WSHD implementation IBM Maximo – Gemba

WSHD wanted better insight into asset condition, and greater control over inspection, management and maintenance activities and costs. How could it find a proactive, systematic way to move forward? Read how Gemba succesfully implemented IBM Maximo

WSHD case IBM Maximo

IBM® Maximo® enables Waterschap Hollandse Delta (WSHD) to register and manage all of its assets efficiently and at a very granular level of detail – helping the company align its maintenance policies with its strategic objectives.

The solution helps WSHD streamline its asset management processes, plan its maintenance activities, and make the right decisions to enable an optimal balance between asset performance, risk and costs.

“With a complete, reliable set of asset data, we will be able to perform any kind of analysis, helping us work more efficiently and effectively. For example, we’re thinking about defect analysis, which will provide insight into the types of fault that can occur with each asset,” says Renate Lochocki, Project Manager at WSHD Watercourses, water storage facilities, structures and buildings, dams, roads, sewage works, and everything in between: the work of WSHD involves managing tens of thousands of assets.

Renate Lochocki, Project Manager at WSHD, comments: “As the water board we have a number of important responsibilities. We protect the South ‘Zuid Holland’ islands from flooding, manage surface water systems, supply fresh water and treat wastewater, and manage roads and waterways. We also actively contribute to the spatial planning of our area.”

A tight grip on risks, activities and budgets

The water boardorganization has been using IBM Maximo Asset Management to manage all of its wastewater purification assets plants since 2005. In 2012, it also began using Maximo to support the IT maintenance processes for the electrically controlled components of its surface water systems.

WSHD has developed a high level of competence in managing the IBM Maximo application, but for complex or lengthy projects, it works with Gemba, an IBM Business Partner. Currently, WSHD and Gemba are working together to bring additional assets such as dams and roads into the Maximo system.

Lochocki comments: "We want to gain deeper insight into the condition of our assets, a better understanding of the effectiveness of our management and maintenance activities, and a tighter grip on the costs of inspection, management and maintenance. We also need to ensure that the work complies with all national and European guidelines, and is in line with our goals, strategies and plans.”

WSHD currently dedicates considerable time to the maintenance of assets, especially on reactive maintenance tasks. "We can’t get everything done, especially when we’re striving to keep costs as low as possible,” says Lochocki. “That's why we want to move towards planned and proactive maintenance, where we make the right maintenance decisions based on assessing the risk. Perhaps, for example, it is not necessary to mow the banks of a particular canal twice a year – we can just do it once.”


Improving insight into asset histories and relationships

Until recently, the water board made extensive use of spreadsheets in the planning and implementation of its inspection, management and maintenance activities for water systems, dams and roads. Lochocki comments: "For example, we did not have direct insight into the maintenance history of each asset that we could use as a basis for planning. Moreover, we couldn’t connect related assets in our maintenance plans, or link assets to our strategic objectives.

“For example, if there is a pothole in a road, and we know that there is a major maintenance project scheduled for that road in three months’ time, do we really need to replace the whole road surface now? Or is it better just to fill the hole and wait for the project to start? And should we give water storage or maintenance a higher priority in our strategy? This type of understanding is important.”

Assigning processes, roles and responsibilities

WSHD has already put a number of important steps in place. It has developed a full set of inspection, management and maintenance processes for water systems, dams and roads at operational, tactical and strategic levels. All the relevant roles and responsibilities have been assigned, from the asset managers, maintenance and process engineers, to the maintenance managers, planners and external contractors.

Working with Gemba, WSHD has designed the appropriate data structures and processes in Maximo. A wide range of assets (and their components) can be recorded in the system’s asset hierarchies, in compliance with the ISO 55000 standard

"In the years ahead, we will need to identify and record in detail the data of many child assets. We don’t have all of the components in the system as yet, but we can already conduct inspection and maintenance planning and management, and send out Maximo work orders for all of our current assets."

Lochocki says

Integrating with GIS mapping capabilities

When it came to designing the new IBM Maximo landscape, WSHD wanted to build as much as possible on the experience that its water purification department had gained during its earlier asset management implementation. But there was one big difference.

Lochocki explains: "Instead of ‘point assets’, such as sewage works, we now needed to manage so-called ‘linear assets’, such as roads, dikes and waterways. For example, we deal with approximately 336 dikes and banks, which together are approximately 350 km long. This makes a difference when you are managing and maintaining them: if there’s damage to a dike, you need to note exactly at what point along the dike the damage has occurred. That means you must be able to point out clearly on a map.”

Gemba helped WSHD integrate its geographical information system (GIS), so that all of the GIS data is now available in Maximo.

Higher Efficiency

“We can now record where the assets are, the locations of possible damage, and the types of defects on a map. We also have individual maps for each of our field workers that show the locations of their work orders. They can see where they need to perform inspections, management or maintenance activities, and which assets they need to work on. This helps us achieve huge gains in efficiency.”, says Lochocki.

App for mobile access

The next step in increasing the efficiency of WSHD’s operations is the introduction of a mobile app, created by Gemba, that integrates with IBM Maximo.

Lochocki states: "Our employees can see on their smartphones which assets they should inspect. They can also take pictures of the situation, for example to record any damage. The app then sends a message to Maximo with the GPS location, so that the maintenance scheduling team can immediately determine what is happening and where. They can then direct the work order for the repairs to the appropriate employee or contractor.”

After the work is done, the employee can input the hours they have worked into the app, and close the work order in Maximo. This not only makes it easy for the user – the structured input also increases the efficiency of the work process and the quality of the data in Maximo. This data can then form a basis for reliable analysis.

Valuable insights

With IBM Maximo, WSHD can make all kinds of valuable assessments. “We can see how much time is spent on a work order, check that all the work has been carried out, and see whether a particular asset has had several faults in recent months,” says Lochocki.

Because it is possible to register all fault reports, inspections, asset management and maintenance activities in Maximo, WSHD can perform analyses that help it not only work more efficiently, but also plan maintenance more effectively. “Think about defect analysis, which provides insight into the types of fault that can occur with each asset. The first step is to collect enough data,” said Lochocki.

The integration between Maximo and IBM Cognos® Business Intelligence is also useful in this respect, enabling management to gain greater control of performance by monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs).

Making the right choices

WSHD expects the Maximo solution to help it optimize the balance between asset performance, risk and cost.  “With Maximo, it is possible to align our operations to our strategic objectives,” says Lochocki. “We have a tactical unit that is responsible for translating strategic objectives into the required level of asset performance of assets, and for actively measuring and reporting on the results. By identifying the risks associated with the failure of our assets, we can present our management team and board with choices about the level of maintenance that we need to achieve, and the cost implications. “In addition, we know that the quality of the information is good.”

Moreover, the system ensures that employees with different roles in the processes work well together. “It is clear who is doing what and what is being achieved, says Lochocki. “This creates commitment and makes it possible to assess the results of the operations.”

Gemba's role as a partner in the effort to optimize WSHD’s processes is essential. Lochocki concludes:

"Gemba helps us to make important decisions and to translate our requirements into solutions with Maximo. They not only have the right technical knowledge – they also know the world of the water industry. That is crucial."

About Waterschap Hollandse Delta

Waterschap Hollandse Delta (WSHD) is responsible for providing a clean and adequate water supply for the South ‘Zuid Holland’ Islands, and also for flood management and road maintenance. To learn more about WSHD, please visit