Maintenance based on the actual needs of the business can be cheaper and more effective than just sticking to manufacturers' service schedules. Roderic Bunn visits financial services house Nomura to see how business-focused maintenance has saved money and improved performance.
Mark Hounslow takes his responsibilities seriously. He has to. He runs Nomura International's Facilities Infrastructure Operations Team, whose job is to ensure that the bank s financial services are never disrupted by plant failure.
In the banking world, time is money. Down-time can lose millions of pounds in lost income. Even a recent refurbishment of Nomura's London headquarters - the move of two trading floors and a 900 m2 data centre - had to be done in situ without interruption to financial trading.
While asset management is part of the daily routine for Mark Hounslow and his maintenance team, it's easier said than done. "Planned preventative maintenance is based on generic tasks and frequencies," explained Hounslow. "Plant operating 24 h/day, seven days per week is maintained in the same way as plant operating nine to five thirty, five days per week. Heavily loaded plant is maintained the same as lightly loaded plant. This costs time, money and effort," he added.
Nomura's solution has been to adopt a business-focused approach to maintaining its building services. Business-focused maintenance differs from planned preventative maintenance by matching the servicing of plant to the needs of the business.
Enter BSRIA's Design and Facilities Management Innovation Group, armed with BSRIA s Business-Focused Maintenance (BFM) Toolkit. The BFM Toolkit is a set of electronic spreadsheets that enables facilities managers to assess the consequence and likelihood of failure for every item of plant in a building, and to provide a criticality rating according to business needs. This informs the required levels of maintenance.
Nomura's facilities team applied the BFM Toolkit to both its City headquarters building and its business continuity/disaster recovery site in London's Docklands. The information gained from assessing the building services using BFM - details of the assets, the maintenance frequencies, the tasks and the instruction sets enabled the facilities team to refine the tender for the M&E maintenance contract in 2005.
"As a consequence of using the business-focused maintenance approach, the tender return for the new maintenance contract came in around £130,000 lower," revealed Mark Hounslow.
Applying the BFM approach
The first step involved a full visual assessment of Nomura's engineering assets.
"Maintenance engineers tend to look at things from a systems perspective rather than a user's perspective," explained Nomura's facilities operations engineer Mark Rudd. "The business-focused approach concentrates on single points of failure and allows you to prioritise resources."
All plant was assessed for its condition and likelihood of failure, a process that also identified plant items that were deteriorating more quickly than normal. This process used a combination of reliability data for generic plant items, backed up by engineering judgement. Existing maintenance tasks and frequencies were compared with industry norms for all items of plant. Plant loading, maintenance history and redundancy were all factored in, as was the competency of the maintenance staff.
The likelihood of failure was rated on a 1-10 scale, with 10 as the highest likelihood. The consequence of failure to the business was rated on the same scale. Time to failure was estimated on a scale of one to 20 years.
The negative effects on the business were based on a number of criteria: