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Q & A with Suzane Greeman

Q. As President and Principal Asset Management Advisor for your company, what is the aim of your organization?

A.Greeman Asset Management Solutions, Inc. (GAMSINC) provides asset management advisory, consulting and educational services to organizations with large portfolios of equipment and infrastructure. We help companies develop asset management strategies and lifecycle management plans; manage asset information to improve decision-making; manage asset risks; and align roles and deliver asset management courses to build organizational capability. We offer courses at the professional and C-Suite executive levels to prepare leaders to sponsor, lead and participate in their asset management transformation. Our courses include Executive Leadership in Asset Management (ELiAMTM), Essentials of Asset Management & ISO5500x (EAMTM).

Q. How do you define asset management? What are the benefits of asset management?

A.Asset management is about delivering stakeholder value through the asset portfolio. It is easy to think that value is maximizing output, but this may not be affordable, or delivering maximum service may put the asset and the organization at risk and increase operational costs. Value comes when asset performance is balanced against the associated risks and costs to deliver performance and treat risks.

Some benefits of asset management are:

  • Improved risk management, with a better understanding of the organization’s risk appetite;
  • Improved return on asset, effective total expenditure (TotEx) budgeting and alignment of operational expenditure (OpEx) and capital expenditures (CapEx);
  • Assurance that asset management activities are financeable over the long term.
This Circle of Services is a Trademark of Greeman Asset Management Solutions, Inc.

This Circle of Services is a Trademark of Greeman Asset Management Solutions, Inc.

Q. You work with numerous companies in a variety of industries. What are the biggest challenges for companies implementing asset management strategies?

A.Significantly, culture comes in at the top of the list for me. I have noticed, for example, highly independent teams with very little interactivity of information or connection to a central strategy. It is, in turn, very difficult to bring these stakeholders to the table or to even get them to agree that their decision-making is not optimal and that the organization needs asset management. There is also the perception that asset management will be implemented successfully without any structural changes to the organization. Another significant obstacle for companies is the lack of asset information of a high enough quality to be used for decision-making.

Q. Your book, Risk-Based Asset Criticality Assessment (R-b ACA©) Handbook, focuses on developing a methodology that is aligned with an organization’s business and asset drivers. Explain this methodology. What are the benefits?

A. Asset criticality is a fundamental decision-making tool that supports the prioritization of assets for investments, maintenance strategies and repair/replace decisions. R-b ACA© demonstrates how business and asset drivers may be converted into factors of failure and, ultimately, into asset risks. In that regard, the Handbook addresses structural deficiencies in the traditional approach to asset criticality, such as its inability to provide “on-demand” asset risk information. The aim is to give the reader a set of tools to critically examine their organizations and develop their own methodology based on their context rather than present a prescriptive list of what criticality needs to be for every company.

Q. How do you define risk?

A. I like the ISO31000:2018 definition of risk: The effect of uncertainty on objectives. This means that for there to be risk, there must be uncertainty and there must be objectives, and the uncertainty must have an impact on the objectives if the risk materializes. When speaking of asset risks, we are not only speaking of risks triggered by asset activities, such as aging assets, or by organizational activities, such as a change resistive workforce. We are also speaking of externally triggered risks at the organizational level, for which the assets must provide suitable response. Examples of these risks are legal or regulatory complexity and climate change.

Q. You have been an active member of Women in Reliability and Asset Management (WIRAM). How has WIRAM influenced your career?

A. WIRAM has been successfully raising the profile of women in asset management and reliability and bringing recognition to our work. I have had the opportunity to learn from speakers at the gatherings and had the distinct honor of also being a keynote speaker at the gathering at IMC-2018. It is quite a supportive environment that offers such great professional exposure.

Q. What are the benefits of diversity?

A. I believe diversity enhances the overall outcomes for companies and teams by increasing the pool of available talent. From a professional perspective, it seems senseless to me to not want to benefit from all available perspectives. Access to diverse perspectives comes from creating space for diversity and being inclusive at all levels of the organization. In addition to the standard indices of diversity, we also need to pay attention to the minority voice in team settings, particularly when we are dealing with asset risks. Properly harnessed, both diversity and inclusivity will improve organizational morale.

Q. What do you see as specific challenges related to the lack of diversity in reliability and asset management? How can this industry better support diversity?

A. One of the main challenges is that we seem to have changed policies, but are struggling to change our minds. The second may be related, but there also seems to be a shrinking pool of candidates as we move up organizational levels. To move diversity beyond fascinating conversation pieces, a combination of top management exposure, workforce education and structural changes are needed. Indeed, more top management mentorship and advocacy for minority groups are needed. As I have been extensively mentored by men and women, I also aim to be a global professional, providing value and creating space for others, regardless of who they are.

Q. In addition to your career and work, you have written a book and spoken at several conferences. What is your passion and how do you see this affecting your future?

A. I am very excited about asset management education and coaching. I get unbelievable joy from teaching. I have opened myself up to eclectic professional experiences and they have provided me with plenty of examples to share when teaching. Conferences are also among my favorite things to do. They give me the opportunity to take in a large amount of relevant information over a short space of time, providing a better value for the money than if I tried to chase all that knowledge in individual courses. I enjoy the networking and making friends; I believe I am still in touch with people from the very first conference I attended.

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