Expert in the field of asset management, outsourcing and benchmarking
Performance risk control, a key skill for asset management
Asset management includes the optimal and sustainable management of the costs and performances over the entire life cycle, in accordance with the company’s own business objectives and the requirements of the stakeholders. The associated risks are controlled by the asset manager with activities. Nature, type and quantity depend on the life cycle phase and the technical possibilities, but also on the asset system, the circumstances and the context. The asset manager controls the risks in the investment phase through design choices. In the operational phase it is all about managing the risks associated with the chosen design solutions, the delivered assets taken into service. Then the registration and learning of occurred failures is essential, and insight into the technical condition and degradation of the assets. Good failure analysis is indispensable for this, as well as inspections and measurements to identify the causes of failures at an early stage. In this way ProRail succeeded to reduce the number of switch failures by 30% in the past seven years and reduced the related maintenance costs.
With the rise of electronics and ICT, the possibilities have grown exponentially. ICT and Information management are therefore key for asset management and create conditions to use and integrate the knowledge and skills of all partners in the sector to prevent failures from occurring. The aircraft industry can be used as an example; not to copy – because the system and the circumstances differ too much – but to inspire and determine a powerful policy orientation on risk reduction.
Would you like to know more about the knowledge of Jan Swier? Read the interview our editors conducted with Jan Swier.
Jan Swier (66 yrs) is retired since November 2017 and was a strategic advisor at ProRail Asset Management. After his study civil engineering in Utrecht and military service, he started as a bridge engineering in 1974 at the Dutch Railways (NS). Four years later he became a maintenance managers of bridges, tunnels and installations. In 1989 he joined a McKinsey-team during five month for a restructuring study of NS Infra. In that period the fundament was laid down of all the changes in the rail transport sector in the Netherlands: separation of exploitation and rail infrastructure, outsourcing of engineering and outsourcing of maintenance. Ever since that period he is not technical involved anymore but became a bridge builder between operation and strategy. After five years as a manager of a staff group he started as an internal advisor and project leader for asset management. He was involved in all the organizational changes and contributed to it with the development of new management instruments and skills. He became an expert in the field of asset management, outsourcing and benchmarking, and has shares his expertise with other asset managers, in- and outside the Netherlands. He has recorded his experiences and vision on asset management in a book that was published in 2017 and is still available for strategic advice after his retirement.