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With the price of crude oil hovering at roughly $50/bbl, many companies might be reevaluating their industrial energy management (IEM) strategies. Certainly consumer behavior is changing in the face of low energy costs. Sales of less fuel-efficient larger vehicles and pickup trucks are increasing, people are traveling more as fuel costs drop, and consumer goods spending is up as people have more discretionary funds.
As the years have passed, manufacturers across many industries--but especially the energy-intensive and hazardous ones--have realized the importance of Environment, Health & Safety initiatives, not just in meeting growing regulatory burdens, but in actually driving business value as well.
The need to manage environment, health and safety (EHS) performance across our organizations and throughout our global plants has never been more apparent. While considerations of EHS performance were once limited to one organization’s performance within its four walls, things have changed. The increased reliance on supply chains extending across the globe, the visibility and traction afforded by online communications and social media, and the growing need to improve and report on end-to-end sustainability performance are compelling businesses to account for EHS performance across their supply chain.
Recently we discussed the ‘why’ behind producing sustainability reports. This debate tends to rage on as some feel we ought to produce sustainability reports, others find value in the process, and others think they are worthless documents, designed only to cultivate prestige and foster a sense of progression in a field where so many lag.
For more than a decade now, many leading global organizations have produced some form of sustainability report. Sometimes these documents manifest in reports sent directly to stakeholders, and in other cases they adhere to specific guidelines defined by external reporting or sometimes regulatory bodies.
Today, Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) programs are so prevalent across global manufacturing organizations, at first thought, providing a definition can feel redundant and unnecessary. However, in the midst of emerging best practices, shiny new tools and technologies, and a plethora of metrics to capture and analyze events and actions, it can be easy to forget what EHS actually is as well as how and why it emerged.
Here at LNS, we’ve delved deeply into some key areas of business performance and Operational Excellence in recent years, including Enterprise Quality Management, Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), and Industrial Energy Management (IEM).
In the realm of health and safety management, few topics have been a greater source of ongoing controversy over the years than Behavior-Based Safety (BBS). Some safety professionals believe this approach to environment, health, and safety (EHS) management helps reduce worker error, thereby minimizing health and safety incidents and, ultimately, saving lives. Others, however, think the approach is inherently flawed and suffers from a lack of quantifiable metrics and actionable intelligence.
Today, industrial manufacturing companies are facing greater operational and regulatory burdens than ever before. And while most companies have a strong annual focus on growing financially, the new realities of the business climate have made many organizations see that growth can only occur if operations are efficient and harmonized with sustainability initiatives. This is where Industrial Energy Management (IEM) can and does play a big role in helping to see and handle the larger overall energy picture.
As manufacturers move to more of a ‘service-based’ business model, they are becoming increasingly motivated to manage the complete lifecycle of an asset. As a result, we’re seeing how predictive maintenance can help in this journey—as this approach is applied to products, it can also be applied to high-value manufacturing assets. Take Rolls-Royce. Instead of limiting itself to remain a standard manufacturing-based enterprise, it has blurred the lines between product and service by selling ‘hours of flight’ instead of simply selling airline engines.
© 2015 matthewlittlefield.com