“SAAMA hopes to reach the decision makers in the utilities serving Africa to increase their awareness of the benefits of using solid, proven Asset Management principles”Anton Booyzen

Interview with Anton Booyzen, President of the Southern African Asset Management Association (SAAMA) and expert panellist on asset maintenance at African Utility Week in Cape Town in May. SAAMA’s annual conference is co-located again with African Utility Week this year.

1)    Let’s start with some background on SAAMA and the organisation’s goals?

The Southern African Asset Management Association (SAAMA) registered as a non-profit organization (2001/010708/08) was formed in 1997, then known as the Southern African Maintenance Association (SAMA). The purpose was and still is to promote the interests of asset management and maintenance as a whole, as well as to uplift the asset management and maintenance practitioners in Southern Africa.

We aim to elevate the status of maintenance and asset management practitioners by raising the professional standard in the industry. We do this by promoting Asset Management as a key contributor to long-term business success by:

– Contributing to the continued development of standards and practices
– Establishing, maintaining and improving common standards

– Encouraging the interchange of information, ideas and knowledge

– Stimulating and promoting education, training and original research

– Building synergistic rapport between companies and industries

– Creating liaison with similar associations local and internationally

2)      Any exciting projects you are currently busy with that you can share?

We are currently busy with registration of SAAMA as a professional body. This will allow us to register asset management practitioners as professionals in their own right, and issue them with a professional designation. We are developing the training frameworks that will allow training bodies to develop curricula that will assist asset management practitioners to obtain the professional designation.

On the international front, we are working with the other members of the Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management (GFMAM) to develop the following:

  • An accord that will allow the movement of asset management practitioners between member countries, similar to the Washington Accord for engineers;
  • A Maintenance Framework similar to the Asset Management Landscape that will describe and foster a common understanding of the field of maintenance;
  • Rolling out a certification scheme for auditing organisations that want to do ISO55001 accreditations, ensuring that auditors have the required Asset Management knowledge as required by ISO ;
  • Developing a common Maturity Assessment Framework that will allow organisations to compare themselves to their peers.

3)      What do you see as the main challenges to the industry today?

The obvious challenge in most developing countries is the lack of skills to ensure that assets reach their design life. This is exacerbated by the lack of understanding of many professionals of the impact of their decisions on the life cycle cost of assets and functions. One of the best examples of this lack of understanding is the reduction in maintenance expenditures by many utilities in order to meet budget.

4)      Tell us more about the new ISO 55000 standard for the industry? How will this improve asset management and maintenance? How will this standard impact utilities?

The ISO 55000 suite of standards was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies). The suite of standards consist of ISO 55000 Asset management — Overview,·principles·and·terminology, ISO 55001 Asset management — Management systems — Requirements, and ISO 55002 Asset management — Management systems — Guidelines for the application of ISO 55001.

The requirements set out in ISO 55001 provide a structured approach for developing an asset management system to support the achievement of an organization’s objectives. The effective application of such an asset management system provides assurance that those outcomes can be achieved consistently and sustainably over time.

5)      What do you hope to achieve with the co-location of events and collaboration with African Utility Week?

We are hoping to reach the decision makers in the utilities serving Africa to increase their awareness of the benefits of using solid, proven Asset Management principles to manage the assets under their control.

6)      How important is the participation of Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management (GFMAM)?

GFMAM participation adds a different dimension to the discussions we have in South Africa and Africa. Many of the more advanced countries have gone through the same painful development curve that we are now experiencing in Africa, and their experience is invaluable in enabling us to develop short cuts on the road to asset life-cycle cost optimization.