Continual review of your maintenance program and process is a vital practice for maintenance teams - enabling them to optimize expenditure, unlock efficiencies and enhance safety. At Add Energy we help companies do this through our benchmarking projects, which set our clients on a path to maintenance excellence, based on industry best practice and our experience of analysing over 1,000 assets worldwide.
Whether you have a gut feeling your asset is underperforming, but you’re not sure what is causing this, or your team is swamped with day-to-day operations and maintenance, and unable to spend time reviewing or analysing your data - a benchmarking study can be extremely valuable to help you focus your efforts on implementing improvements that unlock your capacity to improve asset performance and optimize expenditure.
This blog post takes you through the key steps involved in a typical maintenance benchmarking project with Add Energy, and our team member, Hossein Ghavimi shares insights into the purpose and value delivered in each step.
Step 1: The initial consultation
“Our first goal is to understand where your pain points are, and where you feel you are facing challenges. This is done through an initial consultation, where we can discuss your current performance and identify if you want the benchmarking to hone in on a specific area of your operations.
“A lot of the time, clients want a second pair of eyes on their performance through a third party assessment or review, which gives them an unbiased reconfirmation of their thoughts or validation of the processes that they have in place. This consultation can also help maintenance teams to build a business case for the business to invest in an improvement project that is guaranteed to enhance their performance.
“We’re always very honest with clients. We want to be transparent, assess the situation and give the best recommendations so that we deliver real value for the business.”
Step 2: Gathering, reviewing and mapping your data
“The next step is requesting and reviewing the data required to conduct the benchmarking exercise. The more data you can give us, the better - and we will review data quality to ensure the benchmarking exercise can be done as effectively as possible.
“This is a fundamental step in a benchmarking study, as there can sometimes be gaps in the data. If a client didn’t have maintenance estimates, for example, it would be very difficult for us to do any benchmarking.
“In 90% of cases, we can complete the benchmarking study with no issues, but we may identify a few steps required before benchmarking can commence, to plug any gaps and improve the data quality so you can get the most out of the benchmarking exercise. For example, most clients will have equipment classifications, but if not, or if it’s too high level, we can build this into the asset register on their behalf or map them to generic equipment types, to enable us to then complete the benchmarking exercise.
“Once the data is gathered and reviewed, we map it against our library of best practice maintenance data, which has minimum standards incorporated into it. We have built this extensive library over many years, having worked with over 1,000 assets globally, and it includes hundreds of types of equipment across the power generation, renewables and oil and gas sectors.”
Step 3: The benchmarking exercise
“Once the data is collected, reviewed and mapped, we can move onto the benchmarking exercise itself. This is typically split into two key parts:
- Benchmark across your organisation
“Internal benchmarking can help align maintenance across multiple facilities in an organisation. We compare the data from each asset, and look for variations in the maintenance approach for equipment types - for example frequencies, how long maintenance is taking, and so on. This will enable us to identify improvement opportunities for certain facilities, to bring them up to the standards of others.
- Benchmark against industry best practice
“We would then compare your data against industry best practice, to provide deeper insights, identify further improvements for your organisation as a whole and set targets for you to strive towards to bring you up to industry standards.”
Step 4: Development of improvement roadmap
“Throughout the benchmarking process, we will identify a vast number of opportunities to improve your maintenance effectiveness, save money, reduce man hours or improve safety.
“We collate all of these opportunities, and use a ranking matrix to prioritise them based on effort versus value, and highlight quick wins that can result in significant benefits for your business. For example, for one of our clients we found that they were conducting additional maintenance on pressure and temperature gauges, which was deemed as unnecessary and unusual practice. By eliminating this extra maintenance activity, we were able to save them significant man hours and expenditure annually.
“This process isn’t just about turning maintenance off; our recommendations may include adding maintenance that is missing for critical equipment, or increasing maintenance frequencies and tasks on certain equipment to maximise production.
“We look to add value quickly, and we have been able to save millions of dollars for our clients.”
Step 5: Client workshop
“The final step is a workshop with key stakeholders. We take your team through our findings and our prioritised roadmap, to discuss and validate what we have identified and how the improvements can be implemented into reality.
“Although we are reviewing your maintenance with fresh eyes, we haven’t had the experience on your asset - so having your subject matter experts in the room is invaluable. There may be reasons why maintenance is being conducted in a certain way, that we are unaware of, so this workshop gives us the opportunity to discuss and verify our findings.
“Once our findings and recommendations have been approved, we can then work with your team to implement the roadmap and update your maintenance to unlock cost savings and efficiencies for your assets.”