Almost everyone is familiar with the way the Jeopardy game is played. The answer to a question is given and it is up to the contestants to figure out the real question. While this may seem easy, it often is quite difficult.
For example, consider the three entities listed at the start of this blog. What do regulatory agencies (OSHA, EPA, FDA, etc.), insurance companies, and lawyers have in common? On the surface, one might say not much. However, that is about to change. Sometime about January 15th, 2014 the ISO-5500X series of standards will come into existence. While this is an asset management system standard, it impacts how any organization that owns, leases, or utilizes assets will be doing business in the future.
Some will develop the thought that this is a voluntary standard and no company is going to be required to adopt or meet this standard. And this is true. Unless customers, suppliers, or perhaps investors require a company to become ISO-55000 certified, many will not adopt the standard. Even though adopting an asset management standard will likely improve a company’s business, many companies (if not most) will develop a “wait and see attitude”. There will be early adopters; and these companies will likely gain a competitive advantage in their respective markets.
The “wait and see” companies are likely to fail to notice the relationship between the three entities mentioned at the start of this blog – regulatory agencies, insurance companies, and lawyers. Since momentum began around the development of ISO-55000, these entities have been watching the progress of the standard’s development.
Regulatory agencies do not like writing their own standards. They would prefer to use existing standards that fit their needs. So how many OSHA, EPA, FDA, etc. regulations impact or are impacted by a company’s assets? Would the regulatory inspectors like to develop their own standard, or would they simply like to show up at a company and ask to see their asset management documentation and asset management system?
How many insurance companies are concerned about accidents that can harm a company’s personnel or damage the surrounding community? How many of these accidents would have an asset malfunction as a root cause? Again, it will be very easy for an insurance investigator to simply ask to see the asset management documentation and the company’s asset management system?
Finally, if an accident were to occur at a company, how long will it take before someone files a lawsuit? How long will it be before a lawyer asks for the company’s asset management documentation and asset management system? And we are only one step removed from an investor wanting this information before funding a company, trying to insure they would not lose their investment if there was an asset related problem.
2014 is going to be an interesting year. At the start of 2015, as we reflect back on the events of 2014, ISO-55000 could be one of the most important developments in the business community of the past several decades. Even if it isn’t, it should have forced most companies to review how they manage their assets. That action itself will help most companies improve their asset related business policies and practices.
So the final Jeopardy question should have been, “What three groups are going to be extremely interested in ISO-55000 in 2014?”. However, the real question for each company is whether or not they are going to use the ISO-55000 standard to improve their asset related business processes to improve their competitive position in 2014…