New way to manage assets for the long, medium and short term

Asset intensive companies are under greater pressure than ever, both to do more with less and to meet increasingly strict regulatory requirements. Attaining the ISO 55001 standard and being able to demonstrate they’ve done so has presented companies with a range of challenges.

“Companies these days have three key stakeholders when it comes to managing assets,” says Boudewijn Neijens, chief marketing officer of Copperleaf, a leading provider of decision analytics for companies that manage critical infrastructure. “First, they have to prove to shareholders and investors that their money is being well spent.”

Second, he points out, companies have to demonstrate to their insurance providers they’re managing their risk effectively and adequately protecting the assets that these providers are insuring. The third audience consists of regulators.

“They’re obviously concerned about safety but in many areas, such as utilities, they need to be satisfied that investment in the sustainment of assets is cost effective and can be justified so customers, who are ultimately footing the bill, are getting value for money.”

Customers tell us that with C55 they’re seeing quick gains

Generally, where assets degrade and wear out, they work less efficiently, are at risk of failing, and the value they deliver to the organisation diminishes accordingly. Therefore those managing them need to have constant, accurate visibility so they can make timely intervention decisions and ensure they get the best return on their investment.

It’s to meet these varied and growing demands, and to implement asset investment planning and management effectively, a best-practice approach used by asset-intensive organisations to improve decision-making and investment planning processes, that a growing number of companies are turning to C55, a decision-analytics solution created by Copperleaf.

C55 helps companies to attain and enforce ISO 55001 by enabling them to manage optimally the competing needs of hundreds, if not thousands, of projects pertaining to millions of assets. Managers can compare outcomes depending on which of these projects get the go-ahead, are postponed or rejected altogether and they can explore different combinations of actions.

“C55 enables asset managers to make better-informed decisions on three time scales,” says Mr Neijens. “In the long term, it uses predictive analytics to indicate when each asset will reach its end of economic life and need to be refurbished or replaced.”

Copperleaf calls this bottom-up management and is the foundation for robust asset management plans. In the mid term, considerations are often top-down as managers look to allocate scarce resources across projects optimally. In this case, C55 can help managers to consider the competing demands of project teams, who have responsibility for an asset class, for instance, and individual projects.

“The third timeline is the execution phase,” says Mr Neijens. “This is when project performances have to be managed and when things can go wrong. We’ve designed C55 so managers can respond to problems and unexpected incidents, and still deliver the highest possible value.”

As well as enabling clients, who include Anglian Water, Hydro-Québec, Tennessee Valley Authority and other utilities, to manage their assets cost effectively and to the highest standards, C55 also allows them to do so demonstrably.

“You can prove to insurers, for instance, that you’re minimising your risk and this can reduce your premiums,” says Mr Neijens. “Customers tell us that with C55 they’re seeing quick gains that can pay off their investment in the system within a year – and that keeps all their stakeholders happy.”

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