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Pioneering Asset Management Through Benchmarking

Initially, the multi-phased program was focused on standardization of maintenance practices, adoption of best practices and optimization of labor and material resources. To facilitate the Phase I program and obtain expertise in the area of asset management, a consultant was selected to support MWRA staff.

A maintenance and asset lifecycle strategies survey at outside facilities/industries of similar size and complexity was completed to help develop the FAMP initiative. Survey questions ranged from business and maintenance strategy, organizational structure, staffing and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) to asset management, procurement and warehousing policies. Although the survey of water/wastewater facilities found “pockets of excellence,” none had an overall asset management model to follow. Upon the consultant’s recommendation, the team initiated investigations into the private sector. Fortune 500 and 1000 companies and organizations were contacted and relationships developed. Collaboration efforts were initiated at leading industries, including a steel mill in Canada, a manufacturer in Massachusetts and a process plant in Colorado. In addition, several team members attended and subsequently joined a new professional maintenance association, the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP).

Research outside the water quality field helped the MWRA team identify asset management best practices and the MWRA’s program model (Figure A-2) and schedules were updated. The benchmarking efforts were a critical turning point in the program’s success, allowing the team to identify, understand and incorporate the elements of a comprehensive asset management program.

Figure A-2: FAMP Model

The MWRA continues to benchmark with other organizations and share their efforts, knowledge and experience with both private and public entities. To date, the MWRA FAMP initiative has received national attention, including:

  • The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) 2002 National Environmental Achievement Award;
  • Feature article in the nationally distributed Maintenance Technology magazine;
  • Host site and case study for MRO Software, Inc., a leading provider of solutions for strategic asset management.

In addition, technical papers and collaborative sessions continue with entities (e.g., associations, public and private organizations), such as the:

  • Water Environment Federation (WEF);
  • New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA);
  • American Water Works Association (AWWA);
  • Institute for International Research – Best Maintenance Practices
  • General Accounting Office (GAO);
  • Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP);
  • Detroit Water and Sewerage Department;
  • Seattle’s King County Wastewater Treatment Division;
  • Gillette Worldwide;
  • Coors Brewing Company;
  • Intel Corporation;
  • Massachusetts General Hospital;
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The MWRA’s benchmarking research and commitment to program implementation has quickly advanced into a recognized benchmark and host site for asset management.

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