Supply chain issues that will make you change your EAM approach in 2022

Introduction

The supply chain has transformed significantly over the past few years. The easy availability of digital tools and the prominence of data generation at several stages of the chain has driven the transformation.

Simultaneously, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years has changed the entire landscape. At the beginning of 2022 there were notable uncertainties, with surfacing issues like increased transportation costs, rise in fuel prices, and the shortage of skilled drivers. 

Current scenario of supply chain and the challenges it poses

With ongoing changes and disruptions, efforts are being made to stay agile, flexible, and responsive to sudden changes. Authorities understand that the key to this is the ability to make informed decisions in advance.

Fortunately, the rise of IoT and data connectivity has enabled leveraging data for real-time insights through digitized asset management. Deployment of Enterprise Asset Management – EAM software shows success in tackling the new challenges.

The role of EAM in three critical areas of the supply chain 

1.     Logistics

Without EAM: The pandemic has forced customers to move to online shopping even for items that were typically bought in person. Secondly, the continuous stay-at-home orders and global lockdowns have increased shortages. Transportation has also become scarce. Managing reverse logistics for returning goods has become costly.

With EAM: Authorities believe that businesses should build resilient response systems to tackle supply chain issues at global and local levels. The deployment of an EAM helps exactly with this.

An EAM enables you to know where the truck, the repair depot or a certain item is located. It helps you track down the equipment and know details such as raw material availability, expected time to reach the warehouse, and potential delays.

For example, EAM dashboards for inventory can trigger spare shortages alarms when the inventory levels reach a certain point. The procurement manager can thus make the purchase order and have it delivered on time.

An advanced EAM connected with ERP can also show you a comparative price analysis, delivery dates, etc. offered by different suppliers for a particular part. The production manager can select the one that fits their budget and avoid extra costs.

Recently, Teleflex, a multinational medical device manufacturing company used Kallik Veracity systems to standardize the labels to bring product recall issues to zero.  

2.     Production and procurement

Without EAM: Machines need regular maintenance for better performance over the years. As they age, the maintenance time increases and uptime decreases. Furthermore, with increased wear and tear, the chances of sudden breakdown skyrocket – costing millions for warehouses.

With EAM: EAM offers you insights into the health and occupancy of every machine, equipment, raw material needs, scheduled maintenance, etc. Accidental machine breakdown can be avoided through predictive maintenance.

Apart from core machine maintenance, modern EAM software is also driving digital transformation in production and procurement. By integrating EAM with advanced analytics and market research data, CXOs can predict upcoming work.

EAM has also enabled insights into digitized material handling, asset tracking across the shop facility. The plant managers leverage this with AI technologies in manufacturing to ensure safety, security, and workplace efficiencies.

The finest example of EAM in manufacturing asset management can be seen in General Motors and its use of an RFID tracking system. The company has approximately 40 million assets across the world. With the data generated, they build a directory and derive useful insights such as life, location, condition, etc. of every asset.

3.     Disruption-proofing operations

Without EAM: Manufacturers are continually at the mercy of production disruptors such as machine breakdowns, material shortages, training and other people-related stoppages, and stagnant processes that are full of inefficiencies. When combined, all these disruptors hinder a factory’s competitiveness. 

With EAM: A centralized repository of data for all your assets and processes gives real-time insights, especially for SME manufacturers. For large manufacturers, modern EAM systems combined with advanced analytic techniques and tools like Visio brings detailed and wider views of true operational performance.

By first ensuring you have the right asset data alongside production data, manufacturers can then harmonize preventive and reactive work with production schedules. Beyond that, having data about all the different types of disruptions that are occurring in a plant, then these issues can be prioritized for resolution.

Knowing which issues or disruptions are impacting the company’s bottom line the most in a given period of time, allows for the most costly disruptors to be resolved, eliminated, and in some cases predicted going forward.  The result of this consistent process is increased competitiveness and performance.

After implementing modern EAM software into their business, Purple started seeing positive results after a short time. They were also able to reduce equipment failures and downtime, and increase on-time completion of preventive maintenance events.

Tomorrow’s picture with a fully digitized supply chain

As digitization increases, everyone is going online. Everyday data generated by machines of a single shop floor amounts to several hundred GBs. This also means that there is an increased threat of cyber-attacks on your assets.

However, this has not kept us from leveraging the benefits of digitization. According to Accenture: “Asset managers work hard to develop strategies, and accumulate and organize information for their firms—efforts they don’t want to put at risk. Those in the industry refer to the items in this valued repository as the ‘secret sauce’. Without cyber resilience and proper solutions in place, asset managers will be hard-pressed to protect prized assets of their own from security breaches.”

Safeguarding your data with cyber resilience and security is a must. The contemporary first step to deploying EAM is also ensuring the highest cyber security software and following the protocol with discipline.   

Conclusion  

The supply chain has seen disruptions owing to the pandemic in the past two years, and more changes are still settling in. The key to staying responsive is to leverage data using sophisticated tools.

Modern EAM software has the capabilities to generate a centralized database for all your resources to drive comparison, fetch detailed insights, know the whereabouts of your assets, and more. Manufacturers can coordinate better with suppliers, retailers, distributors, warehouse managers, and other stakeholders.

This is the new future of the supply chain. And as digitization sets in, ensuring security will be a big step. EAM with a secure firewall and risk-compliant data security is the scalable future of the new-age supply chain.  

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Eric Whitley has 30 years of experience in manufacturing, holding positions such as Total Productive Maintenance Champion for Autoliv ASP, an automotive safety system supplier that specializes in airbags and restraint systems. He is also an expert in lean and smart manufacturing practices and technologies.  Over the years, Eric has worked with all sectors of industry including Food, Timber, Construction, Chemical and Automotive to name a few. Currently, he’s a part of the L2L team.

 

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