There’s a collective fear among leaders today that if their business is not transforming, then they will be left behind and lose their competitive edge.
In some cases, this is true and we have seen many businesses in the last year that have had to digitize their processes and services to adapt to the changing environment. However, there are also times when leaders feel compelled to apply the latest technologies or enterprise applications without fully assessing what it is their organisation needs and what’s required to successfully transform.
Much has been written about why these transformations fail and there’s an often cited stat from McKinsey that 70 percent of large-scale change programs don't reach their stated goals. Our view is that when it comes to transforming asset management, many businesses either skip or skim over three key steps. These are establishing good foundational data, defining the optimal processes for their business, whilst establishing a positive culture before choosing which technology or platform to apply.
Here we explore these steps and what’s required for businesses to transform successfully.
Transformation relies on data
Digital solutions by themselves do not remove the requirement for good quality data. On the contrary, they depend on them.
Take the example of implementing a new ERP system. Businesses get excited about the benefits of moving ERP to the cloud and the mobility that comes with being able to access data from anywhere. The reality is that when these solutions are switched on, they are often lacking the quality foundational data that makes them valuable.
In instances like these, businesses will complete the rollout of their ERP and equip asset management or maintenance teams with tablets. They will then anticipate the productivity savings that should come with staff having information at their fingertips to execute quickly.
However, if the ERP lacks complete and current asset data, these efficiencies and other benefits will not be realized. This is why businesses need to lay the groundwork for their transformation by establishing the foundational data required for effective asset management. It is critical they also have a process for updating that information as assets and operating conditions change – such as taking a rules-based approach to master data. Then and only then will businesses be able to extract the full value of their ERP and devices out in the field.
Pinpoint your processes before your technology
When embarking on a digital transformation, businesses often start by thinking about the technology they need to transform. They can also get caught up in debate about whether they should build something custom or go to market for an existing solution. However, what they should do first is review their processes and establish an ideal blueprint for the future. This is especially true for Reliability, where many organization’s still treat Reliability improvement as a project, not a process.
Once a business has defined its optimal processes, it can look for a system or platform that will support those processes with as little customization as possible. It is important for businesses to accept that it’s unlikely one system will solve all of their requirements and that’s okay.
The ease of integration today means that businesses don’t need to compromise on their requirements. They can adopt multiple systems that meet different needs and allow them to achieve all of their transformation objectives.
Culture underpins transformation
No organization achieves anything without people. Building a positive culture, that brings together mindset, values, and purpose into a process framework is the key to digital transformation. With the right process in place, the culture is continually developed and supported; and positive behaviors that align to the purpose will consistently be realized.
Digitalization – Technology AND Data, Process, People
Digitalization is revolutionizing how companies think about asset performance and management.
However, simply purchasing a digital solution is just one of many steps toward true digital transformation. Companies need to build a strong foundation upon which the technology is applied, to enable them to implement new strategies to outperform the competition. Read our State of Asset Performance Report to hear how companies worldwide are approaching Digitalization in the Asset Management and Reliability space.