Tag Archives: Infor EAM

Does Weather Affect Your Assets?

Energy Star logo Watching the news about the recent storms in the Midwest and Northeast got me thinking about the impact weather has on our lives and our surroundings. We all know that preparing for weather events is critical, but many times you just want to get through the event, not optimally sustain your environment. Yet sometimes you take overkill measures to avoid the most extreme dangers, such as stocking up food for a month as a blizzard approaches or building a bomb shelter to protect you against a hurricane. Seems a little excessive, right?

Do you use that same approach to your operations? Do you truly understand the impact of weather on your operations and the efficiency of your equipment? What maintenance practices can you employ to better sustain your equipment and its efficient operation through changing weather conditions and ensure that it gives you optimal availability, capacity, and quality? 

There are ways you can make it through tough seasons—and even thrive during these times. You can monitor how changes in weather affect your assets and incorporate those attribute measurements into your asset management strategy. Did you know with Infor EAM Asset Sustainability, you get embedded integration with the EPA’s Energy Star portal? It incorporates degree days into asset performance analysis to give you the insight and knowledge into how to maximize your operational efficiency, even when environmental conditions are not perfect.

How do you factor weather into your energy and asset management strategy? Leave a comment to this post with your thoughts and ideas.

Posted by Jay Ratliff, Manager, NA Business Solutions Consulting, Infor EAM and Public Sector

Maintenance as a Cost Center?

For the past 15 years, I’ve been living and breathing maintenance in a variety of management, consulting, and sales roles. I’ve certainly witnessed the evolution of technology throughout the years; however, there are some things that have remained the same.

What hasn’t changed? The way executives view their maintenance department, which can oftentimes be as a cost center. It seems the only time maintenance gets noticed is when a piece of equipment is down and production stops.

For those of you not in maintenance, consider this about your maintenance department and staff. If an organization lacks a proper maintenance software system, good procedures and practices, and knowledgeable technical staff to maintain the equipment, your assets’ health won’t get the attention it needs to operate efficiently. This lack of attention will ultimately lead to your equipment breaking down more often.

By investing in software, procedures, and technical staff, you can transition your maintenance operations from a reactive approach to a predictive or proactive approach. Your assets will cost less to operate and their failure rate will drop. The attitude toward maintenance will change, and you’ll see significant savings in productivity, inventory, and contract labor. 

If you can reduce your corporate operating costs by switching to a predictive approach to maintenance and add those bottom-line savings back to your net income, then perhaps maintenance can be viewed as more than a cost center.

Need help getting started? Please leave a comment to this post with your thoughts and ideas or send me an email, and I can help walk you through improving your operations and managing your equipment.

Posted by Johnny Bofilios, Director, Global Asset Sustainability, Infor

Are You Generating Your Own Electricity?

To say that there’s a lot of interest in cloud computing today is probably a gross understatement. Both Forrester Research and Gartner are predicting that more than 40% of companies will get most of their software from the cloud by 2015, up from 3% today. This represents a 1,400% increase in just four years. So what’s driving this rapid adoption of the cloud?

The best analogy might come from the past. At the turn of the last century, every company that needed electricity to run its business used its own generators to create power. This was a natural evolution from the water wheels and other mechanical solutions used before the invention of electrical power. But this approach required capital expense, installation effort, and continual maintenance, and it wasn’t very efficient at a macro level. Generating electricity also wasn’t the core of these businesses. Companies generated their own electricity because that was their only option at the time. 

It didn’t take very long before some bright individuals realized that they could offer a much more efficient, flexible, and economical solution by creating a “network” for delivering power. By having a network in place, fewer locations could generate power at much larger capacities, leveraging huge economies of scale. Teams that were 100% focused on power generation could operate these central facilities, relieving their customers from having to develop their own power generation expertise. It also allowed their customers to avoid the significant capital and maintenance expense that came with owning their own power generators. With a power grid (network) now in place, companies quickly moved from generating their own power to buying power-as-a-service.

Fast-forward 100 years. Most companies have their own data centers, servers, storage solutions, and backup solutions that require capital expense, installation effort, and continual maintenance, and they aren’t very efficient at a macro level. But now with the Internet (network) in place, there are a few software and service companies such as Salesforce, Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), Google, Savvis, and Infor that are following in the footsteps of the Edisons. They’re building huge industrial data centers that are much larger, more capable, and more available than what companies need and can afford to build for themselves. These providers are leveraging significant economies of scale and labor that come with multi-tenant solutions. Teams focus 100% of their time on managing and maintaining the equipment and software, allowing customers to avoid the significant capital and maintenance expense of owning their own data centers and servers. With the Internet now fully in place, companies are quickly moving to buying Software-as-a-Service.

Does this mean that all software will now be consumed as a service? Probably not. Some companies today still generate their own power because of their special business needs. But it does mean that a rapidly growing number of companies will probably move most of their solutions to the cloud as the analysts predict. Remember that companies 100 years ago really didn’t want to generate their own power. They just wanted the electricity. Today companies don’t want to generate their own software solutions. They just want the functionality.

Now you have a choice. Are you ready to quit generating your own software delivery solutions and move to Software-as-a-Service instead? I’d love to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment to this post.

 

Posted by Jim Plourde, Vice President, SaaS Systems, Infor

EAM User Conference: Registration is Open

In case you missed the announcement, the Infor EAM Customer Forum 2011 will be held in Greenville, South Carolina, November 7–10, 2011. That’s right, Greenville, SC—the world center for all things Infor EAM (formerly Datastream). Join us at the largest gathering of EAM users and product experts, and participate in over 80 hours of sessions dedicated to EAM. Take advantage of the hands-on lab, which will be open during the entire conference.

If you’re an Infor EAM customer and want to learn best practices on maintenance, reliability, and energy efficiency—or you simply want to get more out of your Infor EAM investment—you can’t miss this event. Take a minute to visit the conference website and register to take advantage of the Early Bird discounted rate. The entire Infor EAM team looks forward to connecting and collaborating with you in Greenville.

Predictive Technologies Enhance Equipment Reliability

I’m a Weather Channel junkie…I’m fascinated by weather in general and how it affects our lives, every day, all around the globe. What’s even more fascinating to me is how the meteorologists are able to accurately (well, almost always) predict weather conditions for nearly every corner of our planet, days—sometimes weeks—in advance.

Thousands of years ago, people simply watched the sky to determine weather patterns. As the centuries progressed, so did meteorological technology. Now armed with satellites, computer modeling, and analytic skills, meteorologists have the tools they need to report accurate forecasts to help us plan our days and not get caught in a rainstorm without an umbrella.

Weather forecasting got me thinking about predicting asset conditions—even imminent failure—and the tools that we have at our fingertips to help avoid problems. Having the right tools to monitor and measure the condition of your assets can help detect when changes occur in an asset’s condition and enable you to predict and address problems before they occur (like take an umbrella to work when there’s rain in the forecast). Just like meteorological technology, the tools and technologies used to monitor assets have increasingly become more sophisticated and give us a real-time view of how they operate on a daily basis.

Sheila Kennedy of Plant Services wrote this great article about advancements in predictive tools and products being delivered by a number of companies, including Infor. The tools feature improvements in connectivity, usability, portability, and affordability.

What technology and/or tools do you use to monitor your assets and circumvent problems? What advances have you seen in the evolution of monitoring processes and analysis? I welcome your thoughts and ideas.

Posted by Scott O. Hall, Account Manager, Professional Services, Infor EAM

EAM + SCADA = Energy Savings

Driven by the desire to improve its energy efficiency and condition monitoring, a wastewater reclamation authority embarked on a project to integrate its supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and enterprise asset management (EAM) applications to enable that objective.

Read the full Plant Services article now in this installment of What Works to see how this facility improves energy efficiency and condition monitoring.

Take a Virtual Tour of Plant Efficiency

Companies are realizing that it’s no longer enough just to monitor assets. The time has come to proactively detect problems and drive corrective actions, as well as factor energy into maintenance plans, in order to stay competitive and grow. But how does an enterprise asset management (EAM) solution actually work on the shop floor to help reduce energy consumption and costs and keep your plant operating at its maximum efficiency?  

Take this interactive tour of Tricon Manufacturing, a virtual manufacturing plant, to see how EAM can help you:

  • Manage energy consumption.
  • Operate more efficiently.
  • Predict your assets’ health.

Once you’re in the plant, you’ll see six hotspots representing Infor EAM and Infor ERP solutions’ strengths. Click on +signs to open a pop-up box and access key EAM assets, including customer videos, demos, papers, case studies, and more.

How do you envision asset management working in your plant? Share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment to this post.

Profile of Success: Chicago Transit Authority and Infor EAM Enterprise Edition

In 2009, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced that it had selected Infor EAM Enterprise Edition to help reduce costs and increase productivity and became yet another in the growing number of success stories Infor has to share. CTA, the nation’s second-largest public transit agency, provides transportation for the City of Chicago and its 40 surrounding suburbs and will be using Infor’s EAM solution to determine optimum performance and maintenance levels on its more than 200 facilities.

CTA is leveraging Infor’s EAM Enterprise Edition for asset management and reliability tracking for historical information to allow data analysis. They can then determine optimal maintenance intervals and equipment inspection cycles. CTA is also using handheld devices, such as cell phones, to help manage the maintenance of its train stations, bus garages, and other remote facilities. In addition, Infor EAM Enterprise Edition is playing a part in helping CTA increase labor efficiency and reduce overtime.

CTA is also in the process of implementing Infor’s EAM advanced mobile solution which will allow the agency to transmit work orders to and from field units over a wireless data connection for real-time information on work and labor. Supervisors and dispatchers will be able to effectively manage maintenance staff by using up-to-the-minute work tracking and analysis.

If your organization is ready to start recognizing increased efficiency and optimal performance levels, consider checking out Infor’s on-demand public sector webinar, where the CTA team will be demonstrating how they can achieve the benefits of Infor EAM Work, Asset, Inspection, and Mobile modules, working individually and together.

Click here for more information or to view this on-demand webinar.

Posted by Scott O. Hall, PSO Corporate Account Manager, Infor EAM

Participation by CTA in the Infor webinar does not constitute an endorsement or expression of opinion in regards to Infor’s products or services.

ISO 50001: Are You Ready for the New Energy Management Standard?

You already know about ISO standards—the standards that many companies try to meet in order to improve their business, quality, and service. Later this year, ISO will publish a new global standard for energy management: ISO 50001.

ISO 50001 will establish a framework for industrial plants, commercial facilities, and utilities to manage energy. In fact, it’s estimated that the ISO 50001 standard may influence over 60% of all energy produced and consumed in the world. The objective of ISO 50001 is to help organizations, large or small, improve their energy performance, increase energy efficiency, and reduce the environmental impact related to energy consumption.

The ISO 50001 standard is based on two fundamental premises:

  • To manage, you need to measure.
  • A sustainable business requires adopting four Total Quality Management principles: Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA).

Attaining ISO 50001 certification requires management commitment, accountability, responsibility, and the business systems and processes (including the enabling technology) to achieve the intended level of energy performance. Ultimately, the goal is to optimize energy performance through behavioral change, process and control management, demand management, and design change management.

Want to learn more? View this on-demand webinar. I’d be interested in your feedback. Is your company looking at adopting ISO 50001 standard?

Posted by Rod Ellsworth, Vice President of Global Asset Sustainability, Infor

Retailers Can Defy Energy Costs

Retailers are just like you and me when it comes to monitoring and reducing energy consumption. We’re always looking for ways to cut energy costs and improve energy efficiency in our homes. However, generally unlike our homes, lighting in commercial buildings is the largest energy drain and can account for over 35% of a business’ energy use. That means any reduction in their energy costs can amount to a big boost to the bottom line.

To help stop eroding profit margins, many retailers are taking a new approach to improve asset operating performance: global asset sustainability. By monitoring and managing assets’ energy consumption, retailers can get a better handle on what assets consume the most energy and begin to control and reduce energy waste to improve operating, financial, and environmental performance.

In this article from Professional Retail Store magazine, I explain how retailers can implement energy intelligence into your asset management strategy and reduce your carbon footprint, become more energy efficient, and ultimately impact profits.

What are you doing to reduce energy consumption? What programs do you have in place to manage your assets’ energy usage?

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Posted by Rod Ellsworth, Vice President of Global Asset Sustainability, Infor