The first thing you should look at is the objective of the survey. I have seen for years many companies and people seeing it as simply a process they need to do because they were told.
This isn’t the case and its further down the line they realise that more attention should have been taken at the beginning. This guide will step you through each part of a survey and what you should look to do to achieve the goals needed to make your survey a success.
What is your primary objectives?
- Obtain an asset list that can generate a full PPM planner.
- Obtain an asset list that can be cross referenced for compliance.
- An asset list that can be cross referenced to budget costs.
- An asset list that can output the labour force quantity and skill types.
- Identify all critical plant equipment for running the site(s) .
- Identify all business critical assets and grade maintenance accordingly.
- Create a knowledge base of assets to identify parts required for repairs.
- Create a forward planning maintenance program.
- Barcode assets for easier identification and “scanned” maintenance.
- Value a contract to confirm that it is viable.
- Identify equipment, plant and sites that are in and out of scope.
- Identify business risk.
This list isn’t exhaustive but the key elements above should be the minimum your looking to create. Although you may decide that you have 2 years left on a contract and don’t want a forward maintenance and replacement program. But simply “red flagging” of assets likely to fail before the contract ends.
Engaging with senior management prior to the survey beginning can assist in ironing out any issues before they occur. Also clarifying what is agreed and how it will be carried out and by whom. This also allows the onsite management to put forward ideas and strategies for the survey that may also be utilised on other sites.
Engagement with the surveyors and their management is also paramount to a successful survey. Although senior management have agreed a survey will be carried out confirmation of expectations, scope and terms of reference are extremely important before the survey begins. Also for access requirements, passes, parking etc. to make the most of the surveyors while onsite.
Many surveys are “task based” with low engagement where an external company may be hired by senior management with low to no engagement with onsite management. This creates a divide that does not assist any parties involved. Senior management often have a different objective to those on the ground e.g. confirmation of bid price. Often pushing a strained budget to “just get it done”, while the onsite teams may feel they will not get the quality required to operate the site after the dust has settled. While the surveyors may take direction from offsite management within their company.
Which is why collaboration between all parties is extremely important to have everyone pull in the same direction. Where surveys fail are normally caused by the following :-
- Poor access issues.
- Poor planning – Change of scope, assets to be collected etc. mid survey.
- Poor budgeting with unrealistic targets – Instead of downsizing the data capture pressure is added to get the surveyors to finish quicker. The end result is a poor survey with a lack of detail and risk of mistakes.
- Unrealistic time frame – One of the most common problems and a survey that wasn’t completed properly 7 years ago in 6 weeks. Doesn’t mean that you can get a new survey completed in 4 weeks. Analysis of the previous survey should have had a lessons learned. If not I recommend speaking to anyone who is still available from the initial survey to find out what went wrong.
- Collecting wrong assets – This gets back to planning on what you should be collecting before the survey begins. But often its not clarified and as such can create inconsistent data and extend the timeframe of a survey.
These are a few pointers to get managers thinking about what they need to aim for when a survey will be taking place on their site(s).