The Key to Energy Asset Management

The Key to Energy Asset Management

Energy systems can sustain substantial risk from the altering ESG landscape but what is required is to enhance operating models? Robust risk management capabilities, particularly relevant to the energy sector, are crucial, as is education from the right sources. 

We had the opportunity to speak with Martin Woodhouse, the Head of APAC & MEA at Traka ASSA ABLOY. He believes technology drives business intelligence that delivers better processes, safety, and security performance, as does education, and that keys and equipment management is a vital part of keeping the infrastructure secure. Woodhouse has vast experience in assets management, as does Traka. Read on to discover his insights and value proposition which felt timely and informative for the market we observed as of late.

1. In a recent EY global survey, 70% of senior executives interviewed said they view asset management as increasingly challenging and that these challenges will persist as disruptive trends continue to impact the sector. On the other hand, 68% of customers said they could not identify specific innovations likely to improve asset management performance. Can you elaborate on how asset management fits into the ASEAN Power & Utility organisations? 

The key thing here is to look at the question itself regarding the percentages above and how they relate to one another. Interestingly, 70% of senior execs find asset management increasingly challenging. Still, at the same time, 68% of those surveyed don’t have any awareness of what technologies are out there that can ensure keys and assets are readily available and fit for use. At Traka, we believe that business intelligence delivers better processes, safety and security performance, and what’s important here is turning data into insights that drives informed decision-making, evaluate where assets can be optimised but also that they are managed. Arming oneself or a company with that business intelligence will drive value, and we’ve often seen that with clients. It really is transformative.  

Most process management systems require steps to be taken in sequence. They may be as simple as making sure that only authorised and trained personnel have access to the keys and equipment for tasks that can be detrimental to staff health and safety on site. Here is where companies like Traka can help eliminate human error by automating process control which has a tremendous value. Intelligent key and equipment management solutions drive operational transparency, increase efficiency and overall productivity. So, this operational process control has tangible ROI benefits and by driving this awareness, we hope that the 68% surveyed will be more informed and unlock their potential for growth.

2. Can you explain how best to reduce the risk of an incident which also ensures there is not an electricity delivery disruption?

An excellent place to start would be with a simple Traka principle: Deny, Deter and Detect. The three D’s are applied by securing, managing, and auditing key usage for power and utility premises, facilities, and remote sites.

The Three D’s:

Deny: Traka key and equipment systems only allow qualified and authorised users to access sensitive keys within the energy site, ensuring they always remain accounted for.

Deter: Keys to physical assets, including buildings, facilities, equipment, and vehicles, and equipment are secured safely in Traka key and equipment management systems to avoid assets going missing, getting misplaced, or getting into the wrong hands.

Detect: Traka key and equipment management systems automatically record when a key or equipment is used by who, when, and why and stored in a database. It also maintains a simple to use, fully audited history of all your asset transactions, which are made available for quick display via the software reporting function for any utilisation or incident investigation.

With the above approach, the risk of equipment failure is minimised, while equipment life is optimised. The results are seen in gained efficiency with maximum uptime and reliability of service for end-users.

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3. Why is achieving asset management excellence critical to optimizing return on investment in ASEAN power and utility (P&U) organisations?

It is important for complex environment within the P&U sector to have control over their operational processes, awareness of all movements of assets and, the output of these process controls is the collation of data to drive informed decisions.

When the comprehensive report is available to utility owners, it offers the ability to gain actionable insights to conduct proper risk assessment and mitigation. It allows them to use this business intelligence to change or improve the way they run their operations or ultimately maximise investment return. Again, intelligence drives value with regards to assets. 

4. Can you identify the three critical leading practices to transform asset management capability and performance, and value is needed in the ASEAN power and utility sector?

We see time and time again that the industry faces new obstacles in maintaining operational protocols while also expected to do more with very scarce resources. To see how I would like to address this, let’s look at the three critical benefits which can deliver performance objectives, cost, and risk:

I. Reducing downtime of essential assets and infrastructure By securing, managing, and auditing assets and key usage for premises, facilities, and remote sites, less time is spent looking for items and waiting for authorisation. This benefit coincides with ensuring equipment is not taken without merit, which increases employee accountability, productivity, and operation uptime

II. Minimising risks and safety concerns of assets  Power companies determine the correct level of security and safety measures that are implemented to address potential health and safety issues at sites. Managing the assets allows us to drive the process and maintained that the assets are fit for use. This also ensures vital operational processes are observed for worker safety and protection of assets, thereby reducing risk and liability. 

III. Optimal System Reliability & Capability The ability to reference an audit trail and have customisable reporting at an organisation’s fingertips allows businesses to make informed operational decisions. With valuable business intelligence data in hand, business heads have full operational visibility and transparency to be able to continually review and assess operational processes, equipment reliability, and its longevity. By adopting these process controls, it provides greater business efficiency and ultimately value.

In Closing

Asset management is often an afterthought, and such is the case when organisations spend millions or billions on software or machinery but give little thought to the security, utilisation, and maintenance of assets. This lack of awareness can put organisations at risk for some of the reasons mentioned above. To protect these complex environments, often large and unmanned, it is crucial to make key and equipment management a priority to drive the right process management and control.

Woodhouse likened the value of Traka solutions to an iceberg. The tip is what we physically see in the hardware systems provided, but below the surface, there is a myriad of other benefits exists to solve on-site challenges. Whether it be security solutions or functions and features, Traka software platform ensures complete alignment and process management.

From working with customers in this sector and the extend of our experience and knowledge, Traka’s customers typically see an estimated return on investments between 6 to 12 months. Traka has taken up the challenge to educate power & utility companies on the value proposition that key and equipment solutions will offer.

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