How to know when you’ve outgrown Excel

Written by: Aiden Dipple

More asset intensive organisations are embracing the digital revolution, using the latest technologies to build and maintain their operations and become more globally competitive. These leading organisations rely on data analytics and cloud-based software platforms to optimise asset performance, control costs and maximise their return on investment.

In our decades of experience working with asset intensive organisations around the world, we’ve seen how the right technology solutions can support a company’s journey towards improved sustainability. Proper asset management has a positive impact on both the bottom line and the broader social and environmental values that are becoming increasingly important to stakeholders.

In this article, we discuss how using the latest asset management technology can help organizations build more effective maintenance plans that are good for the operation and its stakeholders.

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Why traditional tools are no longer enough

Mining companies have been relying on traditional systems, such as Excel spreadsheets, for decades. Excel can be a powerful tool to help decision-makers understand and add structure to unstructured data. Excel has limitations, but if an organization is just getting started with their maintenance strategy or they only have a small number of assets it can be a good starting point.

For operations with many assets that are looking to maximize productivity and see significant costs savings, there are a few key areas that Excel struggles to perform in:

  • Data governance – asset intensive organizations can have thousands of assets that require maintenance. Maintaining these assets and their data is made easier by using an asset management software that governs the data and version tracks between changes, ensuring data is secure, consistent and can be relied on to make important maintenance decisions.
  • Personnel turnover – a challenge of personnel turnover is the potential for loss of knowledge and traceability of maintenance strategy data. Using an appropriate software allows key stakeholders to see how previous employees created current strategies and what failures were being prevented. This solves the problem of trying to find a spreadsheet that a former employee created to manage a particular asset, only to discover that it has disappeared into the ether.
  • Flexibility - modern asset management tools have features that include integrated user notifications and rich media formats (photos, video or audio) available in the cloud. These features provide further value when integrated with other cloud solutions.

When it comes to asset management, more asset intensive organisations are turning to sophisticated software systems to help collect, manage and analyse data to improve their operational performance. These are companies looking for value beyond what Excel can deliver, including the simplification of data collection, as well as standardization of data formats to create powerful analytics.

This was the case for Orien, which originated from a desire to have greater control and insight into the vast amount of data collected by Ausenco’s consultants when working on clients’ operations. Now commercially available, Orien features many additional tools to develop your maintenance strategy and quickly deploy it.

The future of asset maintenance

The familiarity of Excel makes it a good choice for smaller operations getting started with asset management, but the time comes when its limitations outweigh its benefits and it starts introducing new risks to the organization. Purpose built software with the ability to ensure the security and proper governance of data can help companies build an effective maintenance strategy to maximise their operations. A sound, sustainable asset optimisation plan not only improves production, but also reduces the risk of an asset breakdown and, worse, costly unplanned downtime. Investing in a dynamic tool like Orien, gives your operation the flexibility it needs to adapt to ever changing environments and keep your business moving forward.

Our experience

Orien is a cloud-based asset management solution relied on by the world’s largest asset-intensive industries. Developed by Ausenco in collaboration with leading industry experts, Orien makes it easy to consolidate, collaborate on, and control maintenance strategies and budgets across your organization to keep assets working for you. Orien’s clients manage lifecycle costs and reduce uncertainty by understanding the critical activities that keep their operation running. With teams located worldwide and 24/7 support, Orien puts you on the path to better asset performance.

Our team of experts are ready to help, reach out to Sergio Urra or Aiden Dipple to learn more.