S.D.J. van Leeuwen MSc


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Grip on asset logistic knowledge retention within maintenance alliances

Development of a framework, able to support the governance of maintenance alliances in terms of alliance management and knowledge retention over the life cycle, related to Dutch industry’s best practices.

13 July 2012
Scientific Supervisor: Dr. Ir. J. Stavenuiter, AMC Centre
Expert Supervisor: Mr. P.J. van Noort MSc, NMSA
Expert Supervisor: Mr. P. van der Linden BSc, NVDO/SUTO

The role of maintenance organizations in the Netherlands has changed significantly over the last 15 years. Until recent years, the focus was on internal service providing. Nowadays, maintenance organizations have changed into all-round service providers for several asset owners. In this context strategic alliances have great potential benefits. Several strategic objectives can be achieved faster, against lower cost, with higher flexibility and much less risk. It is suspected that the knowledge retention in alliances will be one of the core challenges of the nearby future for companies to achieve competitive success and to survive.

Despite their advantages, alliances may also introduce the risk of a firm losing its critical capabilities or skills to a partner without receiving any benefits in return. Besides, chances of an alliance failing are also high. Alliance research shows that many alliances are instable, inefficient and achieve poor performance. The actual failure rate of alliances seems to be around 60%. Improved governance of the alliance is required to raise the success rate.

The mismatch between the high strategic importance and the low success rate of alliances is referred to as ‘the alliance paradox’. Within the scope of Asset Management Control, the research question for this thesis is:

How to control maintenance alliances to secure asset logistic knowledge retention over the life Cycle of capital assets?

The research executed for this thesis consisted of a literature study, a field survey in the Dutch Industry, a field survey in the NL MoD and three small business cases.

The research shows the need to employ effective tools to support maintenance alliances for controlling knowledge retention. This requires control on two levels. First, control of the cooperation between the alliance partners to secure the survival of the alliance. Second, control on the knowledge processes within the alliance.

To improve the governance of the alliance, this thesis reveals six required alliance capabilities or strategic objectives that need to be managed. With the alliance capabilities in place, alliance partners are able to control their processes, people and IT to secure the fulfillment of the strategic goals of the alliance.

To control asset logistic knowledge retention in alliances, this thesis reveals four knowledge management capabilities or strategic objectives that need to be managed.

To support alliances in the governance of their partnership, a framework is developed based on the ten developed capabilities for alliance management and knowledge retention. This framework is based upon existing and validated methods and techniques on performance measurement and contains four steps: establish goals, establish metrics, understand performance and initiate improvement. Reflection on the framework by experts shows that the framework can be used as an effective tool to support maintenance alliances in the control of alliance- and knowledge management. The framework identifies the ‘areas of interest’ within the alliance and forces alliance partners to align their processes. With the governance of the alliance ‘in control’ in terms of alliances- and knowledge management, maintenance alliances can provide sustainable support to the LCM team to achieve asset cost effectiveness.

De Thesis kunt u hier bekijken (EN).

De Thesis presentatie kan hier bekeken worden (EN).


  

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