Systems Explained

Systems create synergy: the increased effectiveness of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

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An asset management system (AMS) is a set of strategies, processes, and technologies that work together to manage an organization’s physical assets. It is a methodology, not a software system. An AMS aligns asset management strategy with business objectives by coordinating all of the activities and tools that affect asset performance.

How It Works

Asset management is a team effort. Reliability initiatives, supply chain solutions, and software systems are key pieces of the puzzle, but none of them can do the job alone. An AMS provides the strategy and structure needed to meld these individual pieces into an efficient, unified system.

At AMS Engineering, we start the client AMS by identifying asset management objectives that will support the company’s business goals. The system then coordinates key elements (see below) across the organization (i.e., project management, maintenance, storeroom, procurement, etc.) to achieve those objectives, using targeted performance measurements to evaluate success. Our three-part approach — design, implement, continually improve — aligns the operation vertically and horizontally towards a common goal.

Asset Management Systems

AMS Engineering AMS Elements

  • Organization and Management includes the asset management policy, objectives, and strategy determined by upper management; organizational alignment; as well as role descriptions and responsibilities that help define organizational structure. Solving the people puzzle is critical to success.
  • Practices include processes and procedures for all maintenance, storeroom, and procurement activities, plus business rules and guidelines for coordinating with project management, accounting, and other functions. Practices are the heart of an asset management system: they keep things running. The other parts of the system cannot function effectively without solid, consistent, clearly defined, application-agnostic practices.
  • Content comprises master data such as asset registries, equipment hierarchies, materials catalogs, and vendor catalogs, as well as coding structures, naming conventions, classification systems, and other tools for grouping and filtering data. Good content is the foundation of good data management.
  • Information Systems is the component of the AMS that specifies requirements for all technology associated with asset management, including EAM, ERP, and CMMS systems; SCADA, historian, and DCS systems; PdM technologies; and production control and monitoring systems. Practices create data but information systems deliver it.
  • Performance Improvement contains assessment tools (such as KPIs, performance targets, and audit scoresheets) to measure the system’s effectiveness and find new ways to improve.

These five elements comprise the client AMS. Together they provide the tools needed to effectively manage an organization’s physical assets, starting at the top with large-scale policy and objectives and working down to detailed guidelines for specific roles, practices, and technologies.

An AMS

  • provides the big picture for asset management operations. Once in place, it serves as a framework for implementing smaller programs, such as reliability initiatives, supply chain solutions, and software systems;
  • ensures that programs like these are integrated seamlessly with the rest of an operation to ensure maximum performance and ROI;
  • is a structured, documented program that sets standards and standardizes how the organization’s assets are managed;
  • conveys to all stakeholders (e.g., employees, insurance companies, clients, etc.) that the physical assets and infrastructure of the organization are in good hands.

Contact us to learn more about asset management systems.


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Defining Asset Management