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Asset Information Management Systems & Digitalization Strategies | Part 2

In part 2 of their discussion, Mike Petrusky asks Suzane Greeman ASQ-CMQOE, CAMA, CAMP, CMRP, MBA of Greeman Asset Management Solutions, Inc. about the importance of mentors, reading books, and the difference between facility management and asset management. Suzane shares more of her professional experiences and the story of why she wrote her book about … Continue reading "Asset Information Management Systems & Digitalization Strategies | Part 2"

Asset Information Management Systems & Digitalization Strategies | Part 2

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In part 2 of their discussion, Mike Petrusky asks Suzane Greeman ASQ-CMQOE, CAMA, CAMP, CMRP, MBA of Greeman Asset Management Solutions, Inc. about the importance of mentors, reading books, and the difference between facility management and asset management. Suzane shares more of her professional experiences and the story of why she wrote her book about asset management criticality, risk-based methodologies and decision-making. Mike and Suzane explore the value of asset information management systems in the form of a CMMS or EAM software in collecting data and making asset details available to stakeholders. Suzane explains that it is the importance of accuracy and efficiency while building proper governance that allows these software tools to boost asset performance.

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Read the full transcript here:

Suzane Greeman: So if you set up these information systems properly, so if you have good rules around it and develop good reports coming from your system to support the decisions in the organization that needs to be made, then the systems are priceless. Mike: This is The Asset Champion Podcast, where we talk with facilities maintenance and asset management leaders about the industry trends and technologies impacting your organization. This show is powered by the iOFFICE asset division, delivering easy to use maintenance management software tools to help you drive powerful asset performance.             It’s time for episode three. Welcome to The Asset Champion Podcast, I’m your host, Mike Petrusky, and I can’t thank you enough for tuning back in for part two of my conversation with asset management strategist, instructor, and author, Suzane Greeman.             As we continue our discussion, you’ll hear more about Suzane’s book. We go over the differences between asset management and facility management, which was extremely helpful for me. And then we take a look at the value of asset information management systems and software tools. There’s a lot we cover here. So check it out.             Welcome back to part two of my conversation with Suzane Greeman, the president and principal asset management advisor at Greeman Asset Management Solutions Inc. Welcome back, Suzane. Suzane Greeman: Thank you so much, Mike. I really appreciate being here. It’s truly an honor. Mike: Now we mentioned last time you are from Winnipeg up in Canada, but your accent did not seem to match the geography. You’re actually originally from Jamaica. And we touched on the fact that it’s in your DNA to listen to some reggae music. What’s your favorite Bob Marley song? Suzane Greeman: My favorite Bob Marley is going to be Don’t Worry. And I think it’s so timely now in terms of the uncertainty that we face, but just remember don’t worry about a thing. Everything is going to be all right. Mike: Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is going to be all right. Very good. Very good. Well, let’s get back into our discussion. Is there a particular business book or a leader that has guided or influenced your career along the way? Suzane Greeman: Oh yeah. And reading is a huge passion of mine. So I’m going to tell you four of my favorites. So Good to Great by Jim Collins, which is practical now a reference book for me, something that I just go back to every now and then. Mike: Oh yes. Suzane Greeman: Winning by Jack Welch and Susan Welch, I just can’t get enough of that guy, may his soul rest in peace. Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. And Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance by Lou Gerstner. And a couple of these, like the Lou Gerstner one and the Jack Welch one kind of tell the story of how these guys were turning around their organizations.             But I also want to mention as well, because remember I spoke about mentorship earlier on and it’s very important for people when they’re starting out to identify good mentors. And so I wanted to mention as well, a mentor and a manager that I had very early in my career, Tony Haynes that really encouraged me to read good books, read books about good leaders.             And then he also encouraged me to write summaries of the books as I read them. And you know, who knew decades later, that that would have led to me becoming a published author.             So you never know where these things will end up when they start, but it’s good to just read good books all the time. Mike: And you are an author, just to mention it to the audience. I want to make sure they know that you have a book Risk-Based Asset Criticality Assessment Handbook. Suzane Greeman: Yes. Mike: Wow! That’s a mouthful. Suzane Greeman: It is a mouthful and deliberately so, because sometimes when books are written, they’re written to tell you exactly what your methodologist should be. What I did was I identified some weaknesses around how asset criticality was being practiced. So the fact that a lot of companies did not have a good methodology for criticality, but then to show people how to really examine their organization in terms of their business drivers, what are the goals of the organization? And then to combine that into what we call business drivers along with asset drivers. So what the asset base is doing to come up with a risk-based methodology for their company.             So then in the book, it’s not really proposing that you should consider the environment or you should consider safety, or you should consider the output or performance or the cost of repair. What it is saying is that look at your business drivers and what the organization is trying to achieve at that point in time. And here are some ways to look at it and then develop which of these elements would work for your organization at this point in time. Mike: So if I’m understanding correctly, that is what you do. That’s about methodologies around asset management, decision making. Right? So- Suzane Greeman: Correct. Mike: And I also am aware you do a lot of training in this area. So who are your students? Who are you speaking to? Who is the audience that is most interested in learning these methodologies? Suzane Greeman: Okay. So the book itself is about one specific methodology that helps with decision making. So it’s about asset criticality. So asset criticality really should be in organizations. It should be an organization-wide focus. Because one of the things that we don’t have in organizations a lot is an organizational consensus on what risks are.             And so what the book does is it speaks to criticality, which then becomes the way to prioritize other asset management decisions. So it doesn’t cover all of the decisions, what it does. It’s literally a small handbook that is focused on asset criticality. It also outlines what you can do with it when you’re done creating your asset criticality methodology and ranking your assets, because ranking your assets and having a methodology by itself does absolutely nothing.             You have to then turn around and actively use that to make asset management decisions. That is how you get value from doing your criticality, by understanding which assets are likely to create risks and exposure for the organization. So then you can turn around and put money and resources to tap into where you have the greatest risks. Mike: Understood. Suzane Greeman: Yeah. And put that now in the context of wider asset management, which is aimed now at extracting value from assets. So then the audience gets wider and wider as we go along. Mike: Interesting. So let’s tie it into what my background and experience is. I’ve spent over a decade in the world of facility management. And there’s this similar idea of framing the conversation around business outcomes and workplace and facilities and the built environment and the activities, whether it’s the occupants of the facilities or the assets that are being managed and how they tie into an organization’s goals as an entity. Their mission, what drives them, what their people should be aligned with and driving them. Suzane Greeman: All right. Mike: So let me ask you this, in the broader world of asset management versus facility management, how are they similar? And then how are they different? Suzane Greeman: Well, clearly I’m not a facilities manager, but I’m going to tell you from the perspective that I’ve seen and what I’ve done over my career. We would consider facilities management to be a kind of a sister trade to our craft, to assets management, a sister discipline if you like.             It is generally applied to some very specific types of assets. So generally I would then say that asset management is the broad overarching philosophy and discipline under which a lot of these other things fall.             So in asset management, we are focused on the balance of asset performance, asset risks and asset costs. And in the same way, when you do electrical engineering, there is an overarching formula that kind of defines the principle of electricity and electrical, which is V=IR.             So in asset management, it is the same thing. You always are looking at the balance of performance, risks and costs. So a lot of people at times think that, okay, the main focus would be maximum performance, but actually the main focus should be performance and risks, because then cost is consequential. So cost can’t be managed directly. You have to manage cost drivers, which lie in performance and risks.             So therefore, the focus is on optimum performance, not necessarily maximum performance and managing the risks. And then when we talk about costs, we’re talking about what does it cost to deliver the performance that we want? How much performance can we afford to deliver and how are we going to treat what the risks, what will it cost to mitigate the risks that we’re facing? And if you even think about asset risks, again, asset risks now are … it’s multidimensional.             So risks could be coming from the assets themselves. They could be in poor condition. We call that agent assets. You could have risks that the organization is imposing things around its culture, such as change if it’s resistive workforce. You could have competence issues to actually operate and maintain the assets. And then you can have things like inappropriate business processes.             Then the third part of risks is that you now have risks that are imposed by the external environment. So like what we’re seeing now, climate change, disruptive technologies, change and regulations, supply chain, disruption, like what we are currently living through with COVID-19.             So it is the overarching focus on all of these and whereas things like maintenance management and perhaps sometimes facilities management. Again, it’s not my discipline, but maintenance management may be focused on specific assets and what is going on with the individual assets, then asset management as a discipline looks beyond that and sees all the assets of the organization into a portfolio because the individual asset that you have might not even be the asset that you need to deliver value.             So asset management is able to see that, meanwhile, maintenance management might be focused on one area of the asset’s life cycle, which is the operate and maintain phase. So it is always focused on delivering value from that specific asset. So that’s kind of one of the big difference there and where asset management we’ll see. Maybe you do need to retire that specific asset, because we’re not getting value from that asset or value might be a whole different technology or a whole different way of doing business. Mike: Yes. That makes sense. That does. Suzane, when we first chatted and I am forever grateful to you for the time you shared with me to just get me kind of started in this pursuit of understanding asset management and understanding the role that CMMS and EAM systems all play in this world of asset management.             Now I know you’re a consultant and you’re neutral about particular systems and brands. I don’t want you to talk about any particular tool, but help me understand or help my audience really understand the value of those systems. What do they do when used correctly and implemented properly? What benefits do they bring to an organization? Suzane Greeman: That’s a very good question. And thank you so much for the opportunity to help you to pursue more asset management knowledge. That’s always a thrill for me. So when you look at your asset information management, you start to realize then that, okay, this is not going to organically happen by itself.             So the same way that you have a management system for environmental matters, you have a management system for occupational safety. You also need to have a management system for asset information management. And so in that management system, there are four kind of key areas that you need to look at. One is the strategy. One is your internal standards. One is your data and information management. And then the fourth part of that kind of quadrant, if you like, is your asset information system. And we call it system, however, in organizations, it will be several systems.             So what are we talking about here? We’re talking now about the actual software and IT infrastructure and so on. So this is in the form of a computerized maintenance management system or an enterprise asset management software. But you also have things like enterprise resource planning software. You could have a budgeting software. If you have a lab, you could have a lab information management system. If you’re collecting asset condition, all of those will be all different systems.             So the key role that these systems play first and foremost is that they’re digital. So because they’re digital, then they can collect more information than we could as human beings, they can process more information. They can do more advanced calculations. They can remember things. They’re not subject to moods and temperaments. And so because of these asset information systems, such as the likes that I mentioned, you can then collect information, collect data rather, from the field, from the asset, from what you develop as a source file, manipulate it into good usable information and then make it available to a wide variety of stakeholders.             Your CMMS for example, would be the repository of all of your asset data records. So what the assets are, what their capabilities are, where in the business they’re located, what financial information charge codes it has, what cost centers that belongs to.             But then your CMMS and your EAM also does things like a work management system. So now you can accrue activities to specific assets, which means you can also accrue costs to the assets. Then it might also manage your inventory. So because you’re managing your inventory, then you can have a bill of material. You can track inventory, you can use the work order system to request inventory.             Some of them also do time and labor, or some companies might have the ERP do that. In the ERP, you would also have your financial plan and you’d have payment of invoices and so on and so forth.             So because of all of these systems, what we now have is a unique ability to tie activities and costs back to assets and to be able to plan for the organization and analyze the organization in a way that we couldn’t do if we didn’t have the system. So it’s all about efficiency of planning. It’s also about accuracy. I’m not a huge fan of managing any of these asset activities, using a spreadsheet, because all the times that I’ve tried over time, it just errors and errors and errors just get building up. Then the information gets lost quite easily.             So if you set up these information systems properly, if you build the appropriate governance around it so that you have rules for who can access and change information, that’s really, really important. It’s not done enough. We kind of leave it open so anybody could do what they want to do.             So if you have good rules around it and develop good reports coming from your system to support the decisions in the organization that needs to be made, then the systems are priceless. Unfortunately, this is where we depart in a lot of organizations. Mike: Wow! Well, that’ll do it. Thank you again, Suzane, for spending so much time with me, I really enjoyed it. And I learned a lot. Thank you so much for being on the Asset Champion Podcast. Suzane Greeman: Thank you so much for having me, Mike. I really, really enjoy sharing with you and with your audience. It’s been a sincere pleasure and I really, really love the name of your show. Mike: Excellent. There it is folks. The conclusion of my two-part discussion with Suzane Greeman. Once again, I feel truly blessed to have had Suzane as my very first guest on this brand new show.             As you heard me say, this podcast will be a way for me to document my journey as I seek to understand the many ways that asset management impacts organizations in the marketplace today and how the people in this industry are adapting to our ever changing world.             And I know I have a long, long way to go, but I am sure you will agree that Suzane was the absolute ideal guests to get me started on this journey in the right direction. So thank you again, Suzane, and thank you out there for listening. I hope you’ll tell me what you think. And if you have found some value in these first few episodes, please subscribe, please share. And let your colleagues know that this podcast is available.             Anyone who you might think would be interested in discovering more about what it takes to be an asset champion piece out.             You’ve been listening to the Asset Champion Podcast. We hope you found this discussion beneficial as we work together to elevate asset management success by improving efficiency, reducing costs and building best practices. For more information about how the iOFFICE asset division can boost the performance of your physical assets by providing comprehensive enterprise asset management software solutions, please visit  

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As the host of both the Workplace Innovator Podcast and the Asset Champion Podcast, Mike's role at Eptura is to share thought leadership with CRE, FM, and IT leaders in the digital and hybrid workplace. As an in-demand public speaker, Mike engages audiences with his focus on the human element of workplace and facility management at International Facility Management Association, CoreNet, and other industry events.

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