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A human approach to digital transformation

By Tarang Waghela
15-02-2021 | 3 min read

Companies everywhere need to manage capital assets effectively to ensure profitability. But for asset-intensive companies, this need is even more pronounced as evidenced by the fact that CEOs in these enterprises rank asset utilization as a more dominant productivity metric than CEOs in other industries, who might rely on revenue and profit metrics.

For these companies, investing in solutions that provide insights regarding maintenance, reliability, utilization, and safety and therefore deliver a strong return on assets, is paramount.

These investment and implementation decisions, however, are not always easy.

Challenges faced by asset-intensive industries

Asset intensive businesses, regardless of industry sector and geographical location, all face relentless demands and pressure on their existing infrastructure that is established and aging. In many cases, because of high costs, they have deferred new investment as long as possible and need to update their asset and safety strategies.

These businesses need technology and digital innovation in order to move their business models forward, however at first glance, the types of solutions needed may seem too far off to undertake from both a scope and cost perspective. After all, the promise of results that can be achieved through big data is attractive but there is more data today than there was yesterday, and with the digital universe expected to reach 44 zettabytes this year, it can be overwhelming!

Here is where collaborative asset intelligence comes in.

Collaborative asset intelligence

The key to realizing the value of data, algorithms, and digital transformation associated with a sophisticated asset performance management (APM) strategy, is the connectivity it creates to work and operations management systems and the silos broken down in that process.

This isn’t just mechanical or even digital.

It allows more groups to contribute to the full picture and simultaneously fosters the buy-in needed to successfully complete actions; this inclusivity builds trust not only in the algorithm, but throughout an organization. And this process produces better decisions, and the resulting alignment and buy-in drives more effective execution.

The collaborative process encourages managed, quantified and controlled risk-based decision-making as individuals are supported by peer reviews and other safeguards, and it discourages decision procrastination.

Making the right data accessible to as many people as possible and incorporating roles, ownership, collaboration, decision-making processes and accountability are all vital components for an organization to effectively keep from getting swept away in the “data tsunami” and successfully transform via a digital APM strategy.

Placing people at the center of a company’s APM strategy from the beginning is the key for an organization to minimize the perceived pain of implementing a successful digital model and maximize the gain of potential operational improvements.

With this approach and the right asset performance management solution in place, an asset-intensive organization can:

  • Secure organizational buy-in for technological transformation
  • Reduce downtime by proactively identifying a maintenance issue before it occurs.
  • Reduce maintenance costs by using a prognostics, condition-based approach to maintenance that can help operators anticipate which failure mode for an asset could occur, when it could occur and what the impact would be, thereby allowing them to make a strategic recommendation on what should be done to avoid it.
  • Increase productivity by knowing how to schedule downtime or defer non-critical maintenance activities on a critical asset by truly shifting from time-based maintenance to a condition-based approach.

How ready is your company for this digital transformation?

Understanding how assets are performing is critical for companies seeking to deliver benefits to their customers.

Hitachi Energy enterprise software solutions help our customers operate, analyze and optimize over $4T of assets every day, minimizing risks across their network, enhancing operational and financial performance, and executing the right strategies for the future. 

    Tarang Waghela
    SVP - Digital Business

    Tarang Waghela is the SVP of the Digital Business, part of the Enterprise Software product group at Hitachi Energy and works with organizations all over the world to support them with their digital transformation journey. Tarang believes that automation supported by software can revolutionize industrial operations, create sustainable growth for organizations, and deliver value to all stakeholders. You can connect with him at LinkedIn.

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