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A chat with Nexus Global about APM

BK: Welcome to HXGN RADIO, my name’s Brian. Thanks for joining us today. Nexus Global Primer focus is asset performance management across a variety of asset-intensive industries such as ONG, power generation, mining, Petrochemical, refining, manufacturing, and food and beverage just to name a few. Within these companies, within these industries, one of the Nexus Global’s goals is to discover and uncover the hidden capacity inside the organisation with our suite of APM solutions. Joining me today is Larry Olson, president and CEO of Nexus Global Business Solutions, Inc. In today’s episode, we’ll be discussing asset performance management or APM, and Larry, thanks for being here.

LO: Hey, thanks Brian, appreciate the opportunity.

Tell us about Nexus Global.

LO: Well, Nexus Global is, as the name implies, it is a global company and we have entities across the globe. Our corporate headquarters are in the U.S. We have an entity that’s actually in North Carolina. As well, we have another lens, Middle East, Malaysia, Australia, and we are focused on asset performance management like you started out by saying. Within these industries, our goal is really to discover and uncover the hidden capacity within the organisations through our APM suite of solutions.

BK: Excellent. All right, so asset performance management, APM … how does Nexus Global view APM?

LO: That’s interesting because APM, it’s been around a long time. I think the unfortunate thing is that it hasn’t gotten the notoriety that most solutions get or most acronyms get across the globe and basically most likely in the U.S. right now.

BK: Do you know why?

LO: Well, I think there’s only a few of us that actually use that acronym and we use it in a way that people comprehend it better than just saying maintenance improvement or operation improvement or asset improvement. So what we try to do is, we try to break this down into three specific things. Let me break it down for you.

BK: Love it.

LO: If we break it down by asset and performance and management, when we talk about assets, we talk about physical assets or the assets within your organisation. It could be manufacturing, it could be oil and gas, it could be many different industries. Those are one of your assets. There’s a primary asset that we tend to forget from time to time and that’s the people. The intellectual asset is just as important as the physical asset. Those two things working together, they actually need to have some performance implied to them, so the performance piece of it is the element that we actually tried to bring to the organisation.

We’re going to improve the performance of the assets, and that means physical assets as well as intellectual assets. Our expectation is that this is going to be managed by them long term, so it all implies the asset performance management element of it. How we break it down is a bit different than some organisations because under our roof, we’ll put it into context. Okay, so to put some things into context, I’m going to try to paint a picture. It’s a visual picture because everybody’s listening, but take for example, if you go to our website and you look at the landing page, you actually see five hexagons.

The five hexagons are our leadership, data management. Data management as it’s implied by nomenclature data, as well as taxonomy. It’s about the quality of that data and about what you do with that data and how you use that data to enhance and improve the performance of your assets. The third domain, strategy management. Strategy management as it relates to equipment management and achieving basically the highest reliability and the highest safety and the highest performance out of your equipment. Most times when we sit and we talk about strategy, organisations will say, “Yes, we have a strategy. Our strategy is to go to market and do this and do that.”

Well, you have a great strategy about going to market, but you don’t necessarily have a great strategy how you’re going to sustain in the market if you’re not going to maintain your assets. We focus on the asset piece on the intellectual asset as well as the physical asset. The fourth domain, work management. In maintenance operations, in basically the facility, it’s about how we’re going to get work done. We have these great strategies and we have these great people and we have some awesome equipment that we spent a lot of money on, but now we need to have actually a way to maintain and move this maintenance aspect into the system and be able to do the activities on a day-to-day basis, as well as we’re trying to improve the productivity of people. We’re trying to improve the productivity of the physical asset as well as the operations.

Henceforth, when we say, “Uncover the hidden capacity,” this in by itself has some opportunity right here in the work management domain. Then the last piece is investigation management. When we talk about investigation management, it’s not talking about investing the safety incident or investigating a crime or these sorts of things, it’s about investigating the incident that potentially happened on a piece of equipment in your facility that caused you to lose some production time. We want to investigate that.

These five domains, once you understand them in context, they’re pretty simple to start applying in real life as far as the content you put behind it. This is how we see asset performance management.

BK: I love it, very important. I agree with you going back to the … you forget about the workers basically, the people, that’s something that does get overlooked a lot, so this is great and I loved how you’ve broke this down. Thank you very much for doing that, appreciate it.

LO: Thank you.

BK: What differentiates Nexus Global from others?

LO: Everybody has a differentiator and everybody has a theme for a differentiator. Our differentiator is quite simple. For one, we try to make our differentiator our brand image. Our brand image behind the brand image is actually what we can deliver. Then it’s about, what are we delivering and who is delivering it. When you look at what’s under the lid at Nexus Global, you find several things that you typically would only find one of within, say, similar or like-for-like organisations. If you look at some of the competition that we have out in the marketplace, we’ll go and we’ll see, well this company delivers training, this company will do consulting, and this company provides some resources in your reliability area or maintenance planning or such. This company is your APM solutions provider for software.

What differentiates us when you open the door, we have all of those things under one roof. By building these five hexagons, which we call our domains, our asset performance management domains, we’ve actually built a suite of technology around each of the domains that interact with each other to drive the performance and the behaviours of the equipment, as well as improving the intellectual elements of the people who are actually operating the equipment. Those primarily are the differentiators, so when we talk about the five software suites or the technology that goes with it, we can align them exactly to each one of the domains, so we have our work management domain, which we have our planning optimiser suite software.

Our data management domain, which is our data optimiser software. Our planned maintenance optimisation, which is our strategy management domain. Our investigation optimiser, which is investigation management. Then lastly, but most importantly, is the leadership piece of it, which is our business optimiser, so we tie all five of these together and we have a comprehensive suite of solutions including manpower services, technology, consulting, training and so on.

BK: I love it. What are the day-to-day benefits you see when people use Nexus Global Solutions?

LO: Well, one thing they get to take advantage of, they get to take advantage of something in a technology database or in a suite of solutions that’s interactive and it’s not only used short-term day-to-day, but it’s used long term. For now we’ll go back to the strategy planning of how we’re actually going to achieve that strategy of marketing, is going to go to market and they’re going to sell X number of widgets. We can actually now within the technology, define the strategy that it’s going to take to actually maintain and achieve that. That’s long term and short term.

BK: Good. Do you have any examples of a company recently that you’ve been able to say, “Look at this, this works?”

LO: Several examples.

BK: I’m sure, yeah.

LO: We could talk about examples for the rest of the day if you want, but I’ll try to keep it short.

BK: Sure.

LO: We worked with a client not too long ago and this client asked us to come in and have a look at their productivity and also their readiness for going into a long-term shutdown. Actually, they take their equipment offline and they do some maintenance activity and they do some inspections and regulatory things and so on and so on during a long period of time. The period of time that they prescribe to do this has always been 42 days in the past. They actually called us in two weeks before they were getting ready to shut down and said, “Can you have a look to see if we’re ready to actually shut down?”

Well for one, it’s a little tight to actually give them any guidance, but from the perspective of saying are you ready or not, “You know what, we’re not going to be able to do that, but what we are going to be able to tell you is where there are some opportunities because in your mind, you’re already ready, and it’s going to happen and you have your ducks aligned and everything is in order.”

We went in a had a look at, with the business optimiser software, we had a look at the entire shutdown process from the planning phase, actually from the leadership that we would have expected to see in place 12 to 18 months before. Using the technology to just go through their data, their systems, their processes, how they view readiness, what they view as being ready or not ready, looking at their material elements that they believe was brought in and are in place and the readiness is there.

During that two weeks prior to, we discovered many opportunities for not only improving some of the material-handling items, but also improving the possibility of productivity of the workforce throughout the turnaround period or shutdown period. We actually had an opportunity then to stay on through the shutdown period using a couple elements, so we worked in our planning optimiser suite, as well as working in data optimiser and business optimiser during this opportunity.

What we discovered on a day-to-day basis, and now we’re here day to day in the trenches with the folks, and it becomes sometimes a little bit uncomfortable and they think that you’re there as big brother watching over their shoulder, but really, we were there as big brother trying to guide them down a path of success. On a daily basis, we found some opportunities to improve the success. As we went through from day to day, we were able to identify these opportunities, which were productivity-related or basically getting things done on time and in an orderly fashion. We actually brought that 42-day window down to 36 days.

Those six days in that industry is about $2.5 million a day, so if you can imagine six days at $2.5 million, I guess I would probably put my money in that bank for a return on that type of investment. That’s just one example of how we can help the clients.

BK: That’s wonderful, but it’s great to hear you have a lot of examples as well. Very, very cool. Love this. Okay, if we wanted to learn a little bit more about your solutions, how we could benefit, all of that, how do we learn more?

LO: Well, there’s many opportunities to learn about us.

BK: Good.

LO: First of all, one, just give me a ring. All right? I’m on LinkedIn, I’m all over the place. I speak a lot. I do a lot of engagements publicly, as well as with private domains, but more so, you can visit website www.NexusGlobal.com. That will give you some guidance. In there, we’ll have opportunity for you to take advantage of the five domains of tips, so on the landing page, you’ll immediately be introduced to the five domains. Within those five domains, we actually have tips scrolling across the top for each of the domains. We also have a LinkedIn page, a Nexus Global LinkedIn page, Nexus Global Facebook, Nexus Global Twitter.

We have webinars, a series of webinars that you can sign up for online for no cost. Our subject matter experts are always available to take a phone call, answer an email. The funny thing that I always tell people when I’m on site is, “You know, you can call me anytime, you can give me an email. You can ring me up and we could have chats any time we want.” All that stuff is for free. When we come to site, then we need to start seeing some return on our investments so basically, we love talking to people and we love helping them and guiding them. That guidance is free and we enjoy it.

BK: I love that. Larry, thank you so much for being here, I really appreciate that. Great information, anything else you want to share as we wrap up?

LO: No, I think I’m good, Brian. I appreciate the opportunity.

BK: You can learn more about Nexus Global at NexusGlobal.com. Check it out and be sure to tune in to more episodes of HXGN RADIO, HXGNRadio.com, iTunes, Sound Cloud, Stitcher Radio. Thank you so much for listening, have a great day.

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