Hugh graduated with a 1st Class MEng. Since then, he has mostly worked in Asset Management. Almost immediately – furniture design interlude excepted – Hugh started work in in railway asset management. Between 2005 and today, and accounting for 3 years as an independent film and documentary producer, Hugh has consulted on asset management in UK highways, gas transmission UK and Ireland, ports, railways, and power utilities.

What is asset management?

Asset management means optimising investment in infrastructure, or more accurately, persuading infrastructure firms management to optimise their spending.

This is a really difficult, long term challenge, that every long running infrastructure firm faces. Many staff in hi-vi jackets, distant management and leadership, and a capital intensive asset base, in itself often enough to dictate a hard-to-change situation.

What is the point?

Working well asset management, could allow annual investment savings of 15-20%. This level of annual saving has been demonstrated many times.

The discipline might even solve the difficulty of: ‘we’ve sweated the assets, and now we’re in trouble as the assets are about to fall over’. It will depend on just how badly treated the assets are, or how much is known about them and their history. More importantly, how the firm and leaders behave.

Asset management is a logical and systematic approach that can mathematically account for total £ risk. Asset management has broad applicability across asset types and systems, and as a management system helps coordinate the complexity of large organisations. It can be a significant help to the many staff who are bored of being ignored.

Does 15% annual saving sound enough? ~On the total maintenance budget, and twice that on the Capex budget?

That might mean:

  1. RAILWAYS Make maintenance effective: For exampe, it is demonstrably safer, cheaper and derives better performance to maintain key sets of points at a more tailored maintenance frequency. Note, it is crucial to know what exact interventions are being planned, and completed.
  2. PORTS Answer the question: Is it reasonable to reduce the population of 220 forklift trucks (32 to 5 tonnes capacity each)? These forklifts work in a hot summer and freezing winter environment of coastal Finland. Is it a mistake to have so many expensive forklifts, or good resilience?
  3. GAS TRANSMISSION Establish a monetised risk methodolgy: What should be the total £ risk of the high-pressure network? And can we demonstrate that the £ risk is appropriate? And how to then work – what decision and development processes should be used – so that each investment decision is made to improve the £ risk, both for those interventions and overall?

'Posco' means 'challenge' – we try difficult things. And enjoy ourselves

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