Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Business Information Technology (IT)ManagementManufacturing

The recent Softworx EAM Showcase was hosted to explore asset management solutions.

    Issued by Perfect Word Consulting (Pty) Ltd

    The African business market is fiercely competitive, featuring equal parts change and opportunity. For the modern business to be successful, a holistic, proactive approach is essential, ensuring superior quality and optimised efficiency. Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is crucial to facilitating this holistic approach, especially in an increasingly technology and business focussed economy.

    In the facilities management industry, various factors impact on delivery. From regulatory complexities to lowering costs, leveraging data and offering added services; information systems, applications and technology are essential. Employees at all levels - from maintenance, to building managers and executives - reap immense benefits from EAM; if the right product is implemented in the right way.

    In most industries, over-regulation is prevalent, and the regulatory burden continues to increase. With five different legal systems operating on the African continent, navigating this landscape requires accurate record-keeping, precise evidencing, and the collation of well-formatted data in a central repository.

    At the recent Softworx EAM Showcase, hosted to explore asset management solutions, various industry representatives were in attendance, including those in facilities management, mining, manufacturing and the public sector. In the keynote address, Dr John Wentzel, CEO of Tsebo Facilities Solutions, took delegates on a journey depicting its decade-long expansion into Africa and throughout the Middle East. This informative address illustrated the various challenges encountered, and how Tsebo overcame these across the 22 countries it operates in.

    “The challenges in these industries are rife, and include regulatory and governance issues; inaccurate, incomplete and unclean data; a lack of maturity of supply chains to support systems and provide replacement parts; sourcing and validating the required skills and expertise; and clearly understanding and maintaining quality standards,” stated Dr Wentzel.

    To achieve holistic success, Dr Wentzel advised that business strategies must integrate centralisation of information systems and feature process standardisation. “Using technology to optimise the skills required in the field, while measuring everything is fundamental to leveraging data within total lifecycle modelling, to the benefit of long-run investment plans.”

    With a view to the future, Dr Wentzel described how innovative technology can assist industry in dramatically lowering costs. “As manageable traditional space declines, facilities management companies will have to offer more services in that same space, requiring the right systems to support those offerings.”

    By utilising 3D printing to manufacture needed components on-site, for example, the need to source locally or move centrally-held inventory across borders is eliminated. “In addition, a centralised technical specialist, using augmented/virtual reality, can make his expertise available in servicing sophisticated equipment anywhere at any time across the continent.”

    As such, potent EAM solutions manage assets and facilities in diverse conditions and different industry environments. According to Softworx EAM subject matter expert, Barry Diedericks; “Facilities are considered among the top-four cost-drivers by 67 percent of companies. This is corroborated by the fact that building operations account for 75 percent of electricity consumption, and 35 percent of company assets are facilities and buildings”. Without effective management, these costs can cripple even the most affluent business.

    EOH’s Energy Cybernetics CEO, Frikkie Malan, concurs. “Energy efficiency can and should have a risk-free, positive bottom-line impact.” With globalisation comes the constant and exponential increase in data volume. This means that solutions need to move from collecting data to interpreting it as actionable information. “Metering is an enabling technology, it will not save you energy until you act on it,” concluded Malan. “When you measure electricity consumption, energy bill verification and tariff optimisation can be realised.”

    During the Showcase, industry leaders provided insightful information to drive an improved and more aligned business market. It was noted that, in the retail sector, EAM applications are effective in optimising shop space versus retail space. In the health, life-saving equipment downtime is decreased, guests are kept happy in hospitality, and the availability of health and safety gear is increased in industry.


    - ENDS –