With results from our Asset Performance Management (APM) survey starting to accumulate one of the key points we're seeing is that the challenges in achieving business objectives for APM projects, of which Operational Excellence is clearly the number one objective as it relates to APM, are consistent with the challenges we see in other application areas in manufacturing.
Overall, one of the most surprising points we see in the data is that the number one challenge is justifying benefits or return on investment (ROI) from APM initiatives. We find that surprising because we constantly see APM as one of the key business process areas used to justify Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) investment. With so many case studies being available such as our own study on Des Moines Waste Water’s use of APM to reduce costs it would seem that the ROI problem would be less prevalent than the data says it is. However, the other reasons line up very well with the challenges we see in leveraging MOM/MES and other shop floor applications.
Operational Excellence Is the Number One APM Strategic Objective
Our APM research shows that improving operational performance is the number one strategic objective when deciding to pursue APM, with the majority of companies making it their top driver and is, in fact, one of the top three drivers for APM investments overall with 80% of the companies choosing it as a top-three objective.
Lack of Visibility Number Two Challenge in Achieving Strategic Objectives
Besides justifying the ROI in APM projects the next biggest challenge companies face in achieving their strategic objectives as they relate to APM is a lack of visibility into performance metrics, with 32% of the respondents currently reporting this as their number two challenge.
What are your organization's top operational challenges in achieving APM objectives?
Some of the problems companies face in addressing this challenge can like be caused by one or both of the next two challenges and until those are addressed getting visibility into APM metrics probably will remain a serious trial.
Departmental and Technological Silos Are Also Barriers to Success
The next two challenges companies have in achieving their strategic objectives closely align with virtually every other shop floor application area LNS Research covers: siloed data and people. Poor collaboration across departments (with 24%) and disparate systems and data sources (with 23%) were the only other challenges that broke the 20% level. Properly architecting your APM systems and adopting appropriate standards is akey way overcome the technology challenges. The organizational and people issues are a bit more difficult to address as they introduce the human element; however, with the right technology and processes in place it is much easier to begin to tackle the people issues, which we will continue to discuss in the future.