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The challenge of obsolescence: Strategies for managing and maintaining an ageing asset base

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The discussion around equipment obsolescence has for too long revolved around the lack of obsolescence planning by British industry. However, the truth of the matter is, that even the most modern of factories can quickly be relying on equipment that is subject to maturity or end-of-life announcements.

This paper addresses UK industry’s risk exposure to obsolescence, its policies and attitudes towards the issue and how things are managed on the ground.

Findings highlight the balancing act posed by an ageing asset base, assets that have not necessarily reached the end of their operational life but do require new strategies in terms of spares and maintenance.

We hope this report is thought-provoking and stimulates a robust debate.

Key findings you will learn from reading this paper include:

  • 62 per cent of UK industry has never undertaken an obsolescence audit, suggesting that too many businesses are unconsciously exposed.
  • 54 per cent of industry has no co-ordination of factory store inventory with the criticality of equipment - all-too-often this level of planning is not taking place and UK industry is operating without a safety net.
  • More than half of respondents cited budgets and high equipment costs as their companies’ main barriers to implementing a more proactive equipment policy.

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