When you first heard the term "best practices," you might have lumped it in with all the other corporate jargon like "synergistic management solutions" and "progressive client-centric processes." But unlike those other examples, following best practices can make a big difference in your job.
Best practices: definition
Think of them as simply "what works best." They're the tried and true best ways to get things done. There are best practices for just about every task in every industry, from trucking to manufacturing, and even managing facilities. And when you drill down, you find there are even best practices for individual asset types.
With fleet, for example, there are best practices for maintaining the vehicles, including things like regular oil changes. And then there are best practices for operating the vehicles. For example, not running red lights and always driving under the speed limit. With facilities management, best practices include replacing older lighting with LEDs and inspecting the HVAC system to make ensure air quality and lower energy use.
Best practices for asset management
In asset management, best practices are important because they keep your equipment running longer at peak efficiency. But it's more than just repairing assets when they break down. Here are some examples of best practices for data that help build efficient workflows.
Clean data capture
At the core of an efficient asset management program is good data. Without it, your whole system is set for failure. That means you need to ensure the data coming in is accurate, that what you have is kept safe and searchable, and that any data that's going out is up to date. Everything needs to be updated in real time so that no one is ever working from stale data.
The easiest way to accomplish all these best practices is with enterprise asset management software backed by cloud computing. As data is entered into the system, it is immediately sent to a common database, where it is backed up and made available across the organization. Everyone is working for the same data and can see any changes as soon as they happen.
Complete data leverage
Once you have the data, you need to put it to good use. This includes using it to:
- Track and control inventory in real time
- Establish and fine-tune preventive maintenance
- Control material and labor costs Again, the easiest way to accomplish these is with the right EAM solution.
Once you have accurate counts for inventory, you can predict when you need to order more based on historical use rates or scheduled maintenance tasks. For the maintenance tasks themselves, you can leverage work order histories to better match your PM schedule to each asset. For example, if the forklift has broken down three times in the last six months, you need to increase the number of scheduled inspections or check its current value against the cost of keeping it running. With the right data, you can quickly make the right repair-or-replace decisions. The right data also helps you create visibility and enforce accountability. By tracking close-out rates and costs per repair, you can clearly see where you're spending your maintenance budget.
Another best practice is to make the data you collect available in real time across the organization. For example, labor costs with HR and inventory costs with the purchasing office.
Follow best practices with EAM software
Best practices are more than just common sense. They are the insights that come from in-depth study and research that might not be apparent at first glance. Using enterprise asset management software allows you to implement those best practices without having to reinventing the wheel.