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  • Writer's pictureArk Wingrove

You can't sell (Asset) Management Systems, but should learn to love them

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Now I'm guessing that very few people tell their careers councillor at school: "I want to build management systems".

Most of us that value, or are even enthusiastic about management systems, learned to appreciate them because they have seen what they can do for organisations and groups - and that's the basis of this wondering...

At the recent SAAMA conference in South Africa, I asked a fairly full room: "Hands up, who loves management systems?" - A very small smattering of hands shot up, their enthusiasm somewhat making up for numbers.

On paper, Management Systems make great sense, and if I had asked "who wants good process control, consistency, quality, risk management and continual improvement within and environment of well-managed change," I bet almost all hands would have shot up.

Management systems helps us to organise stuff, even festivals!

It is however very rare to see an organisation choose to implement or improve management systems directly without some other factor or driver in play.

Some of the most common factors;

  • Regulatory or stakeholder pressure - "we want you to have this..."

  • Response to an actual event or near miss - "we really need this, or else..."

In short; "because we had to" - a Management System is often the organisational equivalent of going on a health diet - unwelcome, and done when only absolutely necessary!

So my question to you is - why aren't more organisations focusing on establishing and improving their management systems as a good opportunity in itself?

Some of my potential answers are;

  • You need the whole organisation onboard to establish them, and to stay onboard for some time to return value on the investment

  • This value is difficult to quantify upfront and takes time to deliver

  • You can't really sell them 'out the box' (no really, you can't!)

  • The Integration Question - is it Asset, Safety, Environment, Energy? (A hint - don't do everything at once and think 'Lego')

  • The Sales Problem - When did you last get a call or email from a management systems salesperson, or see a management systems stand at a conference?

  • They have a reputation as being dull or constrictive

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