Why maintenance execs are attracting more attention in the boardroom

June 2, 2022 | 4 minute read
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By Kaushik Sivakumar, Joel De Guzman and Jennifer Allen, Oracle

In the previous blog in this series, we discussed why maintenance teams are turning away from standalone computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) in favor of cloud-integrated applications. Today, we’ll focus on the issues that operational managers and heads of maintenance face every day, and the operational challenges that the Oracle Cloud Maintenance asset model can help solve.

The problems and strategies that maintenance leaders deal with don’t end at the factory floor. Day in and day out, personnel on the ground are responsible for asset upkeep and monitoring, consistent transportation, maintaining a 360-degree view of operations, and more. When the production line grinds to a halt, it’s up to maintenance leadership to decide where the problem lies and take action. Still, it can be a real challenge to present maintenance as a differentiator to executives and prove that maintenance is more than a cost center—it’s an enabler that makes operations more profitable at every level.

Maintenance insights that speak to everyone

To deliver actionable maintenance data to company leaders, you need a consistent asset model across the organization. Every year, we see how vital it is for our customers to adopt a model that links each element in maintenance operations into a unified chain. For instance, when Oracle came on board to help Coronado begin a digital transformation on the cloud for its international mining operations, our asset model was indispensable to the company taking back control of its maintenance process and building a solid foundation for future technology investments.

Maintenance Insights

Heads of maintenance wear a dozen caps at once, yet the challenges they face have remarkably similar shapes and sizes regardless of the industry. Four of the top business objectives that cloud maintenance can help you tackle are listed below:

  1. Maintenance leaders need a single source of truth from which to track the history and costs of assets. Not only does a centralized dataset help clarify the status, performance, location, failures, and past inspections of your machines, it also arms leadership with consistent information that carries the same message for each decision-maker in the company. No longer will maintenance have to present reports cobbled together from 15 separate sources like CMMS and manual surveys.
  2. You need a way to implement best practices uniformly across the organization. That means you’re fully equipped to monitor workflows, track failures, understand the causes, initiate repairs, source replacements and spare parts, and retire assets.
  3. From an execution standpoint, reducing your maintenance backlog is a top priority. If you reduce the number of repair jobs in your queue, you can lower the risk of machine failures and boost uptime.
  4. You need to take a cost-benefit approach to asset management. To get the most value out of your assets over their lifecycle, you need predictive maintenance, instead of  reactive repairs. If you replace a machine (or part) too early, you could be spending too much on unnecessary maintenance and labor. If you wait too long, you might spend too much to keep an aging machine running before you get a replacement. Oracle solutions can help you find the perfect balance using historical data and analytics.

The changing face of maintenance leadership

It's all well and good to make a checklist of objectives for maintenance execs to zero in on. But ultimately leaders have to differentiate themselves from their peers as well as the competition. You need to have the right answers when the C-suite requests them. It will take more than just best practices and basic spreadsheets to find those answers and elevate maintenance in the eyes of decision-makers.

When it’s time to move on from identifying maintenance issues to solving them, having reliable access to analytics that track metrics such as cost of downtime and asset profitability becomes even more important. Making smart business decisions can be nearly impossible if you don’t have the tools to analyze every component of the production line from a holistic perspective. Technologies such as data lakehouses and warehouses help you manage the massive amounts of data generated when assets are connected to IoT sensors.

IoT Asset

Operations, an asset model, and analytics all-in-one

In 2020, a global leader in healthy food and beverages redefined the role of maintenance from a passive-reactive approach to active decision-making. The company was searching for a cloud-based solution to drive down maintenance costs; it became clear early on that its on-premise platform wasn’t able to deliver a clear, well-defined picture of operations. Maintenance leaders were hamstrung before they could offer the first insight.

Soon after introducing Oracle Cloud SCM, maintenance took on a more central position in the boardroom. Improved dashboards helped spot asset failures before they grew out of control; real-time KPI tracking provided the straightforward figures that speak directly to execs; and machine learning under the hood helped extend the lifecycle of machines. The company launched a new perspective on maintenance: one where leaders are enablers, not just cost cutters, sharing services across the entire network of plants, not siloed away in one location or one step in the production line.

With a cloud-based solution, you can control your entire maintenance operation from a single platform, fully integrated across your enterprise systems, and configured to match your production architecture. Customers everywhere are benefiting from using Oracle Cloud Maintenance in their own unique ways. Maintenance leaders are now in a position to help their companies unlock new opportunities for driving growth and profitability.

Far from being an unheralded cost center, maintenance departments are now being recognized as a valuable strategic asset. No wonder they’re attracting more attention in the boardrooms of asset-intensive organizations. 

Learn more about Oracle Cloud Maintenance.

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