As regulations become more stringent in many sectors and industry regulators more active in their policing, an increasing number of service organizations and their customers will have to demonstrate compliance, especially around installation, configuration, and service maintenance. This will demand a system that can report accurately on activity, ensuring work has adhered to local regulations on systems management, employee competence, testing and calibration of devices, and so on.
When we think about compliance, it’s only natural that our minds wander to the regulations tied to medical and healthcare equipment given the critical nature of these devices and the potential impact of failure. That said, it’s worth considering the regulatory and safety implications of improperly installed or maintained manufacturing equipment, material handling equipment, and transportation equipment. Compliance, whether for internal quality reasons or for external regulatory checks, cannot be effectively achieved without a systematic approach.
The Asset Centricity Approach to Compliance
Our philosophy on compliance is greatly influenced by the needs of our customers who reside in all three of the equipment categories described above. We look at compliance in three primary buckets: records, process, and feedback loop.
In records, we are focused on the accuracy of the information at the asset level to ensure that what is being reviewed is as reflective of what is on the customer’s site. This is especially relevant in the case of a recall or field change order that requires a change on a long list of assets. Are the records up to date to make these changes accurately and in a timely manner?
Process is attached to the ease of use in capturing and tracking relevant information that could be necessary during a compliance check or a compliance-mandated action. As installs are completed, is it easy for the service team to complete the necessary compliance checks and attach relevant information to the associated asset? Is compliance built into the process so that an install or maintenance item cannot be completed without the necessary compliance steps? And what if a step needs to be added? Is it simple to do this and can the training associated with the step be broadcasted across the organization?
Feedback loop refers to the access that multiple stakeholders have into the relevant data in order to initiate and record corrective or preventive actions. Think about these stakeholders being product design and manufacturing who need to make a configuration or design change in a series of products. Or a supplier whose parts are responsible for performance degradation and failures.
Asset Centricity Ensures Precision and Accuracy
For our customers to deliver on these requirements, and to fully mitigate the risks in doing so, they should consider an asset-centric approach to capturing and recording data. This approach ensures precision in the process and accuracy in the recording of asset install base data, which includes time-based data such as calibration measurements.
Due to the continuous and cyclic nature of field service, the accurate tracking and recording of as maintained service activity; sub-assembly swaps and serialized part replacement and refurbishment; and operational settings all provide a wealth of data that gives the manufacturer a much clearer insight into how end-customers are using and delivering value from the provided asset. Combined with advanced diagnostics, both manufacturers and operators will begin to understand more of their customers’ businesses across the whole life of their installed asset fleet.
A comprehensive asset-centric framework can ensure visibility throughout the lifecycle of an installed and provisioned asset. Using data generated throughout the asset life, from initial installation, and through in-service sustainment, this approach ensures high-quality information that enables organizations to maximize the delivery of value to the ultimate end-customer. It also ensures better visibility into the availability and reliability of the assets that can be utilized for internal, external, or independent record-keeping, audits, or other compliance actions. Ensuring that this information is supplied at the lowest possible through life cost also drives improved performance and profit.
If interested in learning more about ServiceMax’s Asset-Centric approach, we encourage you to access the following resources: