A good maintenance team always gives the impression they can do it all, from on-demand repairs to preventive tasks. But every department has its limits, and organizations can benefit from bringing in outside help.
An asset management consultant can help ensure you get the most from your maintenance programs and software solutions.
What is an asset management consultant?
By looking at the needs they meet, you can more quickly understand who they are and what they do.
Your maintenance department are experts at keeping critical assets up and running, and because of their direct experience with maintenance management, they can quickly understand the benefits of a properly implemented enterprise asset management (EAM) platform. As soon as they have the right one configured the right way, they can start to leverage your investment into more uptime for less money.
But that doesn’t mean they always have the requisite skills to develop the maintenance software systems and oversee their implementation without outside support. It’s the same as with a team of skilled doctors: even though they know a lot about medicine, they’re not responsible for developing the pharmaceuticals they use to help their patients.
Asset management consultants are asset and facility management professionals who offer a wide variety of services to help organizations at every step, including needs analysis, vetting vendors, implementation, and onboarding. In cases where an organization already has a system in place, consultants can help find ways to fine-tune everything from SOPs to reports.
What are some types of asset consulting services?
Some consultants specialize in specific areas of asset management. For example, there are consultancies that focus solely on ISO 55000. Others provide a wider variety of services, trying to help companies at every step.
Develop and share vision with stakeholders
A consultant can help you develop a clear idea of your goals and the steps you need to take to get there. Importantly, they can also help communicate these goals to stakeholders across the business, which in some cases is a critical skills gap for the maintenance team. Depending on overall SOPs, not just the ones for maintenance, departments might suffer from information silos. A good consultant can come in and make sure the whole company understand the roles and responsibilities of the maintenance department. They ensure everyone understand the value maintenance delivers.
Determine and set up operations and maintenance
It depends where you are in the process. If you’re already married to a software platform, the consultant can help you decide which maintenance strategies to use for your assets, and then help you set up the right schedule for preventive maintenance inspections and tasks in the EAM.
If you’re closer to the start of the digital transformation journey, they can help you find the right platform and vendor. In some cases, you might already have a system but need help deciding if it makes more sense to double down or cut your losses and find another one.
Plan and budget for projects
These are critical aspects of asset management, but also places where some maintenance departments might have less experience. A consultant can help you find the right numbers to track to built a program to determine when to replace assets instead of repairing them. From there, they can help you prepare budgets for larger capital projects.
But planning is never enough. In the end, you also need to sell it to stakeholders across the company. Your asset management consultant can help you build business cases to ensure your projects are funded. Basically, they help the maintenance department show its value to the rest of the organization.
What are asset management consultant best practices?
Ideally, an asset management consultant should be as hands on or hands off as you need them to be. So, that might range from offering helpful advice to taking control of each part of the process.
You also need one who can quickly develop a good working relationship with your EAM provider. Remember, a good provider has its own team of dedicated professionals with a lot of experience implementing software and training staff. You need a consultant who can make sure everyone is pulling in the right direction and that you are getting the most from your provider.
You should never feel like you’re being offered cookie cutter advice. Every business is a bit different, with their own specific goals and challenges, so you need a consultant who can look at your situation carefully and offer tailored advice.
Depending on your needs, you might also need to look for a consultant who is willing to work with you long term. Do they offer to come back periodically to help you fine-tune the programs they helped set up? Are they able to review progress and suggest places to improve, either in terms of technology or training?
To learn more about how asset management consultants can help your organization, sign up for our latest webinar, Easy Fixes for Finish Line Fails, with host Mike Petrusky and his guest asset management consultant Jim Rimer from FM360.
Although maintenance departments are area experts at keeping assets up and running, there are times when they can benefit from outside help, including from asset management consultants. It’s basically the same situation as with doctors: they know a lot about medicine, but there are areas of expertise. Depending on your business’s requirements, a consultant can help with everything from choosing the right EAM to helping the team match the right maintenance strategy to each asset. For example, they can help you examine current gaps, suggest the best solutions, and then help communicate the maintenance department’s vision to the rest of the organization. They can also help set up schedules of inspections and tasks and help set up budgets for both ongoing maintenance as well as capital projects. When looking for an asset management consultant, it’s important to find one that can work closely and well with your EAM provider. Also, you want one who can carefully look at where you are in the process and give you tailored advice and direct help. Because requirements change over time, a good consultant is willing to work with you long term, coming back periodically to review and fine-tune everything from daily SOPs to emergency preparedness programs.