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October 12, 2014

Managing Shared Assets in an Organization using IBM Maximo


Managing Shared assets in an Organization using IBM Maximo

It is a common scenario observed in many industries, where assets are shared by different departments in the same Organization. Each department has its own metrics to monitor and control the same asset. Each department would also have its own logical hierarchy in which the Asset needs to be maintained both from Cost roll up as well as Organizational Reporting perspective. While the total cost of Ownership of an Asset is important from an Organization perspective, each department needs to have a visibility of the individual department wise cost incurred throughout the lifecycle of the asset.

Such shared assets can be represented in the Asset Management System in the following ways:

  1. Create virtual entities of the asset for each department. Place each entity in the corresponding location hierarchy of the concerned department.

  2. Create only 1 asset in Maximo representing the Physical asset and ensure the same asset is present in the Location hierarchies of individual department

The first approach makes the asset representation in the EAM solution (Maximo) very simple. Each department can track the metrics surrounding the asset very easily. However it is functionally incorrect as the Asset essentially gets duplicated in Maximo. Work Management on the asset becomes impossible to manage as co-ordination between departments cannot be ensured with multiple Asset ids representing the same physical asset.

For eg. If one department changes the status of the Asset to 'NOT READY' or INACTIVE, it will be doing so on the Asset id created for that department only. If another department has a different Asset id representing the same physical asset, the status will still show 'OPERATING'. PMs will be functioning for this asset record and work orders will be generated, which ideally should not happen as the Physical asset is taken down by the former department and is currently not functioning.

In the second approach, Maximo OOB feature of Location systems can be leveraged to create different Location hierarchies for individual departments. Having a common Location where the asset is placed and maintaining different parents of the same Location within different systems for each department ensures that Cost roll up happens correctly.

In order to segregate transactions for individual departments a new 'Department' field can be added on shared data like PMs, Job Plans, Classifications, Storerooms, Inventory and Work orders.  Based on the Location System and the department required metrics for each department can be computed from Maximo. Although this approach makes the data representation complex, it solves the major issue observed in the earlier approach related to Asset and Work Management.

On comparing the pros and cons of both the approaches, Option 2 looks functionally correct and the recommended solution for handling such Business scenarios.

A classic example of how this scenario is handled in a Railroad Industry with two departments viz. Facilities and Signals, where a single Switch Asset is shared by both the departments is shown in the below diagram

The Department must be mentioned on the work order or any transactional record that specifies as to which Department the transaction is relevant. All cost roll ups/reporting can be done using a combination of the location and department together which will give a clear picture of department specific metrics.

The above approach has been recently implemented in Maximo for a Class 1 US railroad. It has been successful in achieving the business objectives around the shared asset between two departments of the same company. 

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