Food & Drink Technology discusses asset management with Johan Paulsson, head of asset management Services at Tetra Pak (pictured)
What is asset management?
Asset management assesses the value chain of a business in its entirety to detect ways to extract optimum value. It takes both short and long term measures into consideration.
Why is this important to food producers?
Food producers are currently encountering significant challenges because the business environment is constantly changing. This includes retailers negotiating extended payment agreements, unpredictable costs for commodities and difficulties in raising funds.
It has therefore become vital for food producers to unlock as much value as possible from the use of their assets.
How can producers solve these challenges?
Companies can implement an asset management programme and enhance the elements of their business that can be controlled. This provides a structure to achieve sustainable business value by delivering operational improvements to support the bottom line.
Asset management has a number of advantages, including assisting food manufacturers with delivering on goals such as reducing costs and improving the way a plant or factory functions. This is because it allows companies to produce the correct amount of products at a consistently high quality and competitive cost.
How is this delivered?
It is delivered through a combination of unique processes and methodologies that are tailored to meet the needs of each business.
At Tetra Pak, we provide customers with an asset management measurement and benchmarking service. We analyse organisational and operational maturity in order to identify and quantify improvement opportunities and unlock value.
For instance, in maintenance, many companies still have separate teams working on different areas and operating in siloes. Taking a holistic approach and building a maintenance programme for the whole process can produce significant savings.
Given the benefits, are more producers adopting asset management?
There are a number of food manufacturers that are working to streamline their operations. However, because there tends to be an immediate focus on daily activities rather than long term strategic initiatives, food producers have yet to fully explore the possibilities of asset management.
What initial steps should food producers be taking?
Rather than taking a divisional approach to fulfil objectives, food producers should align actions across their entire business. This can be achieved by facilitating a transparent flow of information and encouraging joint goals.
What are the results of Tetra Pak’s work in the asset management space?
To date, we have helped our customers achieve an average increase of nine per cent in asset utilisation per project. We have also delivered reduced operational costs in improvement projects for customers by an average of 11 per cent.
What does the future of asset management look like for manufacturers?
In order to unlock greater value, producers need to take advantage of the current data rich environment. This will enable the right people within an organisation to use the information available to assess the risks and make improved, evidence based decisions.
Another key step is ensuring that manufacturers align activities and their thinking across the whole business, as opposed to the more usual departmental/divisional approach (working in silos) to achieve their business goals. By introducing these steps, producers can unlock the full potential of their asset base.