Victor Diez was runner-up in the 2018 IAM Individual Achievement Awards for Asset Management. His is a story about how the initial seeds were sown, a ‘business case’ established, how top management commitment was obtained, and how a group-wide rollout is being achieved – across multiple organizations like ISA, with different cultures, starting points and environments.
The ISA Group is a fast-growing multi-national utilities company, based in Medellin, Colombia, with over 40 subsidiaries and partnerships spread across 8 countries in Latin America.
In 2011 there was pressure to seek improvement opportunities and the senior executive team gave Victor Diez the task of investigating “Asset Management” and its potential to better manage the physical asset portfolio. He started by reviewing the current level of ISA’s Asset Management system, finding widespread lack of awareness and inconsistency. Two years of extensive research on the subject followed, including visits to and from other organizations in other countries, and gathering a library of reference material and case studies. Victor was also investigating sources of expert support to guide and support ISA on its Asset Management ‘journey’.
ASSET MANAGEMENT JOURNEY
In 2014 ISA’s journey began, by establishing realistic goals and a customized roadmap to deliver them. As a result, this directly linked Asset Management improvements to the corporate ‘ISA 2020’ strategy for growth, performance and sustainability. It created a vision for a new standard for managing the organization’s assets across Latin America. Since ISA has many subsidiary companies, they operate in different countries and regulatory regimes. They also have an energy transmission asset base with over 44,000 km of High Voltage lines, transporting more than 250,000 GWh/year of power to more than 130 million people in 8 countries. ISA also builds about 5,000 km of new lines every year, representing annual investments of over c. US$3 billion.
An AM Project structure was established, with a small head office team and Victor Diez as the ‘thematic leader’. This was supported through a 3-year contract with long-experienced subject experts, The Woodhouse Partnership. The first priority was then a rolling programme of awareness and engagement in Asset Management across the Group. This recognized that any successful transformation programme needs to progress from awareness and understanding before it can deliver effective changes and competence.
ISA believed that good Asset Management would solve many problems and bring improvement opportunities. ISA´s AM Project have challenged existing practices, created new understanding, developed AM leaders and facilitators. In addition to enabling very large and tangible performance benefits for the organization. Over a 6-year period (4-year in the AM Project), ISA has delivered a successful multi-national rollout of good Asset Management practices across Latin America.
The programme has won the ‘hearts and minds’ of the organization. It has established new ways of working, and has delivered Capex, Opex, revenue, risk reduction and other substantial benefits. Discipline and core competency was integrated and recognized because of Asset Management.
The first group of subsidiaries are reaching their first major milestones of certifiable Asset Management maturity. Therefore, ISA is focused on how best to consolidate, secure and improve their group-wide Asset Management capabilities. All above, their new targets raised to the ‘Excellence’ level.