MechChem Africa

Asset Management is a rapidly developing field, with more and more companies placing it amongst the top three strategic initiatives for driving a step change in bottom line profit. “Ensure the resources used will enable this strategic value driver,” says Pragma Africa’s Johannes Coetzee.

Enabling Manufacturing Transformation smallAccording to Johannes Coetzee, Executive at Pragma Africa, some organisations often chase ISO 55000 certification just for the sake of marketing prestige or to comply with their clients’ requirements. It is easy to mistake ISO certification the end goal, instead of seeing it as a milepost midway on the Asset Management (AM) roadmap to sustainable bottom-line added value.

In line with this, there is currently a concerning trend where a few consulting ventures offer “ISO 55000 Certification” without the needed accreditation or by using assessors that do not have a proven AM track record. This is one of the topics currently under focus in AM circles such as the Southern African Asset Management Association (SAAMA) and the Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management (GFMAM).

To be clear, it needs to be stated that ISO 55000 refers to ISO 55000: 2014 and provides an overview of asset management, its principles and terminology, and the expected benefits from adopting asset management. The ISO 55000 series comprises of three standards. ISO 55000 provides an overview of AM and the standard terms and definitions, while ISO 55001 is the requirements specification for an integrated, effective management system for asset management. ISO 55002 guides the implementation of such a management system with practical examples.

In 2015 the SABS adopted ISO 55000 as a national standard (SANS 55000: 2015), but it is important to note that SANAS (South African National Accreditation System) is still busy developing the accreditation programme for SANS 55000 and, as such, cannot yet accredit a South African-based assessing entity, known as a certification body.

In short, companies need to verify that the entity assessing them for ISO 55000 certification has the proper accreditation. Otherwise, the certificate will have no standing. It is, however, possible for a certification body that is accredited abroad to certify a South African based company, but this usually proves to be a costly exercise. Currently, SAAMA is working closely with SANAS to get to a point where South African certification bodies will be accredited against SANS 55000 to certify companies against the standard.

Secondly, before embarking on the certification process, one should consider the individual running the assessment to obtain certification. It is possible for an assessor to certify against ISO 55000 even if he or she is not an AM expert, but has the needed ISO assessment credentials. This means that the true value that can be derived from AM is not necessarily tested, but rather the compliance against the systems implied by the standard.

It is important to note that although ISO 55000 is not merely focused on the management system, many companies reduce it to a systems approach and even an Enterprise Asset Management software approach. The software a company uses is an enabler and most definitely not the complete solution.

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