Despite the view that companies established in a particular industry might specialize in the production of identical products, their operations differ significantly. Uzekici affirms that the operational differences arise from the adoption of inimitable business strategies, policies, and principles (519).
The reason for such variations is to attain a high competitive edge. One of the aspects that organizations are focusing on involves the integration of efficient business logistics systems in their supply chain. Thus, companies should foster optimal supply chain collaboration. However, this goal can only be achieved through the incorporation of modern supply chain management strategies (Branska 676).
The maintenance management systems adopted by a particular organization might not apply to another entity. Branska argues that maintenance system should be concerned with preventing undesirable outcomes (677). The concept of maintenance is comprised of a combination of the managerial, administrative, and technical actions undertaken during the lifecycle of a system or item to restore its capacity to perform the requisite function.
Traditionally, maintenance was considered a significant cost element. However, organizations acknowledge it as a vital contributor in an organization’s pursuit of profitability and optimal performance. The maintenance management system aids in undertaking capital improvements coupled with facilitating efficient equipment repair and replacement (Ong 12).
The MMS is indispensable in optimizing the utilization of an organization’s resources such as equipment, facilities, and personnel. Additionally, the MMS provides accurate data that firms can use in making maintenance decisions. The MMS improves the effectiveness with which management teams identify maintenance deficiencies systematically. Thus, the need for innovation in improving the efficiency of maintenance management systems in organizations is crucial.
The oil and gas industry is one of the core contributors to the global economic growth. Its relevance emanates from the increased overdependence on oil and gas as a source of energy across different economies. The ever-increasing demand for oil and gas has increased the intensity of competition within the industry. Thus, the need for industry players to develop a high competitive edge has increased remarkably.
As one of the industry players, Petronas is focused on operational excellence as an approach to attaining competitive advantage and maximizing profitability. The firm intends to achieve this goal by delivering sustainable performance in all its operational activities. One of the areas that the organization has focused on in its pursuit of operational excellence entails industrial maintenance.
The firm’s motivation towards industrial maintenance is to lower the cost of maintenance and ensure consistent availability of production materials. Nevertheless, achieving these objectives might be hindered by equipment failures. Rusell accentuates that such failures might culminate in costly stoppages in an organization’s operational processes (30).
Petronas recognizes the effect of such stoppages on its operational efficiency. Thus, the firm seeks to entrench a high-level of reliability at its production, distribution, and marketing systems. Since its inception, Petronas has established a comprehensive network of plants located in different regions around the world.
The firm owns over 16 oil and gas production fields and several offloading and floating storage facilities. Its facilities are fitted with over 21,000 installations. Efficient maintenance of the different installations is critical in promoting the firm’s ability to attain competitiveness. Petronas seeks to transform its approach towards maintenance into a value-adding and strategic aspect.
The company intends to achieve this goal by implementing a plant maintenance management system. The PMMS involves a maintenance strategy through which the company undertakes continuous revitalization of its facilities and equipment to ensure that they are in excellent condition. In its management maintenance system, Petronas seeks to ensure that any age-related defects are eliminated.
The company is in the process of carrying out system innovation by implementing the Maximo system, which is developed by the International Business Machine [IBM]. Most of the Petronas’ offshore and onshore equipment are located in remote areas. The implementation of the Maximo system will enable Petronas to entrench and share best practices regarding its different systems.
Therefore, the company’s capacity to manage and maintain its assets such as infrastructures, production, plant, communication, transportation, and other facilities will improve remarkably. The implementation of the Maximo system will improve the efficiency with which the firm undertakes maintenance management on its system. Besides, the system will enable Petronas to be efficient in undertaking system maintenance and innovation.
The system will aid in the automatic generation of preventative maintenance orders. However, the company’s ability to undertake its maintenance practices will arise from the effectiveness with which it configures the Maximo system. The company’s management team should set the Maximo system according to its maintenance needs. This aspect will ensure that its plant maintenance processes are conducted at the set intervals.
Thus, the firm will eliminate reactive approach in its maintenance management. Based on the orders generated, the firm will be in a position to plan for preventative maintenance schedule. The generation of the preventative maintenance plan will play a fundamental role in ensuring that efficient and innovative maintenance management strategies are adopted.
Therefore, the company will avoid the occurrence of defects in its systems by implementing the necessary innovative measures (Kuo and Wang 69). Despite the Petronas’ commitment to implementing the Maximo system, the efficiency of the system in improving the firm’s performance will be subject to the workforce’s knowledge on how the technology is utilized.
In the course of improving its maintenance management system, Petronas will consider several issues as outlined below.
- What is the purpose of the Maximo system?
- On what basis should the firm make decisions regarding the new technology addition?
- What is the scope that Petronas should focus on to ensure successful implementation of the maintenance management system?
- What roles and responsibilities should Petronas develop in implementing the system?
- What nature of condition assessments should the firm consider in utilizing the Maximo system in improving its operational reliability and efficiency?
- What are the necessary data elements that the company should consider in implementing the maintenance management system?
- What frequency should the firm consider in using the data generated by the maintenance management system?
- What types of cost estimation should the company consider in implementing the Maximo software?
- How should Petronas estimate the maintenance or replacement costs?
- What is the most fundamental aspect that Petronas should consider in configuring Maximo system?
- In what ways should the firm ensure that the new maintenance management software is secure to improve its contribution towards value creation in the maintenance processes?
- What aspects should the company consider in improving the utilization of the new technology in undertaking maintenance management on the implemented systems?
- What type of ongoing system maintenance should the company consider in implementing the new technology?
- How should Petronas undertake system administration?
- How should Petronas assess the effectiveness of the new maintenance management software?
The Maximo system refers to maintenance management software used by companies in the asset-intensive industries such as the oil and gas industry in undertaking plant maintenance management. Thus, the company will manage different upstream and downstream business activities.
Prior to making a decision regarding implementation of the Maximo system, Petronas should assess whether the new technology will address its maintenance management needs optimally. This goal should be achieved by undertaking a cost-benefit analysis. Based on the assessment, the firm will make a decision on whether to make or buy the required maintenance management technology.
The integration of the new software should aid in improving the efficiency with which the company assesses equipment replacement and improvement needs. All the regional managers should focus on ensuring that the new technology is implemented and utilized optimally in the various facilities. Moreover, the firm should undertake periodic condition assessment to determine the need for equipment repair and maintenance.
The implementation of the new maintenance management software should be focused on ensuring that the firm undertakes three main forms of ongoing system maintenance. The types include corrective, preventative, enhanced, and customized maintenance (Johnson 47). Petronas should ensure that the software is set optimally to implement the Maximo system.
This aspect will play a fundamental role in minimizing the occurrence of security breaches, which might compromise the generation of the maintenance orders. A collaborative approach between the software vendors and the company should be adopted in configuring the system. This aspect will ensure that the system is configured optimally, hence improving its efficiency.
Integrating a collaborative approach will ensure that the software is set up per the company’s maintenance requirements. Moreover, the collaboration will foster system administration. However, outsourcing the services of an external system administrator should only be undertaken during the initial stages of system implementation. Thereafter, system administration should be an in-house undertaking.
Petronas should ensure that all employees tasked with operating the firm’s offshore and onshore facilities are knowledgeable about how to use the technology. This aspect will play a critical role in ensuring that the company carries out maintenance on the different facilities.
In its attempt to implement the new maintenance management system, the organization will face some dilemmas as outlined below.
- The high volatility in the technology sector might affect the long-term usability of the software in undertaking maintenance management.
- Outsourcing the software from external developers might lead to reduced usability of the software to the company.
- The existence of interoperability challenges might limit the ease with which the new technology is utilized.
- The lack of technical skills amongst the company’s workforce regarding the new technology might affect the approach towards system administration.
- Failure to act in time to the maintenance orders generated by the software might limit the value of the technology in improving its efficiency to undertake maintenance management system.
- The lack of the necessary operating system and hardware requirements for the different facilities might affect the ability of the software to generate information regarding maintenance needs.
- The firm might be required to implement different versions of the Maximo software to cater for the different asset maintenance management needs.
- Complexities arising from the company’s upstream and downstream activities might hinder its efficiency in customizing the maintenance management software.
- The growing cases of security breaches regarding information communication technology might affect the reliability of the data generated by the system. Therefore, overreliance on the system might hinder the efficiency with which the company undertakes maintenance management.
- Due to the technological changes, the company might be required to update or replace the maintenance management system periodically. The firm might opt for an in-house maintenance and management software development due to the high costs associated with such software replacements. However, this aspect might be highly costly for the company. Alternatively, outsourcing the system will increase the overreliance on external software developers.
The firm should undertake some activities to integrate the new software in its maintenance management system. The first activity should focus on promoting the application of the state-of-the-art maintenance management strategies and techniques such as the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).
The TPM strategy should concentrate on ensuring that all the organizational employees are involved in the implementation of the new maintenance management system. Ensuring a high level of engagement will improve the efficiency with which the company utilizes the new technology in its maintenance management processes.
Another fundamental exercise that the organization should consider entails ensuring optimal selection of the software supplier. The firm should develop a comprehensive criterion to be used in selecting the supplier of the intended maintenance management software. Some of the issues that the company should consider in choosing the supplier entail the cost of the software, ease of use, and the software’s interoperability.
Prior to the implementation of the new technology in its maintenance management, it is imperative for the firm to assess the extent to which the following questions are true of false.
- Organizations are increasingly adopting standardized system development approaches.
- Most software systems are designed to meet the customers’ expectations are within their budgets.
- The company should depend exclusively on external software developers in sourcing the desired maintenance and management system software.
- Software developers must comply with specific quality management requirements.
- Maintenance and management software systems are designed to have a long life cycle.
- The implemented maintenance and management system must be ISO certified.
- System developers must involve customers in the development process.
- Developing a customized system is more efficient as compared to depending on external developers.
- Organizations should use the challenges encountered in their maintenance processes to customize their maintenance management systems.
- The utilization of maintenance management software is subject to the level of competence amongst the users.
- A cost-benefit analysis should form the basis for determining whether to develop the maintenance management system in-house or to outsource.
- The maintenance and management systems should be designed in a way that it creates room for growth and change.
- The complexity of a maintenance management system determines its effectiveness in generating maintenance orders.
- Application of the system should be centralized to the top management team.
- The system should only be designed and configured to meet the current maintenance needs.
- A technical feasibility should be undertaken prior to integrating the new system.
- Schedule feasibility should be used in assessing the performance of the intended system to determine the extent to which it fits into the users’ maintenance schedules.
- Scheduling system maintenance activities might increase the cost of operation due to the constant need to undertake replacements.
Consideration the outlined issues will enable the company to implement the new MMS successfully. Furthermore, the company will derive substantial value from the system by ensuring that it undertakes the different maintenance activities effectively and efficiently.
Branska, Lenka. Maintenance management in quick response systems, New Delhi: Cengage, 2011. Print.
Johnson, Dale. Principles of controlled maintenance management, New York: Fairmont, Press Incorporation, 2009. Print.
Kuo, Tsai, and Ling Wang. The optimization of maintenance service levels to support the product service system, New York: Taylor & Francis.
Ong, Chee. A model for ISO 9000 quality management system maintenance, Kuwait: Gulf University of Science and Technology, 2015. Print.
Rusell, Richard. Operations management, New York: Wiley, 2006. Print.
Uzekici, Suleyman. Reliability and maintenance of complex systems, London: Springer, 2006. Print.