Who is EEMUA for?

23 June 2017

EEMUA was formed in 1950 with a clear idea of its mandate. In the rebuilding after the second world war, the founders wanted the needs of the users of industrial assets to be front and centre of considerations to do with regulations and standards. Our tagline has remained the same since those early days: “EEMUA - leadership in industrial asset management.” EEMUA has risen to its billing; countries around the world have adopted our guidance as an exemplar of ‘what good looks like’ when operating complex, and potentially hazardous, systems. Our training courses, sometimes developed in response to major incidents and industrial tragedies, have formed a key part in the development of specialist competence of several generations of engineers.

After 67 years EEMUA has made a big decision; we would consider a new tagline. This is part of a wider review of the Association, driven by a growth in membership, a rise in the resources we can bring to bear, and an expansion in the benefits we offer to members. Our membership is now at record levels, covering a broad range of industries. From pharmaceuticals to steel-making; from energy generation and distribution to chemical storage; upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas. Our members all face similar challenges in different markets; ensuring plant is operating at its peak efficiency, while keeping staff, the public, and the environment safe in what can be a hazardous operating environment. EEMUA’s  belief, fostered by our founders, is that these challenges can best be approached by breaking down the silos between industries; this is what we understand by leadership. However, time has moved on since 1950, and words have changed their meaning. Asset management, notwithstanding the work of standards and professional bodies, often conjures up pictures of financial experts rather than engineers. Leadership has become a term widely misused, little understood, and often linked with what should be redundant adjectives.

We wanted to convey exactly what EEMUA does  for its members and, after some lengthy discussions in classic EEMUA style (honest, forthright, but respectful) we had a first pass:

“EEMUA - helping engineers improve safety, efficiency, and compliance.”

A simple statement, that said exactly what we do. The group charged with working on the tagline presented it to Council with some pride. The response was thoughtful, rather than immediately enthusiastic. It didn’t take long to work out what the issue was.

It does say what we do, but it doesn’t really say who we do it for now, or who we’ll do it for in the future. Back in 1950, when engineers were the key focal point of our members’ sites, that was who we cared about. Nowadays our remit is much wider. Purchasing departments use our guidance to specify the levels their suppliers need to meet; HR departments can set our e-learning packages as required orientation for new graduates; regulators worldwide point to our Publications as an illustration of how to meet their requirements. In short, our stakeholders are not just confined to one job role within our member companies. Just as the problems our members deal with cross industry boundaries, so the solutions we offer cross role descriptions, and reach out into the wider stakeholder community; non-member companies, suppliers, service companies, even regulators.

At last one of our Council members suggested a simple change. An “aha” moment that conveys who our stakeholders are, and who we work for, and why:

“EEMUA -  helping you improve safety, efficiency, and compliance.”

The review of the Association is still in progress, but I will certainly be pushing to make sure that one question is clearly answered by our tagline.

Who is EEMUA for? It’s for you!