Assets in control for PWN water company
Smart asset supervision and maintenance puts management in control

The Challenge

Two key difficulties typically beset asset supervision within large organisations. The first is that maintenance programmes tend to be drawn up in relation to individual installations, without links to the bigger organisational picture. The second is one of communication, where the language and detail provided by engineers overseeing maintenance is misunderstood or misinterpreted by managers in charge of investment decisions.

For public infrastructure, effective maintenance is vital. If a critical asset fails, it can interrupt supply for thousands or even millions of people. Organisations, public and private, therefore need to consider maintenance priorities as a function of whether assets are critical or non-critical to their operations.

PWN is a major supplier of high-quality drinking water in the north of Holland. Reliability in water supply and quality are critical to the company - and to the people it serves. Underpinning that reliability is the condition and maintenance of the company's installations and assets.

PWN faced a buildup in maintenance which was particularly demanding in relation to drinking water production. The organisation required an intelligent method which would clearly indicate the most effective and efficient priorities for investment.

The Solution

Royal HaskoningDHV and PWN co-created and implemented a smart maintenance solution which links maintenance priorities directly to PWN's corporate strategy towards security of water supply. The solution includes clear measurement criteria to ensure common terms of reference for managers and engineers.

As a result, PWN was quickly able to identify the most urgent priorities for the business and now has an ongoing assessment routine which is quick and transparent, keeping management in control of asset condition and investment priorities.

Our Role

Working in-house, assessment criteria were developed which had two components: the condition of the asset; and the extent to which the asset played a critical role in delivering security of water supply. After a successful pilot, a team of five used these criteria when inspecting the company's entire asset base, including buildings and plant in every location.

"Our quick-scan methodology gives a clear overview of the sequence of renovation and maintenance projects required," explained Aad. "It provides a common language which links strategy with operations. The creation of an objective assessment scale means managers know that when an asset reaches a particular threshold, they need to act."

Key Facts

  • A single multi-disciplinary project team of five people visited and visually examined more than 40 water supply locations over a period of just four months, using the quick-scan methodology.
  • During the inspections, flaws in the areas of health and safety, hygiene and good-housekeeping were also addressed.
  • All data from the quick-scan, such as flaws, history and other findings were registered in inspection reports, which were drawn up in accordance with the reporting standard NEN2767. A summary was made for management.

Our Client's Comments

"The smart system we developed in a joint effort with Royal HaskoningDHV is invaluable for maintaining control over the condition of critical equipment. It enables us to make decisions in an informed and structured way rather than responding ad hoc to emerging maintenance needs," said Loet Rosenthal, sector manager Drinking Water PWN.

Working together

An element in the success of this project was the creation of channels of shared communication between organisational groups. Numbers in isolation have little meaning unless the people interpreting them understand the narrative behind the figures. Through developing a shared understanding of the new rating system, Royal HaskoningDHV helped the organisational groups to work more effectively in tandem, resulting in smarter decision making across maintenance priorities.


The success of this systematic approach to maintenance led to the formation of an Installation Project team to introduce project management methodology, PMW2.0, to large-scale renovation projects and, subsequently, to advise on maintenance plans within PWN.

Royal HaskoningDHV assisted in drawing up a long term investment and maintenance programme to keep control over the organisation's assets allowing PWN to prioritise investment and maintenance plans on the basis of business drivers.

Our asset maintenance inspection service has since been adopted by other major water supply companies, Groningen and Oasen. New features are under development to provide electronic reporting using iPads which will automatically incorporate the information within the central database.

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