Utility intelligent asset management

The business case for Intelligent Asset Management

In our Quarterly Magazine we looked at the benefits and challenges of adopting intelligent asset management.
Published: Wed 03 Jan 2018

As championed by ISO5500 and widely embraced at utilities, asset management is no longer just about engineers in hard hats maintaining copper wires and pipes. Rather, it is now positioned as a data and IoT-driven, value-based ‘whole company’ discipline powering smarter decisions with greater efficiency. But what does that really mean? How does the asset management team sell it to the board? And is the workforce ready?

The mandate to change

The business case is less about technology and more about wider change. Jonas Wejdin, Chief Strategist at Digital Route, says that the challenge isn't in selecting the right technology or infrastructure. 

"It's about having the mandate to change and having the people behind you that support that transition."

Establishing the need

Assets are ageing, engineers are taking early retirement and there are more eyes on efficiency the ever before. Add to that the proliferation of mass unpredictability brought by decentralised generation and electric vehicles and you have a perfect storm.

Asset managers need to both maintain aging infrastructure but also expand the grid in multiple directions. In stormy conditions, you need a plan.

Kaspar Kaarlep, former Head of Digital Network Technology at Estonian utility Electrilevi, who spearheaded their three year asset management transition, says it required “a board level commitment to redesign the organisation.”

Aligning strategies

Next up is “linking asset strategy to investment strategy”, says Greg Dodd, the Head of Asset Strategy at Northern Gas Network, who recently embarked on an asset management overhaul at the Yorkshire-based utility.

Dodd breaks the asset strategy into five parts - receiving the data, assessing the baseline risks, developing intervention options, optimising asset strategies and finally risk reporting - which all inform the investment strategy.

“We are then able to move from that wide ranging strategic level down into detailed project delivery.” 

Read the rest of this feature in the Engerati Quaterly Magazine.

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