Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Data Quality


Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) refers to the entire life cycle management of an organization's physical assets. To achieve operational excellence, an organization must optimize all aspects of EAM, including maintenance planning and execution inventory management for spare parts, tracking of physical assets, and commissioning of capital projects.

Utopia's mission is to deliver software and services that ensure high-quality asset master data that support the full lifecycle of EAM activities.

Does your asset data matter? 

Asset data quality has a direct impact on:

  • Capital project information handover – An extensive survey of asset-intensive industries by ARC Advisory Group suggests that inaccurate, incomplete capital project information handover can add up to 1% to an organization’s overall capital project costs. These inefficiencies result in increased start-up costs, reduced asset availability, and improved environmental health and safety risks.
  • Spare parts inventory (MRO) – Without accurate maintenance bills of material linking production equipment with required maintenance spares, organizations have no ready means of identifying the spare parts required for major repair activities. Without accurate repair parts forecasting, MRO Supply Chain costs can quickly balloon as maintenance teams mitigate risks by stockpiling repair parts for all contingencies. 
  • Asset availability (OEE) - The primary purpose of all preventive maintenance and inspection activities is to minimize the risk of unplanned asset downtime.  Accurate maintenance plans and task lists (i.e., asset master data) form the basis for well-coordinated preventive maintenance and inspection tasks. 
  • Shutdowns, turnarounds, and outages (STO) - Successful shutdown, turnaround, or outage planning involves the precise choreography of thousands of maintenance, repair, and capital project activities within tightly constrained physical and calendar boundaries. To successfully organize the fundamental skills, tasks, and materials required, STO planners must have precise knowledge of the as-built assets being maintained.
  • Maintenance productivity – A detailed study of maintenance workers in North America conducted by EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute), found that maintenance workers, on average, can perform sufficient work for only 40% of their workday. The most significant single impediment to their ‘effective wrench-time’ was the time lost in looking for the information and materials required to do their job. 
  • Regulatory compliance – Asset master data quality regulations vary among industries and countries. However, all asset-intensive industries have some small percentage of their assets that are deemed safety-critical or business-critical. Failure of these critical assets can cause damage to property, injury to workers, or loss of business. Common sense, if not government regulation, mandates that an organization has a sound, auditable, working knowledge of the as-built condition, as well as the maintenance and inspection plans for these critical assets. 
  • Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) risk reduction – At the heart of any successful EH&S risk management program, you will find competent, hard-working professionals making critical decisions based upon the information available to them. Accurate, complete as-built asset information is a cornerstone of any EH&S risk management activity, to prevent wrong choices being made upon bad data. 

Who ‘Owns’ the Asset Master Data In Today’s Asset-Intensive IndustryOperations? Engineering? Maintenance?

Unfortunately, the answer is an emphatic Yes! The responsibility for critical elements of asset master data resides in each of these organizations. 

As a result, the automation systems supporting these organizations each contain essential elements of asset master data that are critical for safe and efficient operations and maintenance of this complex infrastructure. These asset master data systems of record frequently include: 

  • Plant Maintenance System
  • Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Engineering Design System
  • Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition System (SCADA)
  • Enterprise Content Management System (ECM)

The ensured ability of the Operations, Maintenance, and Engineering organizations to operate with a shared understanding of the operational assets of the organization is a foundational component in any initiative to:

  • Reduce EH&S risks
  • Improve operational integrity
  • Increase maintenance productivity
  • Reduce MRO supply chain costs
  • Improve asset availability and system uptime
  • Ensure regulatory compliance

Despite the apparent importance of accurate asset master data, Operations and Maintenance executives rank ‘inaccurate asset master data’ among their Top 5 business problems in survey after survey. As we examine the reasons why this urgent issue has not been addressed, we find three major complicating factors.  

  1. Multiple systems-of-record – Aspects of asset master data are ‘owned’ by various organizations in an operational organization, including Engineering, Maintenance, Operations, Reliability, and Operational Readiness. Therefore, synchronization of the as-built asset information among the supporting systems-of-record is a fundamental requirement for safe, efficient operation. 
  2. Continually changing assets – Changes occur daily to critical aspects of an organization’s operational assets. Safety-critical and business-critical assets are modified as a result of new asset deployments, routine maintenance, outages, and brownfield capital projects.  If the as-built asset master data is not governed so that the asset master data is changed to reflect the as-built field changes, the master data inevitably becomes less accurate over time. 
  3. Structured and unstructured data – In real-world operations and maintenance organizations, the asset master data resides in an inconvenient mix of structured and unstructured data. For instance, a piece of single equipment may be represented in structured data in the engineering, maintenance, and operations environments with records describing the location, connectivity, and performance characteristics as well as the maintenance plans and bills of material. The same equipment may be represented in the corporate content management system in documents describing equipment operating procedures and warranties. Therefore, synchronization of these structured and unstructured as-built asset information sources is also a requirement for safe, efficient asset operation. 

As organizations contemplate digitization initiatives to achieve an integrated digital core, the importance of achieving consistent, accurate information about safety critical assets takes on new urgency knowing that this complex information will form the basis for broader, faster corporate analysis and decisions.