The coronavirus pandemic continues to cause disruption to our workforces, and it has got me thinking – your people are your best assets, so what happens if you lose your experts? And what will happen to your assets if your most experienced technicians are restricted, fall unwell, leave or are coming up to retirement age? You could be left facing huge knowledge gaps, high training costs and knock on effects to your maintenance bill and operational efficiency. It could also be that you do not know what information is relevant to the maintenance of the critical assets they were looking after.
With years of knowledge and experience, your workforce brings great value to your organization. Recognizing and capturing this is crucial to planning and securing the workforce of the future. The last thing you want Is multiple points of failure across the organization if they become unavailable.
What is Different Now?
Retaining knowledge has always been an organizational challenge, but our equipment is becoming more connected and sophisticated. Digitized information is available through IoT, Digital Twin etc. and it is accessible to technicians through mobility and AI technology.
The Changing Workforce
If you’re still in the pen and paper world, you are not alone! Many maintenance technicians lack a standardized process for repairs leading to a high mean time to repair and unnecessary repair and parts replacement. Recently, it was estimated that workers in the Oil and Gas industry spend 80% of their time researching the maintenance of an asset prior to starting actual physical work.
Leverage Next-Generation Technology
IBM Maximo Assist leverages next-gen technologies to help field technicians perform their job more effectively and safely. It has the ability to pull in data from disparate data sources. This includes preserving your senior technicians’ knowledge, but also Identifying and correlating the information needed to maintain assets using AI. This information can be from any EAM system (work orders, service requests) as well as manuals and documentation. Assist can then provide remote guidance out in the field using AI Assistance. This approach can also support training of newcomers as the critical information is available to new engineers. Passages and documents can be quickly retrieved on the job to improve your repairs process. You can ask questions or get recommendations. Using this technology, it is also possible to identify “repeat offender” assets and issues caused by design as opposed to component failure.
For example, a job is assigned to a new technician who is alerted immediately on his smart device (Maximo Anywhere). He views the work order and can rapidly research the task ahead of him with the benefit of AI. He then heads to the storeroom to pick up and issue the materials. He performs an inspection on the asset in question and establishes that it needs replaced. When he starts, he realizes he is not entirely sure how to replace it. He clicks on Maximo Assist for help and asks, ‘How do I replace Cooling Water Pump VFD 572006?’ Assist provides the most probable resolutions based on the work order assigned along with confidence levels. It will also present similar work order history and relevant settings and manuals. He selects the top recommendation and views an instruction document to complete the replacement. He documents some other observations so the next technician will know for next time (training and refining the model). He updates the work order as complete and closes out.
Get Ready with Maximo Assist
If this blog post resonates with your organization, BPD recommend identifying a select number of challenging assets to begin with. (Which of your assets are critical? What maintenance work needs prioritized? BPD’s LoveYourAsset can help you understand the health and condition of these assets first.) This will help you prove the value of the technology out across your organization:
- Improve first time fix rate by up to 25%
- Reduce Mean Time to Repair by 10-15%
- Improve diagnosis accuracy and cut diagnosis time by 15%
- Improve technician productivity by up to 20%
- Standardize your maintenance and repair processes
Maximo Assist leverages data across different data sources such as equipment and engineering manuals, operator logs, data from EAM systems, regulatory standards and IoT sensor data. What valuable information could you be sitting on?