Monday, September 10, 2012

You Don't Need an Asset Manager!?!

This week I am attending the Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management (GFMAM) executive meeting in Rio de Janerio Brazil. We are talking about things like the reliability, Asset Management Landscape and the upcoming ISO 55000 standard. One point that has been discussed quite a lot is the concept of an Asset Manager. In the US we are seeing companies and individuals "upscale" their titles from maintenance to reliability to life cycle management and now asset management. The sometimes missed point is that each of these is substantially different from the one before. You could argue that maintenance is a subset of reliability and reliability is a subset of asset management but even if you don't agree with that I would suggest that you might agree the scope of asset management is none the less very broad. If you would like to see GFMAM's asset management landscape which outlines the many elements click on the link above. So based on the breadth of the topic of asset management many of us have come to the conclusion that one person can not acquire the necessary level of knowledge to adequately manage the full scope and will not have the necessary time and focus.
My current understanding affords me the opinion that the best solution is an asset management core team. This team would be made up of an engineering manager, maintenance manager, operations manager, and a financial manager working together. If we use this structure we can cover all of the topics of the asset management landscape with an individual who has the understanding of the core concepts of asset management but also has the specific knowledge of the topics in their area of focus and function.  On the other hand if your organization goes with the stand alone asset manager, by the global definition, the individual will be overwhelmed and could find themselves in conflict with the other managers. By the nature of the job description the AM will play in the other manager's sandbox and at the least create a perception of minimizing their power and influence. 
What are your thoughts? Have you seen the asset management landscape? Do you have an operations or maintenance manager that reports to asset manager?


  1. These are some great point you make and the problem is probably based on the many misconceptions out there on what is included in Asset Management.
    I like you point about the field of Asset Management being wide and challenging for one role to manage all aspects of it, however if we would view the role of an Asset Manager more as a leadership role it would be more appropriate? What do you think?
    Asset Leadership role would be a very focused leadership role focused on leading the functions and processes of Asset Management as a whole.
    I feel that Asset Management/Leadership is needed in a more higher profile, especially within corporations that are asset intensive. The leadership needs to have better knowledge on their revenue creation base, i.e. the Assets themselves, the production equipment.
    If that where in place I believe that asset intensive corporations could be generating a lot greater revenue with more reliable and safer conditions for everyone involved.

  2. Hi Shon,

    A very interesting blog post, I am grateful for you posting this onto linked-in and shall be reading your other posts too!

  3. I have experience in a position as described above. As the branch chief, capital planning and purchasing, maintenance, parts supply, the asset ledger, and property disposal all fell under that position. It worked very well.