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Analyzing Asset Maintenance in a Down Economy



by Will Hutchinson

Since 2008, we have experienced a recession with a slow recovery.  Organizations have deferred capital spending in order to conserve cash.


Capital Assests and Maintenance Services

The owners of capital assets and maintenance services providers spend much of their time focusing on maintaining their existing equipment.  Oftentimes, the providers of maintenance services are the same people who initially sold them their capital equipment.  They view maintenance services as a way to replace sales revenue and to build relationships with their customers.  

When the economy turns around completely, or when equipment needs to be replaced, these organizations want to be top of mind for their customers’ needs for replacement, upgrade, or expansion.  Most importantly, good asset maintenance drives safety.  I have always worked in organizations that owned large capital equipment where safety was each manager’s number one priority.  Properly maintained assets are safer assets. 


Metrics Used to Analyze Asset Maintenance Issues:

  • Meantime between failure (MTBF) and mean time to repair (MTTR). 
     - This tells us how long time will elapse until an asset needs repair and how long it will take to restore the asset.
  • First call resolution.
     - If a repair does not fix the problem, the repair organization will incur more cost and put customer relationships at risk.  The asset owner sees a failed repair subtracting from the productivity of the asset.
  • Cost to repair, including labor hours and parts cost.
     - While one could argue that a repair organization working on a time and materials basis would generate more revenue and profit if labor and materials costs were higher, much of the repair work is done on a service contract or warranty.  This means the repair organization has an incentive to keep costs down. 

Oracle's Tools to Help Analyze These Issues:

  • Enterprise Asset Management Analytics
    This looks at asset maintenance from the point of view of the asset owner. This helps the asset owner understand the history of asset downtime and repair, including MTBF, MTTR, and history of work orders. It also helps the asset owner understand how much it costs to maintain the asset, including both planned and unplanned maintenance. The owner can then understand the availability of resources needed to maintain an asset, both human resources and capital resources.
  • Service Analytics
    This looks at asset maintenance from the point of view of the service provider. It looks at activities and their costs; cycle times, including first call resolution, MTBF and MTTR, and how much time it takes to close each service call. It also looks at the sales of service contracts in the following areas: CRM Activities, CRM Agreements, CRM Assets, CRM Customer Satisfaction, CRM Service Requests, and CRM Products. The data can be sourced from anywhere using the Universal Adapter. 
  • Endeca
    This allows people to combine structured data and text data in order to uncover the main causes of maintenance problems. The unstructured data may include: technicians’ notes, manufacturers’ or service organizations’ service bulletins, or third party notices.


An organization that takes care of its assets will be safer and more productive. A vendor or service provider that understands that good customer service will pay dividends in terms of revenue and customer loyalty and be more profitable. Service Analytics, Enterprise Asset Management Analytics, and Endeca can help pave the way toward these goals. 


William Hutchinson is the co-author of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications: Deliver Value Through Rapid implementations.  Will is also a Master Principal Sales Consultant at Oracle, specializing in Oracle's BI tools and applications.  He has worked in business intelligence and data warehousing for more than 25 years.  Will   Check out more posts from Will Hutchinson at


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