2 min read
The Manufacturing Stream Podcast Debuts
The Manufacturing Stream Podcast, hosted by Eric Whitley and Phil Anderson from Autoliv, is a valuable resource for...
February 03, 2022
Estimated read time: 11 minutes
Countless generations have been fascinated by daydreams of the future. For manufacturers, those daydreams were never about flying cars or robot butlers — it was all about speed, efficiency and optimization (and if the cars just so happened to fly, well, we weren’t complaining).
Now that, in many ways, technology is catching up with our aspirations, manufacturers are left to figure out how to best utilize it to realize meaningful improvements today, and to pave the way toward success in the near future.
For many of us, this means reexamining the processes that still feel like relics of the past — like managing our assets. The existing approaches have good bones, sure — but the truth is that a new kind of enterprise asset management solution is needed for today’s factories, and certainly for the factory of the future.
Here’s how to reach out and grab tomorrow by the horns with a little help from modern EAM software.
Before looking toward the future, let’s take a moment to appreciate where we are right now.
Not that long ago, enterprise asset management looked a lot like spreadsheets and manual processes — because that’s exactly what it was. In fact, for some manufacturers, that’s still the case. Others are lucky — or perhaps savvy — enough to utilize a modern EAM system for all their asset needs, from reactive and planned maintenance management to predictive.
The key difference, of course, is technology. When systems talk to each other, asset data can flow and be visible when it’s needed. Key metrics then become much more accessible and everyone on the factory floor has a clearer view of the entire operation, and where the biggest opportunities exist for improvement. Yes, manual processes had their place — but now human effort is saved for bigger, more intricate or innovative tasks, while automation and digitization do the rest.
Tech tools make enterprise asset management easier, faster and more accurate than ever. Let’s see what that really looks like:
You may not have a crystal ball to tell you when your physical assets will fail, but modern EAM software does. That’s right: This enterprise asset management solution can help predict potential asset performance issues and direct your teams to the preventive maintenance tasks that will keep downtime at a minimum. With this digitized maintenance management approach, you can perform asset maintenance proactively, which means you don’t have to worry about little problems becoming huge disasters.
And how is this possible, you ask? The answer is simple: technology. Modern EAM software allows you to capture asset data from across the plant floor, creating a rich, comprehensive view of your physical assets. With this information, you’ll have a clearer picture of what’s actually happening in your factory — and your modern EAM software will be able to track asset reliability, asset utilization, the full asset lifecycle and even abnormalities in asset performance.
Of course, enterprise asset management isn’t just about predicting what your physical assets will need in the near future. It’s also about giving you valuable insight into what’s currently going on — which is where spare parts inventory management stands to benefit.
Modern EAM software gives you the visibility you need to optimize your spares stock, even when supply chain issues make raw materials and spare parts play hard-to-get. You’ll have at-a-glance insight into what parts are available in inventory, what’s been ordered along with projected arrival dates, and the ability to quickly order parts that are needed. This allows for informed decisions based on the most up-to-date timelines and availability.
Speaking of data — can you honestly say yours is well-behaved?
Chances are, the answer is no. Data, especially asset information, has a nasty habit of being inaccurate, difficult to capture and even more frustrating to access. Luckily, modern EAM software saves the day once again — this time by providing centralized asset data storage. When asset performance, preventive maintenance, inventory and other key elements are all tracked by a single system and their data is funneled into one central hub, you’ve overcome an important data access challenge, you’re bringing disparate details together to create a more complete view of the truth. You can even access that data from a mobile device — which means workers can stay constantly informed on the job, at the site of the fix, instead of pausing tasks to review or track down key information.
This mobility, transparency and accessibility is enabled by — you guessed it — technology. This time, it’s automated data capture and a digitized workspace that give modern EAM software its power, allowing you to share asset data as quickly and easily as you share thoughts.
If we’ve learned one thing here, it’s that technology has paved the way for evolution up until this point. So now that we have all the high-tech gadgets at our disposal, what will be our “guiding light” tomorrow?
If you’ve been obsessing over all the right tech for your factory, take a deep breath and relax those muscles. Technology is easily accessible these days, which means it’ll be there whenever you need it — no rushing required.
That means the future of enterprise asset management will be driven by something else: consumer needs.
What does that look like for manufacturers? Let’s break it down:
Reactive: When you’re “tech obsessed,” you’re evolving in response to upgrades. You don’t have the freedom to think ahead because you’re focused on implementing the latest gadgets for every maintenance task or asset performance management need — even if they’re not really the best fit. (Hint: IT teams, you can help avoid this by making sure you’re part of the conversation.) This creates a reactive response — you go wherever the tech takes you.
Proactive: When you’re confident in your EAM software and other asset management tools, you’re free to evolve in response to consumer needs, which translate into your needs. Essentially, you’re choosing your own direction and letting technology fill in the gaps in customer support, asset reliability, supply chain visibility, predictive maintenance, asset tracking and more.
The key difference between reactive and proactive responses is trust in your tech. That means the future of EAM software will likely be about creating that solid foundation — one that allows you to build onward and upward instead of being hyper-focused on every technological decision.
Here’s what our experts think that could look like:
We already know how valuable it is to put manual tasks aside and let automation do the work, especially if you want to bring your maintenance cost down and drive your asset utilization up. However, as manufacturing becomes increasingly intricate to meet the needs of a fast-moving world, it’ll be even more important to save human time and energy for larger or delicate tasks. For this reason, it’s likely that automation will be at the forefront of how people interact with modern EAM software in the near future.
Today’s enterprise asset management tools are fast and smart, sure, but there’s always room for improvement. As manufacturers become more comfortable identifying and acting on needs related to operational assets, maintenance activity and more, tech tools will shave off the fat and become even sleeker and better optimized for the demands of the factory floor.
While manufacturing certainly involves some uniform tasks — like inventory management or asset maintenance — those tasks can look much different from one factory to another. That’s why the future of modern EAM software will be focused on putting you in charge of every little detail. Your organization and teams will have control over configuring user interfaces, asset data organization and more, allowing you to custom-build the enterprise asset management solution you’ve been dreaming about.
With all this talk of tech, automation and digitization, it’s easy to wonder if people will always have a place on the factory floor. Could robots eventually replace us as manufacturers? Luckily, that’s not — and never will be — the basis of modern EAM software. Instead of replacing human analysis and innovation, all this growth and evolution will enable it. This solution will always keep people at its core, allowing your teams to see, target and act on disruptions or inefficiencies.
So, we know what modern EAM software looks like right now and what it could become in the future. How does this one solution bring both approaches together to empower you today and prepare you for tomorrow?
It’s all about clarity.
Here’s what we’re talking about:
You can’t very well look toward the future if you’re struggling in the present. For this reason, modern EAM software is designed to help you navigate the realities of the manufacturing industry as it exists today, building a foundation you can rely on later.
Whether you’ve made the switch to EAM software or you’re currently doing things the old-fashioned way, chances are you’re still carrying some baggage from however you used to do things. That’s partly because of the sheer amount of paper, data, methods and ideas you’ve developed over the years, all of which take time and effort to replace with digitized counterparts — but it’s also probably because the “old ways” are familiar. Even if they weren’t perfect, they were comfortable, which means it can be difficult to let go.
That’s why a solid enterprise asset management solution will help you get rid of that baggage, both physical and emotional. By giving you a better way to do things — one that doesn’t take years and millions of dollars to implement — modern EAM software allows you to replace outdated processes, approaches and mindsets.
The result is clarity — a clear mind, a fresh start and a new arsenal of solutions for your plant.
As you turn your gaze toward the future, you’ll probably notice there are a lot of “what ifs” lurking out there. That’s where the problems live — things that will always be outside your control, like consumer habits, global events or the economy.
You can either walk into this darkness by feeling your way forward, hoping to find a path, or you can choose to turn on your headlights. Those headlights are, of course, modern EAM software — and they’re high-beam, LED and pretty darn impressive.
By uniting perspectives from across the factory floor and empowering you with the data you need when you need it, enterprise asset management software illuminates your path forward. It gives you the confidence necessary to navigate even when uncertainties lurk just beyond your vision, allowing you to make plans and implement asset solutions you can rely on when the going gets tough. Once again, modern EAM software provides clarity.
However, this solution doesn’t just prepare you for elements that are beyond your control. It also helps you act as the architect of your own future, utilizing elements that are within your control to build a better, smarter tomorrow. Here’s how modern EAM software puts you in charge of everything from asset maintenance to facility management:
Flexibility: You don’t have to worry about change with modern EAM software. When you do have to pivot, you’ll be able to see exactly how that impacts your assets, and whether you need to course-correct.
Foresight: Review data on past issues to better understand what could go wrong and how you can fix it, laying the groundwork for efficient, successful projects.
Creativity: With all the information at your fingertips, you’re free to think outside the box and identify solutions, approaches and projects that could give you the competitive edge.
Speed: Speaking of competitive edge, say goodbye to lagging behind. Modern EAM software allows you to make decisions quickly and accurately, enabling you to navigate the manufacturing landscape with ease no matter what’s coming your way.
Simplicity: With enterprise asset management software, you can dodge the hurdles that might otherwise slow you down. You get to focus on your assets and the stories they tell, which, in turn, allows you to operate simply and smoothly.
If you’ve been looking for solutions to your challenges today, that will also benefit you into the future, you’ve come to the right place. At L2L, we’re all about tomorrow — but never at the expense of today. Instead, we’ve built a platform that allows manufacturers to navigate the present, plan for the future and confidently manage assets no matter what the world throws at you. It’s all about clarity — and a proactive rather than reactive response to tech, of course.
With automated data capture, seamless preventive maintenance and smart tools to keep you informed every step of the way, our modern EAM software puts you at the helm. See for yourself by booking a demo today.
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Estimated read time: 2 minutes
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