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What is asset information management?

Definitions to understand the impact of asset information management systems

Modern work is changing how capital project, operations, and maintenance teams work and how they collaborate with partners, as well as engineering, procurement and construction contractors (EPCs). To achieve operational excellence, these teams need reliable access and a complete view of all asset information. Top performing teams are those that strive for a competitive advantage and find new ways to boost productivity and asset uptime revenues by accessing all relevant engineering, technical, and procedural information, both unstructured and structured, for work orders, assets and locations. 

To achieve this level of operational excellence organizations must move beyond the traditional project and enterprise asset management (EAM) systems, to integrated systems that can surface relevant content that is often difficult to find. 

What is asset information management?

Asset information management includes the business processes and solutions that asset-intensive companies put in place to ensure that they can rely on the availability and accuracy of content and data to make informed decisions and safely execute work tasks for capital project, operations and maintenance teams throughout the lifecycle of large revenue producing assets.

With the recent increase in remote work, organizations must intelligently integrate asset information management solutions to keep capital project schedules and maximize asset uptime revenues. To efficiently control and provide access to high volumes of engineering and procedure information (e.g. content, documents, metadata), you need to connect relevant content to the workflows and systems that need it so employees have access to the asset information they need, when and where they need.

Why is asset information management important?

Asset information management systems enable project collaboration across capital project teams, external collaborators and subsequent operations and maintenance personnel to efficiently access and control:

  • Engineering information
  • Work processes
  • Compliance
  • Risk

When teams can’t easily find critical engineering and procedure information, it can lead to increased downtime, EHS risk, and lost production revenue. Asset information management software helps to control this type of information across the lifecycle of projects and operations to help increase operational efficiency.  

What are capital projects?

Capital projects encompass the approval, design, construction, acquisition of components/machinery and commissioning of a large revenue-producing asset such as an electrical generation plant, oil refinery, chemical factory, pipeline or distribution grid, or a large infrastructure asset such as a railway or freeway. 

Capital project management software with deep integrations to EAM systems can help to address the common challenge of inefficient collaboration on engineering and asset information, which can result in capital project delays and expensive reworks, and ultimately, delayed time to revenue.  

Learn how to accelerate engineering collaboration for capital projects.

What are the different types of asset information?

Asset engineering information is also becoming increasingly complex. The different types of asset information often describe the design, operation, maintenance and even real-time status of assets and their components. This can include design documents and models, technical specifications, safety, operational, and maintenance procedures and manuals, EAM or “digital twin” content and data and real-time IoT data.

Organizations need an integrated solution that provides a high level of collaboration, control, validation, governance, and compliance for the complex asset information types that capital projects and operations and maintenance teams rely on to do their jobs.

What are the benefits of asset information management?

Through digital transformation and the right asset information management solution, organizations can get the information advantage to better control and easily access engineering and process information needed to keep projects on schedule and teams working efficiently—from capital project planning and execution through to constructing and maintaining assets on location.

The benefits for capital project teams include:  

  • Efficient management of design, construction and commissioning of large infrastructure or revenue-producing assets
  • Improved control of schedules, costs and environmental health and safety (EHS) risks
  • Reduction in expensive reworks
  • Ability to collaborate efficiently with engineering, procurement and construction contractors (EPCs)
  • Ability to efficiently review large volumes of information and provide feedback
  • More efficient handovers of complete engineering, asset and procedure information to operations and maintenance

The benefits for operations and maintenance teams include:

  • Ability to operate and maintain revenue-producing assets efficiently
  • Increased team productivity
  • Reduction in downtime and faster time to value
  • More control over cost and EHS risks
  • Improved ability to ensure regulatory and operating compliance

How can organizations select the best asset information management system?

The best asset information management systems provide the highest level of collaboration, control, validation and governance for the complex documents and data that capital projects and operations teams manage daily. With the right balance of controlled access and automating manual tasks, the collaboration between teams becomes frictionless, faster and more productive. Key characteristics to look for in an asset management solution include:

  • Integration with popular online collaboration tools for exchanging large volumes of content for capital projects, handover, operations, and maintenance to reduce time to milestones
  • Automated capture, validation, markup and feedback cycles for complex engineering information to keep projects on track
  • Visibility and insight to ensure project and operations governance, compliance, and accountability
  • Controlled access and automated exchange, collaboration and review processes to shorten feedback cycles and accelerate task completion

Cameron Brennan

Cameron is the Director of Program Management for ECM-based Engineering and Asset Information Management solutions at OpenText. His focus is on large capital projects as well as operations and maintenance in the energy, chemicals, and natural resources sectors.

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