Asset Management

As already mentioned, asset management has been used as a synonym for maintenance planning even among experts since the 1970s. Planning tools such as PMS or BMS are often mistakenly referred to as asset management systems.

At the same time, a new discipline began to establish itself in the 1990s in some Anglo-Saxon countries as a reaction to the infrastructure crisis of the 1980s. The chronic underfinancing of public infrastructure in countries such as the USA, Australia or New Zealand led to dramatic losses in performance and even jeopardized entire economies. At the same time, the pressure on performance and prices in many industries led to a neglect of safety, resulting in many severe damages to technical facilities and consequent disasters. One of the most spectacular catastrophes occurred in 1988 on the British oil platform Piper Alpha in the North Sea and cost 176 lives. The literature on asset management is generally agreed that the Piper Alpha disaster was the ultimate incentive to join forces with different experts to develop a universal, intersectoral methodology for the rational management of technical infrastructure.

The first applications of this new discipline focused on the infrastructure of the oil industry. The BP Mature Asset Team (MAST) [1], established in 1994, helped to reduce costs by 20% by implementing Asset management. BP’s competitor, Shell, also implemented the Shell Asset Management Business Model in 1995 [2]. The compelling success of the new approaches in the oil industry has led more and more institutions and organizations in various industries to participate in the further development of these approaches. The Institute of Asset management “bundled” the procedures and methods developed in this way and, together with the British Standards Institution (BSI), published the first standard PAS 55 Asset management in 2004.

PAS 55 asset management was published in 2004 under the title: “Optimized management of physical infrastructure assets”.[3] The use of the term “infrastructure” in the title of the standard indicates that infrastructure objects were the focus of the new management discipline. However, in order to increase the universality of the directive, the term “infrastructure” was deleted from the title of the next edition, which was published in 2008. PAS 55:2008 thus focuses on the “Optimized management of physical assets”.[4] This expansion of the application spectrum of the PAS 55 was a decisive factor in its successful development and has contributed to the stabilization and spread of this young discipline in many industries in recent years. The publication of the first series of international standards ISO 55000 asset management by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2014 was the logical consequence of this development and at the same time the ultimate proof of the maturity of the new discipline. The series consisted of three standards:

  • ISO 55000 Asset management – Overview, principles and terminology
  • ISO 55001 Asset management – Management systems – Requirements
  • ISO 55002 Asset management – Management systems – Guidelines for the application of ISO 55001
  1. Dominic, M.: et. al. Breaking the Mould: Unlocking the benefits of a tailored upstream operating model, McKinsey & Company, 10/2015
  2. Garton, I.: How Shell refined its Asset Management, Measuring Business Excellence, MCB UP Limited 1997
  3. The Institute of Asset Management: PAS 55-1:2004, Part 1: Specification for the optimized management of physical infrastructure assets, PAS 55-2:2004, Part 2: Guidelines for the application of PAS 55-1, 2004
  4. The Institute of Asset Management: PAS 55-1:2008, Part 1: Specification for the optimized management of physical assets, PAS 55-2:2008, Part 2: Guidelines for the application of PAS 55-1, 2008