5 Traits to Look for in Manufacturing Asset Managers
Every factory worker plays an important role in the plant’s ability to maintain operations. From line workers to repair technicians, warehouse staff to management, everyone contributes to the long-term success of the factory. At the center of it all is the manufacturing asset manager: the person in charge of managing every capital investment in equipment, technology, and systems. This person has one of the most important jobs of all — maximizing the value return on investment of every vital production tool. Needless to say, it’s a demanding task.
The person who is ultimately hired for this position needs to possess some specific traits that lend themselves to the job. Here’s a look at five of them, and what they mean for long-term success in the manufacturing environment:
- Penchant for technology: Using a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and creating digital twins of high-value assets aren’t just new-age ways to monitor equipment and investments. Today (and tomorrow), these are must-take approaches. Your asset manager needs to be familiar with CMMS tools and comfortable using them to track, quantify, and oversee major capital investments. At a minimum, they need to show an inclination towards technology and a willingness to explore digital solutions.
- Forward-thinking approach: Capital investments today are the means of production for decades to come. Your asset manager absolutely needs a forward-looking and -thinking approach. This includes investing in preventive maintenance strategies, making smart reinvestments in service and maintenance, and understanding each asset’s long-term strategy, from investment to end-of-life and retirement.
- Lean mindset: Asset management has a profound impact on both the top and bottom lines. Well-maintained assets are the means to top-line growth, and low cost of operation contributes to the bottom line. Find an asset manager that understands this juxtaposition and approaches it with a Lean mindset — one that minimizes waste and maximizes ROI.
- Continued learning: Manufacturing is in the middle of its fourth renaissance. Technology is evolving at a rapid clip, which means asset management best practices are changing just as fast. Your asset manager needs to be up to date on industry best practices and familiar with strategies for maximizing capital investments not only for today, but tomorrow as well. It’s not enough to simply maintain — the person in charge of your assets should be flexible, agile, and smart enough to evolve their strategies along with the industry.
- Good communication skills: Though they’re tasked with managing the means of production, asset managers need an open line of communication to everyone who interacts with them. This means a willingness to communicate with maintenance managers, operators, and service technicians to get a clear picture of crucial lifecycle elements. The more in-tune and on-the-ball your asset manager is to the everyday goings on of equipment, the more informed their decisions will be.
Whether you promote in-house or hire from the outside, your manufacturing asset manager should meet these criteria, in addition to specific qualifications for the job. There’s a lot riding on good asset management — including future investments and ROI attributed to equipment and machinery.