processes and controls that reduce risks. Improved asset acquisition decisions can also be made. A holistic approach to managing assets can lower the cost of ownership over the asset lifecycle.

9    Alignment and coordination of existing initiatives, including competency development

By applying best practice processes across your business, including training, the ‘knowledge’ evidence and performance evidence of your staff will improve.

10  Improved planning

(especially capital expenditure and at the end of an asset’s life).

Result – overall business improvement

The cumulative effect of the ten individual benefit as outlined above is the overall business improvement and consequently profit. It also demonstrates improved social responsibility of the organisation and makes it more sustainable.

Who should use the standards?

  • Those considering how to improve the realisation of value for their organisation from their asset base
  • Anyone involved in the establishment, implementation, maintenance and improvement of an asset management system
  • Anyone involved in delivering asset management activities including service providers
  • Internal and external parties or stakeholders who assess the organisations’ ability to meet legal, regulatory & contractual requirements & the organisations own requirements

What is in it for individuals?

Enabler for all of us to be able to do a better job
Increased Management awareness of Asset Management
More “transportable” job skills & expertise
More opportunities Develop change management skills