Optimizing Asset Performance Monitoring for Enhanced Operational Efficiency



Asset Performance Management (APM) is a systematic methodology that optimizes industrial assets throughout their lifecycle. By leveraging data analysis and insights, APM enhances asset reliability, availability, and reduces operational costs. However, traditional APM implementation methods often fall short, focusing more on technology than process and lacking quality content and a comprehensive visualization of asset health. To overcome these challenges, organizations are adopting integrated APM approaches that digitally link asset management functions and prioritize business goals. This article explores the role of APM in successful asset management, the benefits of effective APM, and the utilization of modern technologies for real-time data retrieval in APM.

In today's industrial landscape, APM plays a crucial role in driving operational efficiency and achieving business success. By optimizing maintenance procedures, inventory management, and aftermarket processes, APM enhances asset performance and reduces downtime and costs. Integrated APM approaches that prioritize business goals and leverage advanced technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and analytics offer proactive and predictive solutions for asset management. These technologies enable real-time data retrieval, precise prediction of asset failures, and effective decision-making based on data-driven insights. By embracing the power of APM and modern technologies, organizations can streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and gain a competitive edge in the industry.

1. Understanding Asset Performance Management (APM)

Industrial assets' optimization throughout their lifecycle is a pivotal task, executed through a systematic methodology known as Asset Performance Management (APM). This strategy, deeply entrenched in data analysis and insights garnering, enhances physical assets' reliability and availability while simultaneously mitigating risk and reducing operational costs. However, traditional APM implementation methods have frequently underperformed.

In the conventional APM model, technology often supersedes process. Organizations tend to treat APM as a technology project, neglecting the focus on process and the essential linkage of activities to drive desired performance. This approach has frequently led to scalability issues. While pilot testing might display initial success, broadening the technology or approach across a multitude of assets often poses challenges.

Moreover, traditional APM often grapples with a dearth of quality content, a critical element for driving improvements in asset strategies and care plans. An effective process for deploying generic content, customizable for operational contexts and usable across similar assets, is often absent.

Traditional APM also suffers from a siloed approach, typified by disconnected functions and tools, making it challenging to achieve a comprehensive visualization of asset health and risk and to prioritize and optimize resources effectively.

In many instances, corporate office-driven APM initiatives often lack input from individual sites. This results in solutions that may not be fit for purpose and poor engagement from the individuals responsible for executing the work.

A more potent approach is provided by Bently Nevada's integrated APM, which digitally links asset management functions and creates an integrated program. This approach assists organizations in demonstrating compliance, managing risk, reducing costs, and delivering predictable performance.

Integrated APM bolsters the continuous improvement of asset care and reliability, allowing for real-time reflection of operating context or asset changes in asset strategies and monitoring applications. The result is a dynamic and agile approach to equipment maintenance and reliability that is more efficient, effective, and scalable compared to traditional methods. For instance, a global chemical company has standardized root cause analysis (RCA) across over 40 sites using this approach.

APM is a critical component of asset performance monitoring, enabling organizations to gain a comprehensive understanding of their assets' performance, condition, and health. However, the traditional approach to APM has its drawbacks. An integrated APM approach, on the other hand, offers a more effective and efficient solution, providing a comprehensive, connected, and continuous improvement of asset care and reliability.

Several solutions available for data analytics can optimize asset performance. These solutions employ various techniques and technologies to analyze data and provide insights for better asset management. By leveraging data analytics, organizations can monitor asset performance in real-time, identify potential issues or anomalies, and make data-driven decisions to optimize asset utilization and reduce downtime.

Interaction between APM and Data Analytics

These solutions typically include features such as predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and visualizations to provide actionable insights for improving asset performance.

To improve the reliability and availability of industrial assets through APM, a comprehensive approach can be implemented. This approach involves leveraging advanced technologies such as predictive maintenance, real-time monitoring, and data analytics to optimize asset performance and minimize downtime. By collecting and analyzing data from various sources, APM systems can identify potential issues and provide actionable insights to enable proactive maintenance and avoid unplanned shutdowns. Additionally, APM solutions can also help optimize asset utilization, extend asset lifespan, and reduce overall maintenance costs.

2. The Role of APM in Successful Asset Management

Asset Performance Management (APM) serves as an instrumental driver for digital transformation within industrial organizations, merging with conventional asset management practices and empowering a transformative leap in reliability, maintenance execution, and business performance.

APM is an approach that not only takes into account traditional asset reliability and availability objectives but also prioritizes business goals. It ensures that assets are equipped with the necessary capabilities to meet the dynamic business and production goals of today. The APM ecosystem extends beyond the physical confines of the plant and facilities, incorporating a diverse range of applications across asset-intensive industries.

Modern APM employs digital tools such as smart devices, augmented reality, and mobility to enhance business processes and devise innovative methods for asset management. It involves a blend of people, processes, and technologies to enhance the uptime, revenue, and lifespan of physical assets while simultaneously reducing operating costs and business risk.

Proactive APM, integrated with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and analytics, opens up new avenues to enhance the reliability of industrial assets. It provides a spectrum of maintenance strategies, including reactive, preventive, condition-based, predictive, and prescriptive maintenance. The maturity of maintenance can be classified into these five categories, each with its unique attributes and benefits.

Distribution of Asset Performance Improvement Strategies

The realm of APM includes various domains and practices, such as asset integrity management (AIM), asset lifecycle information management (ALIM), computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), digital thread, digital twins, enterprise asset management (EAM), environmental health and safety (EHS), failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), field service management (FSM), plant asset management/condition monitoring (PAM), predictive maintenance (PdM), reliability-centered maintenance (RCM), and root cause analysis (RCA).

An asset management system is a cornerstone for any successful business, offering real-time tracking of the location and productivity of assets. The system, often cloud-based, provides access to the asset directory from anywhere, ensuring accurate and timely updates on asset status, including repair and service needs. It aids in enhancing productivity by identifying non-functional, stolen, or lost assets, often referred to as ghost assets.

The implementation of an asset management system, in conjunction with the right software setup, can bring considerable benefits for an organization. It provides the necessary tools and insights to monitor, analyze, and optimize asset performance, thereby enhancing operational efficiency. Leveraging APM allows organizations to make informed decisions about maintenance strategies, asset utilization, and investment priorities. This not only extends the lifespan of assets but also minimizes downtime, improves safety, and maximizes return on asset investments.

When implementing APM in asset management, it is crucial to establish clear performance goals and metrics. This includes identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) such as response times, throughput, and error rates. By defining these goals and metrics upfront, it becomes easier to measure and optimize the performance of the asset management system.

Implementing monitoring tools that provide real-time visibility into the performance of asset management applications can help identify performance bottlenecks, troubleshoot issues, and proactively address potential performance concerns. Regular monitoring and analysis processes, including reviewing performance reports, analyzing trends, and identifying areas for improvement, are also recommended.

Involving all relevant stakeholders in the APM implementation process, including IT teams, application owners, and end-users, ensures that their requirements and expectations are considered. This fosters collaboration and accountability for maintaining and improving application performance. Regularly updating the APM strategy and practices as the asset management system evolves is also important, keeping up with the latest APM technologies and best practices, and incorporating feedback and lessons learned from monitoring and analysis activities.

To optimize asset performance using APM, it is important to implement a comprehensive strategy that includes proactive maintenance, data analytics, and predictive modeling. APM technologies and practices can help monitor asset health in real-time, identify potential issues before they occur, and schedule maintenance activities based on actual asset conditions. This approach helps maximize asset uptime, reduce unplanned downtime, and improve overall operational efficiency.

Implementing an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) system can provide real-time insights into the performance and health of applications, helping to identify and resolve issues quickly. By monitoring key metrics such as response time, throughput, and error rates, organizations can proactively address performance bottlenecks and optimize resource allocation.

Integrating APM with CMMS and EAM systems for asset management enables organizations to optimize maintenance strategies, improve asset performance, and maximize the lifespan of their assets. This integration can be achieved by utilizing APIs provided by the APM, CMMS, and EAM systems, or by utilizing middleware or integration platforms to facilitate the integration process.

3. Business Benefits of Effective Asset Performance Management

Asset Performance Management (APM) optimization is a significant value-add for businesses, fostering operational efficiency by reducing unforeseen equipment downtime and maintenance costs. It extends the reliability and lifespan of assets, thus reducing the total cost of ownership. By offering insights into potential asset failures and their operational impact, APM bolsters risk management. Furthermore, it supports regulatory compliance through transparency and traceability in asset management procedures, ultimately contributing to increased profitability and a competitive edge.

For instance, Axonius, a cybersecurity asset management and SaaS management platform, has been instrumental in enforcing compliance policies, managing cyber asset attack surfaces, and handling cyber asset inventory software management. Companies like Cimpress have leveraged Axonius to enhance asset visibility and decrease incident response time. As a multinational organization with a large workforce, Cimpress grappled with the challenge of managing assets across a decentralized structure. The automation of asset discovery and inventory creation through Axonius proved valuable. The platform's capability to integrate with various systems and provide a comprehensive business view was particularly beneficial. Axonius not only curtailed the time and effort spent on incident investigation, but also fostered collaboration amongst security and other teams.

In the utility sector, asset management can account for a notable proportion of a transmission and distribution company's operational expenses and capital expenditures. Here, advanced analytics can uncover savings of 10 to 20 percent while enhancing the reliability and performance of their networks. A North American transmission and distribution utility, Utilityco, tapped into advanced analytics in asset management to realize savings of 20 to 25 percent in operational expenses and 40 to 60 percent in capital expenditures. Utilityco employed an optimization engine to prioritize asset replacement and maintenance based on asset risk and cost. The implementation of advanced analytics at Utilityco optimized capital expenditures, minimized preventive and corrective maintenance expenses, and replaced the riskiest assets to improve reliability.

Furthermore, Application Performance Management (APM) supports regulatory compliance in asset management by offering real-time monitoring and management of applications and infrastructure. It ensures that asset management applications and systems adhere to regulatory requirements and standards. APM tools track and report on key performance indicators, such as response times, availability, and resource utilization, which are crucial for demonstrating compliance. By monitoring the performance and availability of applications, APM can identify and address potential issues or vulnerabilities that may impact compliance. Additionally, APM provides insights into system usage patterns and helps optimize resource allocation, further contributing to regulatory compliance in asset management.

These practical examples underline the importance of effective APM in enhancing operational efficiency, improving asset reliability, bolstering risk management, and supporting regulatory compliance. They also highlight the necessity for a strategic approach to APM that leverages advanced analytics and cybersecurity asset management platforms to secure a competitive edge.

4. Proactive APM with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Analytics

The advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cutting-edge analytics has revolutionized Asset Performance Management (APM). This transformation has been characterized by the collection of real-time data from assets through IIoT devices, which are then subjected to analysis, yielding actionable insights. The result is a proactive APM era where potential issues are identified and addressed before they develop into significant problems.

The integration of IIoT devices and sensors with asset management systems is a critical strategy for improving asset performance. By collecting and analyzing real-time data, valuable insights can be obtained about asset performance. This data-driven approach aids in predicting failures and optimizing maintenance schedules, significantly reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

For example, Senseye, an automated predictive maintenance system, can forecast machine failure. This system is scalable across all assets and sites, making it a versatile solution for hundreds or even thousands of machines. The advantage of such a system is the elimination of the need for external experts, making it a cost-effective solution for predictive maintenance.

Moreover, the combination of IIoT and analytics supports continuous improvement in APM by revealing trends and patterns in asset performance. This understanding aids organizations in operating more sustainably and expediting their digital transformation. For instance, the Bosch IoT Suite offers a range of services, including IoT device management, remote management, rollouts, data management, analytics, and edge services. This suite is designed to deliver sustainable business value and a positive ROI through IoT solutions.

The ultimate goal is to enhance transparency and operational efficiency. A white paper titled "IIoT: How to Increase Transparency and Operational Efficiency" explains the challenges of IoT deployments and provides insights on establishing an IoT solution for high-value industrial assets. It emphasizes gaining insights into operational processes and creating sustainable business value.

Advanced analytics techniques such as machine learning and predictive modeling can be applied to historical and real-time data. These techniques can identify patterns, anomalies, and trends, providing critical inputs for data-driven decision-making and asset performance improvement. APM solutions can also offer dashboards and visualizations to monitor asset health, track key performance indicators, and facilitate proactive maintenance strategies.

In this new era, the integration of IIoT and advanced analytics has not only transformed APM but has also made it proactive, predictive, and continuously improving. This shift is accelerating the digital transformation of organizations, promoting sustainability, and enhancing operational efficiency.

5. Overcoming Challenges in Industrial Operations Through Efficient APM

Asset Performance Management (APM) has become a critical tool in navigating the complexities of managing industrial operations. APM's comprehensive overview of asset performance can help alleviate departmental discordance, fostering improved interdepartmental communication and collaboration, which in turn enhances operational efficiency.

Consider the case of Beat, a successful ride-hailing app in Latin America. During a period of rapid growth in 2019, Beat faced system bottlenecks and outages. The company was utilizing Amazon Elasticache, an in-memory data store, but their configuration needed an overhaul to take advantage of key features specific to their use case. Following a temporary ban of their main competition in Colombia in February 2020, Beat found themselves with a sudden influx of potential new users. This rapid growth necessitated a scalable cache solution to handle the increased user load. Beat responded by revisiting its configuration and activating cluster mode in Amazon Elasticache, enabling horizontal scaling and superior traffic distribution. Within just two weeks, Beat's core team optimized the new configuration, resulting in reduced downtime, enhanced performance, and a significant 90% reduction in compute costs. This case study illustrates the effectiveness of automation and system simplification in boosting operational efficiency.

Furthermore, APM is vital for streamlining processes by automating routine tasks and eliminating redundancies. Take Alaska Airlines for example, who used AppDynamics to increase visibility into their complex hybrid cloud environment, with the goal of reducing outages and performance issues. Real-time monitoring across the entire infrastructure enabled swift resolution of any issues, supporting the continuous delivery of exceptional experiences. This proactive approach to problem-solving allowed Alaska Airlines to identify and resolve issues before they impacted customers, resulting in seamless digital experiences that fostered customer trust and loyalty.

APM also provides data-driven insights and recommendations, which are essential for implementing strategies aimed at improving operational performance. Alaska Airlines' adoption of Azure and cloud technology, for instance, allowed them to foster a DevOps culture and gain greater control over their infrastructure. AppDynamics offered end-to-end visibility into the user experience, allowing executives to understand the business impact of their technology. The organization is now looking forward to leveraging AppDynamics' cognition engine, which uses machine learning to quickly correlate software and business performance and take real-time action. By reducing incidents and quickly detecting issues, AppDynamics allows Alaska Airlines to focus on building new things and delivering excellent service to their guests.

Moreover, the implementation of an effective APM system allows organizations to gain insights into the performance of their applications and identify any redundancies or inefficiencies. APM tools can monitor various metrics, such as response time, resource utilization, and transaction throughput. This information can then be used to streamline processes, eliminate duplicate or unnecessary operations, and optimize resource allocation. By continuously monitoring and analyzing application performance, APM can help organizations identify and eliminate redundancies, leading to improved efficiency and cost savings.

In essence, APM is a potent tool that empowers organizations to overcome operational challenges, enhance efficiency, and streamline processes. Its application in real-world scenarios, as demonstrated by companies like Beat and Alaska Airlines, underscores its potential in fostering operational excellence.

6. Utilizing Modern Technologies for Real-Time Data Retrieval in APM

Technological advancements have revolutionized real-time data acquisition in Asset Performance Management (APM). Alaska Airlines, for instance, capitalized on AppDynamics to efficiently manage its complex hybrid cloud infrastructure, leading to an impeccable user experience. This was achieved through real-time monitoring across the entire infrastructure, enabling quick resolution of issues and ensuring consistent delivery of top-notch experiences.

Moreover, Alaska Airlines' collaboration with AppDynamics led to a significant reduction—by 60%—in system outages, while also enhancing the mean time to detection from hours to less than 10 minutes. This proactive approach allowed the airline to identify and resolve issues before they could affect customers, delivering flawless digital experiences that fostered customer trust and loyalty. Alaska Airlines has, therefore, consistently ranked highest in customer satisfaction among traditional carriers in North America due to its superior service.

AppDynamics isn't just beneficial to Alaska Airlines. Directv, a premier provider of digital television entertainment services, has also reaped the advantages of its APM solution. Directv's IT operations team, responsible for monitoring and managing nearly 6000 physical and virtual servers, has seen a considerable boost in operational efficiency since adopting AppDynamics APM. The system provides immediate visibility and insights during crucial times, such as the initial weeks of Directv's Pro Football Sunday Ticket offering.

However, the landscape of real-time data retrieval in asset performance management is continuously evolving. A new player, Makini, offers a Universal API that enables proactive asset management. This API allows users to integrate Makini's asset management functionality into their existing systems or applications, ensuring efficient and effective asset management processes.

To simplify data retrieval with Makini's Universal API, users can utilize the provided base URL, "https://www.makini.io". Various endpoints can be appended to this base URL to specify the desired data. For instance, using URLs such as "https://www.makini.io/integrations/click-reply" or "https://www.makini.io/integrations/k-motion-warehouse-advantage" allows users to retrieve specific integration data. The fetch function and appropriate request options, like the method, mode, and headers, can also be used to interact with Makini's Universal API and retrieve the required data.

In the dynamic world of APM, modern technologies like AppDynamics and Makini's Universal API have reshaped real-time data retrieval, enhancing operational efficiency and enabling proactive asset management. The success stories of Alaska Airlines and Directv, along with the promising potential of Makini's Universal API, bear testament to the transformative power of these technologies.

7. Streamlining Maintenance, Inventory Optimization, and Aftermarket Processes via Enhanced APM

Boosting the effectiveness of Asset Performance Management (APM) holds the potential to considerably improve various facets of industrial operations, paving the way for operational superiority and business triumph. One such area is the refinement of maintenance procedures. Through the precise prediction of asset failures, APM enables the arrangement of preventive maintenance, thus decreasing the chances of unforeseen equipment downtime and its related expenses.

Consider the example of Bastian Solutions, a worldwide material handling system integrator. Their adoption of technologies like automated order routing and pick-to-light devices led to an enhancement in the speed and precision of order fulfillment at Dick's Sporting Goods' distribution center. This translated into an uptick in receiving sorter efficiency and a decline in backstock, underscoring the potential advantages of a robust APM system.

APM's role extends to significantly bettering inventory management as well. By shedding light on asset usage and deterioration, it supports the maintenance of ideal inventory quantities. This mitigates the risk of overstocking or understocking, both of which can adversely affect operational efficiency and profitability.

Similarly, APM can augment aftermarket processes. By supplying data on asset performance and maintenance history, it aids effective warranty management and customer service. This ensures that customers are furnished with prompt and precise information about their assets, fostering increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The journey of Redcat Racing, a firm that conceptualizes and distributes RC cars, illuminates the potential advantages of this approach. Post their transition to RF Smart, a solution that integrates with Netsuite to offer warehouse management functionality, Redcat Racing witnessed enhanced shipping accuracy and the capacity to ship a higher number of orders each day. This illustrates how a fortified APM system can lead to substantial enhancements in operational efficiency.

In essence, by honing maintenance, inventory management, and aftermarket processes, an improved APM makes a significant contribution to operational superiority and business success. Be it efficient scheduling of preventive maintenance, optimization of inventory quantities, or the augmentation of customer service, APM equips organizations with the necessary tools to drive improvements across all industrial operations."

In the context of enhancing APM, it is crucial to employ effective strategies and technologies. This could encompass the use of advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms for real-time monitoring of asset health, pinpointing potential problems before they escalate. Moreover, the adoption of predictive maintenance practices can aid in optimizing asset performance through maintenance activities planned based on data-driven insights. Regular monitoring of asset performance and analysis of historical data can also yield valuable insights for ongoing improvement.

In terms of streamlining aftermarket processes with APM, the capabilities offered by the Makini.io platform can be harnessed. Makini.io provides various integrations, including Oracle Fusion Cloud Warehouse Management and SAP Extended Warehouse Management, which can aid in optimizing and automating aftermarket operations. By leveraging APM, the performance of assets can be effectively monitored and managed, enabling the proactive identification and addressing of any issues or inefficiencies in processes. This can lead to improved productivity, reduced downtime, and enhanced overall performance in aftermarket operations.

For an enhanced APM to attain operational excellence, it is vital to have a comprehensive monitoring and analytics solution in place. This solution should facilitate real-time visibility into the performance and availability of applications and infrastructure components. It should also offer advanced features such as intelligent alerting, root cause analysis, and proactive performance optimization. By leveraging such a solution, organizations can optimize the performance of their applications, swiftly identify and resolve issues, and ensure a smooth user experience.


In conclusion, Asset Performance Management (APM) is a crucial methodology for optimizing industrial assets throughout their lifecycle. However, traditional APM implementation methods often fall short in prioritizing business goals and integrating asset management functions. This leads to scalability issues, a lack of quality content, and a siloed approach that hinders comprehensive visualization of asset health. To overcome these challenges, organizations are adopting integrated APM approaches that digitally link asset management functions and prioritize business goals. By embracing the power of APM and modern technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and analytics, organizations can streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and gain a competitive edge in the industry.

The broader significance of effective APM lies in its ability to drive operational efficiency and achieve business success. By optimizing maintenance procedures, inventory management, and aftermarket processes, APM enhances asset performance, reduces downtime, and cuts costs. Integrated APM approaches that prioritize business goals and leverage advanced technologies offer proactive and predictive solutions for asset management. These technologies enable real-time data retrieval, precise prediction of asset failures, and effective decision-making based on data-driven insights. By implementing a comprehensive APM strategy supported by modern technologies, organizations can optimize asset performance, improve operational efficiency, and ultimately achieve maximum profitability.

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