Do you know what your cost of ownership is in your facility?

16 Cars, Ben McLeod, Flickr

It’s more than you might think.

I was reading the latest Consumer Reports‘ annual car issue and it got me thinking about buying cars and trucks… What is it we are looking for in a vehicle?  There are many brands out there to choose from, with many models within that brand, along with many options for each model.  Am I looking for the cheapest mode of transportation to get me to work or my family to soccer games, or do I want a well- engineered machine that is the most reliable and will last a long time?  Do I want a fast model or one that is comfortable on long trips?  How about gas mileage?  Is that important or do I want a new electric model?  How about a model with the fancy advertisements on TV – I always wonder how much of the car’s cost is the fancy advertising and is that money taken out of quality or engineering to make it competitive?

One thing that has amazed me is that there are so many brands and models to pick from.  Someone must be buying them for their own set of reasons that are different than mine.  Maybe the car has a sporty look or the truck can pull a large boat or camping trailer.  My biggest consideration for buying a car is reliability – #1.  I don’t mind paying a little more for a model that I know won’t break down at critical moments or will have software issues (today’s vehicles have more and more software that runs them – many critical engine functions are run by software, these help to increase fuel mileage and reliability in the long run).  Speaking of software, do I want a model that has a bunch of monitoring or do I want actions to be taken automatically? – I say use as much automation as possible in order to keep my eyes on the road and keep me and my passengers safe.  Did I mention safety?  I see more and more drivers texting while on the road (ugh!)  Built in safety features are another parameter monitored by Consumer Reports – I read those as well and pay attention to them because you have to “watch out for the other guy” to protect yourself.

Utilities are concerned about reliability and costs, as well as safety.  Do I want equipment that has fancy advertising or do I want the “Consumer Reports” high reliability model. Do I want equipment that will last a long time and cost less to operate?  Am I concerned about the up-front costs only?  How about long term cost of ownership?  Will this model be less reliable and more costly to operate over the long run?  Do I monitor using software that give fancy dashboards from a young company or do I automate using industrial strength methods that are used to provide reliable power to your house or facility, refine the gasoline you put in your vehicle, manufacturer the drugs that improve your health, or the food you eat?  Is this product safe to use and is the company that provides it concerned about safety?

I’m sure you know how much you paid for your car or truck, but do you know what your cost of ownership is?  It’s more than just the gas you buy.  Do you know what your cost of ownership is in your facility?  Are you using more reliable equipment and are you automating your equipment and processes?  Take a look around and see what other industries are doing and see how you could use their best practices that are here today.

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About the author

Mark Reed

I lead the sales and marketing activities for the Power Generation and Water industry groups in North and South America and have worked over 32 years for ABB while based in the state of Georgia, USA. Being involved in mission critical automation projects for most of my career, my experience stretches across many industries. My role is to bring more ABB products and solutions to the power and water markets. I received my BS Chemical Engineering degree from North Carolina State University. Outside the office, you will find me playing tennis, golf, or boating.
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