With all the hype around the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), digital transformation and Industry 4.0, we’re all familiar with the amazing potential Asset Performance Management (APM) presents. But when it comes to persuading executives, it won’t be enough to have an incredible technical system – the answer comes down to dollars and cents. To be an effective internal champion, it’s important you learn how to present a sound business case.
The first thing to do when building a business case is to focus on the following factors. By focusing on these targets you can be sure to present an effective case for APM that draws upon not just the technical achievements, but the business case as well.
Identify the Biggest Impact
When building a business case, consider where APM will make the most sense, and in what application. For instance, in continuous processing industries such as power generation, a single failure can cost the company millions of dollars. Consider implementing predictive maintenance for mission-critical assets, as these solutions use advanced pattern recognition and machine learning to catch issues before they affect the business – Duke Energy saved over $35 million on a single predictive maintenance catch.
Or, perhaps you work in an industry with many geographically distributed assets, such as a water utility. In that case consider mobile operator rounds to capture stranded data, improve operational visibility and standardise best practices. This is also a technology that has delivered benefits in the market today – Pima County improved operational efficiency by 50% using mobile operator rounds. If you don’t yet have the firm foundation of an advanced EAM system, consider implementing one – Frito Lay saved $4 million in inventory costs by digitally transforming their asset management. By focusing on where APM can provide the most impact for your business, you can present the best business case to your executives.
Select a Partner with Proven Results
Once you’ve established what you want from an APM system, the next thing to do is select a partner who has done this before. You don’t want to be wowed by the marketing hype and get hooked by the first company with an amazing PowerPoint and demo. It’s critical that you immediately establish whether your chosen vendor can do everything they’re claiming to do. When you’re trying to answer this question, the best resource is third-party validators such as analysts and industry media. They are much more helpful with their unbiased opinions.
An even better source is customer success stories. As an example, if you are a chemical manufacturer you might look at Ascend Performance Material, which saved over $2 million through avoided plant shutdowns using mobile operator rounds. Or, if you’re a utility you might look at National Grid UK, which consolidated data collection and dramatically improved operational visibility across the entire grid. These are great examples of companies that are gaining real business value from APM, which you can use to illustrate your business case.
Ensure an Open and Agnostic Platform
The last factor is to ensure flexibility down the road in your system. Selecting an open, agnostic system is critical to reduce risk in future technology investments. Even if your APM provider has an excellent roadmap, it’s still quite likely that you will need to expand your system with additional capabilities that go beyond your vendor’s ability to provide them. In addition, for global companies existing systems may vary widely from site to site, and an APM system with open connectivity will greatly facilitate global expansion.
You will also need to integrate your system with existing hardware – and if you physically expand your plant, you will need to easily integrate new hardware into the system as well. This is another reason to focus on an open and agnostic system. If you don’t select a system that has the proper capabilities, it’s very easy to get locked into a proprietary solution with ever increasing licensing fees with fewer feature enhancements. If that happens, it will severely limit your options and flexibility – in this hyper-fast digital world, vendor lock-in is definitely something you want to avoid!
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you present the best business case for APM adoption. This will make you an effective internal champion for APM, and ensure your company is on the leading edge of digital transformation and return on investment.
About the Author
Kim Custeau, Asset Performance Business Lead at AVEVA, has 30+ years of experience in industrial asset management software and services. She is currently responsible for the strategic direction, commercialisation and development of AVEVA’s Asset Performance software portfolio globally, delivering solutions that help customers improve asset reliability and performance to maximise return on capital investments and increase profitability.
AVEVA is the Innovation Partner for Mainstream Conference 2018. AVEVA is a global leader in engineering and industrial software driving digital transformation across the entire asset and operational life cycle of capital-intensive industries. The company’s engineering, planning and operations, asset performance, and monitoring and control solutions deliver proven results to over 16,000 customers across the globe. Its customers are supported by the largest industrial software ecosystem, including 4,200 partners and 5,700 certified developers. AVEVA is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with over 4,400 employees at 80 locations in over 40 countries.