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Enterprise Asset Management

Siloed no more: Why Your Operational Data Should Feed Into Your Capital Projects

When discussing organizational gaps and silos between capital projects and operations, the focus often goes to the projects-to-operations pipeline - delving into the risks associated with loss of information or poor interoperability between the project phase, when a new asset or facility is being built, and the time it goes into operation.  

The operations-to-projects path gets less attention. Yet, there are many situations where capital projects involve existing assets, and organizations need to bring together operational and project data to make better decisions.  

All too often, these situations will mobilize different teams, budgets and fractured asset and project management solutions that are not only poorly integrated, but also not complementary. The result: a lack of visibility and predictability, a lot of manual work, and the inability to reliably optimize investments. In the current context of economic uncertainty and inflation, it leaves organizations vulnerable.  

Let’s take two examples of how a strong operations-to-projects connection can offer direct benefits. 

Example 1: Successfully Implementing Asset Investment Planning Strategies. 

For asset-intensive organizations, Asset Investment Planning (AIP) is emerging as a critical tool to maintain the health, safety and efficiency of their critical assets.  

AIP uses a variety of data points, both on the asset and project side, to plan for the long-term maintenance and/or replacement of their assets and ensure both investments and asset performance are optimized. Lacking this long-term visibility leaves the organization at risk of asset failure, lower uptime and output, and ultimately lower ROI.  

Making the right decision when it comes to repairing, refurbishing or replacing an asset requires comparing the costs, risks and tradeoffs associated with either decision. Among the information that needs to be taken into consideration are the existing asset’s condition performance, reliability, and criticality, which are all tracked in an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) platform, along with project data, such as capital investment plans and resources. 

By bringing these streams of information together, the company can carry out and automate performance analyses, risk analyses and what-if analyses to determine the best course of action within minutes. Based on these analyses, it can create optimized investment plans that maximize asset returns, performance and safety. 

Achieving such an outcome requires highly complementary platforms on the asset and project side, as HxGN EAM and EcoSys are. This complementarity means that the company can easily obtain a complete picture that ties asset management data to project selection and capital planning, allowing for automated analyses and enterprise-wide optimization.  

Example 2: Achieving Better Planning and Execution of Asset Replacements, Plant Overhauls and Shutdowns 

The complementarity between HxGN EAM and EcoSys proves most valuable to plan and execute large-scale changes to an existing plant, in the form of planned shutdowns, plant overhauls or replacement of critical assets. 

These changes, which lie at the intersection of maintenance and new projects, necessitate considerable work and involve significant capital expenses. Effective planning is critical to minimize duration and costly impacts on production, while achieving all desired results. 

It is therefore essential to adopt a multiplex approach that can integrate maintenance projects with new project information, by extracting information such as future investment plans and capital planning request from the facility’s EAM, and feed them into the CapEx management process, along with information about their new projects.  

One of the added benefits for the company is to be able to allocate funds and to have those projects approved in the same place as all the other projects of the company - thereby fostering alignment and communication and breaking down organizational silos. 

During project execution, the integration between HxGN EAM and EcoSys brings visibility to everyone involved, in a period where time is of the essence: automated workflows can, for example, automatically update asset status, while EcoSys can provide real-time project tracking and visualization. 

In the current context of high economic uncertainty and competitive pressures, achieving such visibility and alignment has a direct monetary value. Industrial companies that successfully integrate operational and project data through complementary platforms will capitalize on better investment decisions, better asset ROI and shorter, more productive shutdowns. By contrast, those who struggle with data and platform silos, allow themselves to fly blind. Removing silos by using a single platform for both projects and assets will close the loop from projects to operations to projects and optimize the operational risks under budget constraints.