Maximizing Productivity Through Asset Reliability

Discover the strategies to improve asset reliability and understand why prioritizing this can optimize operations, reduce costs, and ensure safety.

What is Asset Reliability?

Asset reliability is a systematic approach that ensures the dependability of physical assets throughout their lifecycle. It encompasses strategies to maximize asset performance and increase longevity, such as proactive maintenance, risk assessment, and condition monitoring. 

Because this is a critical aspect of operational management, industries reliant on machinery, equipment, or infrastructure should find ways to ensure their function efficiently, prevent failure or breakdowns, minimize downtimes, and maintain consistent production.


Managing different assets according to the organization’s goals and industry regulations requires time, resources, effort, and technological expertise. However, it should not be ignored because high asset reliability is crucial to achieving operational efficiency. Here is why:

  • Maximizes Productivity – When machines, vehicles, and IoT devices are working at optimal levels, companies can maintain production outputs and continue providing services for their clients. On top of guaranteeing continued operations, it also sustains the company’s revenues.

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  • Prevents Downtimes – By monitoring asset performance and analyzing possible root causes, companies can detect issues early on and prevent equipment failures that could result in operational delays and total shutdowns. 
  • Reduces Costs – The combination of planned asset reliability maintenance and digital work management systems helps increase overall work efficiency, reduce planned downtimes, and extend the asset lifespan, reducing operational costs of up to 30%. Best of all, companies can redirect their efforts to upskilling workers or investing in new tech. 
  • Guarantees Safety – According to the National Safety Council, the third leading cause of injuries and deaths in the workplace across industries is contact with moving objects and equipment. Unreliable equipment and infrastructure can increase this risk, exposing the company to legal and financial problems.
  • Increases Customer Satisfaction – Frequent outages and poor performance due to malfunctioning or inoperative assets impact the company’s reputation. And when customers lose trust, they bring their business elsewhere. 

Best Practices

Asset reliability management is an ongoing activity that entails various strategies, which must be integrated into the company’s overall operational process. Maintenance technicians, reliability engineers, and asset managers should be well-versed with these approaches and best practices to achieve their goals. 

Asset Health Monitoring

Implementing real-time monitoring systems helps track asset health and detect early warning signs of malfunctions and failures. Here are some steps to take:

  • Benchmarking involves comparing the asset’s performance metrics, such as uptime and maintenance costs, against industry standards to gauge the effectiveness of the maintenance strategies. Consequently, it also helps identify areas of improvement. 
  • Conduct condition-based monitoring (CbM) and utilize technologies, such as vibration analysis, acoustic emissions, and thermography, to enable proactive interventions rather than sticking to fixed maintenance schedules.
  • Incorporate risk assessments with root cause analysis to evaluate the likelihood and consequences of failure and zoom in on systemic issues, human errors, or design flaws that contribute to it. 

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Proactive Maintenance

Operational teams do not have to worry about unplanned downtimes when potential issues are addressed promptly before they escalate into costly failures. Observe the following during any maintenance job (preventive, predictive, reliability-centered, proactive repairs, etc.) to prevent any problems on-site. 

  • Standardize procedures for any of these maintenance tasks. Utilizing digital checklists and conforming with reporting procedures ensure consistency and efficiency.  
  • Perform scheduled tasks on time (e.g., calibration, lubrication, filter replacements, etc.) and immediately address minor issues observed while doing these tasks, averting  
  • Leverage technology to monitor asset performance, detect signs of wear and tear, and share the information across teams for collaborative decision-making. 

Continuous Improvement

By continuously seeking opportunities for improvement, the company can maintain its competitive edge in a continuously changing business landscape and rapid technological advancements. 

  • Review and refine existing maintenance strategies regularly based on historical data and industry benchmarks. 
  • Provide comprehensive training and development opportunities for frontline workers to cultivate their understanding of asset reliability and enhance their technical skills in maintenance processes.    
  • Establish formal feedback mechanisms (e.g., daily toolbox meetings, suggestion boxes, digital questionnaires) to encourage open communication and active participation. Remember that frontline workers know what changes or adjustments to make best. 


Achieving and maintaining high asset reliability comes with its share of challenges. Knowing what these are can help companies prepare for inevitabilities that could hinder favorable outcomes. 

  • Aging Infrastructure – Older assets are prone to failures, requiring frequent maintenance, parts replacements, and total overhauls. Continued maintenance could work, but it would only be a band-aid solution. Modernizing the infrastructure is the better path to choose and will require comprehensive resource planning for asset replacement or refurbishment. 
  • Complex Data Management – Managing and analyzing vast amounts of data from diverse assets together with IoT sensors, monitoring systems, and data analytics is a challenging feat. Integrating all these systems and utilizing a centralized data repository will help various teams manage data collection, documentation, and record-keeping
  • Technological Complexity – Rapid technological advancements add another layer of complexity, especially for companies with diverse asset portfolios in multiple locations. Companies should choose a flexible software solution, enabling managers to integrate their workflows without any hitch. It should also be scalable so they can adapt efficiently in the future. 
  • Resource Constraints – Limited budgets, employee pool, and time often hinder the company’s efforts to implement extensive asset reliability strategies. Prioritization is the best way to go—allocating resources to critical assets first and implementing cost-effective maintenance solutions. Collaborating with external partners (e.g., maintenance contractors and tech vendors) instead of hiring in-house experts is also advisable.
  • Resistance to Change – Shifting from reactive to proactive maintenance cultures is quite formidable because of entrenched practices and mindsets. Open communication, sincere engagement, and adequate training and support can help frontline workers accept the changes. These also facilitate smoother transitions.

Unlock Opportunities with Total Asset Visibility 

Embracing innovative technologies such as SafetyCulture’s comprehensive asset management solution enables organizations to face these challenges head-on and make significant headway toward operational excellence. 

With this software solution, organizations across industries can keep a digital asset register that helps managers: 

  • schedule preventive maintenance work; 
  • monitor asset condition; and 
  • take proactive measures to maximize uptime, minimize costs, and elevate overall efficiency. 
Eunice Arcilla Caburao
Article by
Eunice Arcilla Caburao
Eunice is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. A registered nurse, theater stage manager, Ultimate Frisbee athlete, and mother, Eunice has written a multitude of topics for over a decade now.