From chaos to clockwork: The Drive to Peak – Route 2 Physical assets

Paul Boughton

Over the next few weeks you are invited to join Roald Rodseth on the Drive to achieve Peak performance

Physical assets abound. No matter where you look or go, you are confronted by them. Roads, bridges, buildings, manufacturing plant and machines are everywhere.

They exist in order to perform needed functions and are crucial to the very survival and success of the owners who called them into existence. They will make or break the business or organisation that they are serving.

So, the name of the game is that these assets must perform. For an enterprise which has a profit motive, asset performance directly affects its profitability and thus its ability to generate wealth. In the case of a not for profit organisation, asset performance plays just as significant a role. (Fig. 1).

The overriding challenge for anyone involved in asset management is thus to ensure that physical assets perform at Peak performance levels. The process needs to start with a clear picture of what is required of these assets. This is the focus of Route 2. In simple terms Peak performance for a physical asset is defined as (Fig. 2): 

'… do its job'. This refers to the assets’ designed function and to the reason for its existence …

'… for as long as possible'. The asset should deliver its function without interruptions over its life. This life is referred to as its life cycle. Many factors influence the life cycle and these range from its design and construction to the manner in which it is operated. 

'… at the lowest possible cost'. This requirement sets the focus firmly on profitability. The real challenge is to ensure functionality over time at minimum cost.

A machine that achieves the above state is one that is operating at Peak performance levels. This is a machine that is running like ‘clockwork’.

The Drive to Peak starts with a clear understanding of what is required of physical assets. This has been established on this route and the next part of the challenge is to know what to do in order to achieve these levels on a sustained basis. The next routes will continue to discuss these matters. 

In summary, the objective is to ensure that assets ‘function without failure’. A daunting challenge, but one that has to be taken up.

Route 3 – The Platform: The next discussion will develop the idea that the asset management function could be understood to be a platform which supports the enterprise.

Roald Rodseth is Managing Director, Radiant Operations International (Pty) Ltd in conjunction with DesSoft

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