Unveiling the Power of Maintenance Asset Hierarchy

SSG Insight
  • Published date: 24 November 2023
  • Author: Louise Simpson

Maintenance asset hierarchy is at the cornerstone for efficient operations


In the complex landscape of maintenance management, the role of Maintenance Asset Hierarchy stands out as a cornerstone for efficient operations. This has been consistently true with all our experience with customers over the last forty years, and it is something we stress from the start of a journey to more efficient maintenance, that your asset hierarchy is vital from the outset.  The link between Asset Hierarchy, CMMS, and how it transforms equipment maintenance, is crucial, and here we take a look at understanding maintenance asset hierarchy and how it could support your organisation.

If we go back to basics and provide a definition:

  • Asset Hierarchy is the structured classification of assets within an organisation.
  • Hierarchy levels from broad categories or equipment to individual components.

Depending on the organisation there is different equipment to maintain and potentially varying levels of asset hierarchy, but generally we see the following examples:

Example 1:

Level 1 – System Level:

  • Broad categorisation of assets into systems or major functional areas.
    • Example: HVAC systems, Production Lines.

Level 2 – Subsystem Level:

  • Further breakdown of systems into subsystems or critical components.
    • Example: Compressor Unit, Conveyor Systems.

Level 3 – Equipment Level:

  • Identification of individual equipment or machines.
    • Example: Air Compressor A-123, Conveyor Belt B-456.

Level 4 – Component Level:

  • The most granular level, focusing on specific components or parts.
    • Example: Bearings, Motors, Sensors.

Example 2:

Enterprise Level: This is the highest level and represents the entire organisation or company. It includes all assets, facilities, and equipment across all locations.

Site/Location Level: This level breaks down the enterprise into different sites or locations, such as individual factories, plants, or offices. Each site will have its own set of assets.

System Level: Under each site or location, assets are grouped by systems. A system might include a set of related equipment that work together, like a manufacturing line, HVAC system, or electrical distribution.

Subsystem Level: Systems can be further broken down into subsystems. For example, within the HVAC system, you might have subsystems for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Equipment Level: This is the most granular level, where each individual asset or piece of equipment is categorised. Each asset is assigned a unique identifier, and maintenance history is tracked at this level. Examples include pumps, motors, compressors, or computers.



However, you do not have to be restricted to 4 levels, these are simply examples, you could have subassemblies and components under the asset level if you wished for example.

By organising assets in this hierarchy, maintenance teams can more efficiently manage and prioritise their work. They can track the performance and maintenance needs of each asset, schedule preventive maintenance, and quickly respond to breakdowns. This hierarchy also helps with budgeting, as it allows organizations to allocate resources to specific locations, systems, or equipment based on their importance and condition.

Using a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) or enterprise asset management (EAM) software can help to create and manage your maintenance hierarchies, but it is vital to have an idea of the levels for your hierarchy and what will sit where before you begin to build out your system.  Establishing your asset hierarchy before you then store your detailed information about each asset including maintenance schedules, work orders, spare parts inventory, and maintenance history, will support your efforts towards seamless and more effective operations.

If we then look at how Asset Hierarchy could impact your organisation, it includes:

  1. Impact of Asset Hierarchy on Equipment:
  • Preventive Maintenance and Predictive Analytics
  • Efficient Work Order Management
  • Tracking Equipment Performance and Lifecycle
  1. Streamlining Maintenance through Asset Hierarchy:
  • Organising Assets for Optimal Efficiency
  • Improving Workflows and Resource Allocation
  • Real-time Monitoring and Reporting
  1. Enhancing Operations and Repairs:
  • Quick Identification of Equipment Issues
  • Prioritising Repairs Based on Criticality
  • Reducing Downtime and Enhancing Overall Productivity

Implementing your Asset Hierarchy is also important, and we recommend a collaborative approach with Maintenance Teams to ensure those impacted are involved. It is then key to carry out regular audits and updates to ensure that your Asset Hierarchy is evolving with you and any business changes. Plus, following any changes, it’s always good to do some training with those on your Maintenance team who might be impacted.

In our vast experience of the ever-evolving landscape of maintenance management, the symbiotic relationship between Asset Hierarchy and CMMS emerges as a game-changer. By embracing this powerful duo, organisations can not only streamline maintenance processes but also pave the way for enhanced operations, minimised downtime, and a resilient foundation for future growth.

Talk to one of our global teams about how we work with maintenance teams to establish and evolve their Maintenance Asset Hierarchy for seamless operations, and more: info@ssginsight.com.

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