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Associate Member Profile | Greeman Asset Management Solutions

Greeman Asset Management Solutions is RAC’s newest associate member. Headquartered in Winnipeg and serving asset-dependent firms in North America and globally, Greeman provides asset management advisory and consulting services to organizations with large portfolios of physical assets. We recently spoke with Suzane Greeman about how the firm’s solutions can help RAC members to holistically manage equipment and infrastructure.

Q1: What does Greeman’s approach to asset management consist of? What services do you provide and how do you work with your clients?

A: Our services include asset management needs assessments, organizational readiness assessments and improvement, policy and strategy deployment, corporate value frameworks, asset information management, long-term asset investment planning, life cycle management plans, competence management, asset acquisition due diligence, and owner’s advocacy.

We take a systems-based approach. That means we look at cultural engagement and alignment to ensure there is support for the Asset Management System from all levels of management and to ensure that the organization is asset-management ready.

We go in, we listen, and we look at what’s going on. We use tools to assess the organization and its asset management practices.

So, we help to determine the starting point and the client sets the end point and then we work with our clients to work collaboratively to achieve their goals. In that way, we support the strategic direction of the organization as journey consultants.

We’ve worked with utilities, airports, maritime navigation firms, and other heavily regulated sector players with complex networks of external and internal stakeholders.

Q2: There is so much change all around us, across industries. Railways have seen an incredible challenges and changes to the operating environment in recent years. How can asset management systems help navigate the increasing pace and breadth of change?

A: Assets exist to create and provide value and everything railways deliver is based on assets. There is no business without rail assets. So, this is not just an ‘operations issue’ of the asset, an Asset Management System is a pivotal system within organizations and should be part of the organization’s business model.

When it comes to risk, rail companies have to factor in everything that’s happening in the external context that could threaten stakeholder value – socioeconomic changes, climate change, regulatory changes, social trends, supply chains, and more – in considering how assets play a role in mitigating and managing these changes, and even how to manage risks that could materialize on the assets.

And each organization also has internal risk factors that could constrain the value an asset can deliver.  These have to do with the assets themselves such as poor condition and aging assets, with systems and processes, and with people such as how we sustain competence in these times.

So, we work with senior leaders and employees who know the organization and its assets the best, to build awareness and resilience internally. We then take a holistic view and listen, and then develop with leadership teams an asset management system that works for that organization so their assets can deliver maximum value.

 

Q3: Does the value proposition surrounding asset management systems change coming out of COVID?

A: Definitely, risk profiles have changed over the last couple of years. The way that we work has changed as well. Flexibilities around maintenance and supply chain practices have been shrinking over the last few years and just about evaporated during COVID.

As but one example, the rising unavailability and cost of labour. Not just for in-house roles. But for service providers as well. Companies are finding it very difficult to find the people they need, and there’s no indication it will ever return to how things once were. So, we must get business information and knowledge, to a point where it’s not just in people’s heads; it needs to be documented in systems to retain critical business knowhow and manage risks, etc.

Supply chains have also been changed forever going in and coming out of COVID. Partnerships with service providers, parts suppliers, and others are more important than ever.

Q4: Where does asset management come into discussions around the urgent/immediate vs long-term/bigger picture business threats?

A: Asset management is about balancing asset performance, risks, and costs appropriately. Rail companies are constantly making those tradeoffs to create stakeholder value. Appropriate discussions now have to happen around exactly what stakeholders want from the assets, how much assets we need, when is the right time to make asset changes, how much stakeholders are willing to pay for said value, how much risk can we tolerate, and how much will it cost for the many options that lie ahead of us.

These are complex conversations, and we need long-term asset planning and business alignment to ensure that our actions to fulfill our needs today do not create future risks for voiceless stakeholders such as future generations and the environment. Having an effective asset management system, is the most holistic and systematic way to assure that the organization makes appropriate trade-offs between current needs and long-term risks.

Q5: Why are you excited to work with rail companies on these journeys?

A: Rail is such a significant part of Canada’s economy and who we are as a country. In a sense, we view it as a duty to be part of, and to support, the industry so it can be there for us, our children, and our children’s children.

The railway industry is also quite innovative, and we love to see the innovative practices and approaches being employed and sharing knowledge across many multiple sectors will work for everyone’s benefit.

Rail companies have some of the longest histories of owning and managing assets in Canada. We’ve joined the RAC partly to learn from the innovative practices in the rail industry, and partly to support the sharing of good asset management practices from other industries across Canada.