Photo courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress

Tracking warranties is one of the reasons we're announcing the launch of new asset management capabilities in Tikkit.

A brief, tragic history of boiler blowups

In the heyday of the Industrial Revolution, a steam boiler would blow about once every week, and often fatally. This sad trend–and the sinking of the Sultana steamboat with over 2,000 people aboard–led to the launch of the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company and its boiler & machinery insurance policies. HSB’s innovation was to pair the financial instrument of an insurance policy with a professional services contract for engineering inspections.

The Sultana is a sad example of necessary asset management

The Sultana was designed for a crew of 85 and 376 passengers.

The causes of boiler explosions have been so thoroughly investigated within a few years, that the only safe and reasonable ground to take about them is that they are never accidental — that they can always be prevented — that they are, in fact, nothing more nor less than bad material, malconstruction, or reckless management. – The New York Times, 1860

Hartford’s new offering was formed on the basis of the dovetailed ideas that engineering inspections increase equipment safety and that an insurance policy serves as incentive for an effective inspection. The engineering inspections were so useful that they turned into the “Hartford Standards”, which formed into best practices for equipment design, manufacture & warranty, and maintenance plans. Though debated in 1860, no building operator today doubts the importance of warranties and regular inspections.

Asset management now part of Tikkit

The importance of warranty tracking and regular asset maintenance are two reasons why we’re updating our software with an asset management module. Having a centralized asset database is a wonderful thing, a stepping stone to more effective operations. Over time, these asset records will become repositories of full maintenance records for each piece of equipment. They will become sources of useful aggregate data, such as total labor hours and cost expended on equipment upkeep.

Tikkit asset management with warranty dates

If you have an asset list, Tikkit can handle a mass-upload. Same with checklists, product manuals, and individual asset warranty dates, and soon, equipment-level preventive maintenance plans. If you need to send out a request for service to a third-party vendor, that’s just a click away, or use a repeating request template to schedule those inspections ahead of time.

And we’re reminded that, the Sultana is just one of many sad examples of operations going terribly wrong as the result from poor maintenance.


About Millen Paschich

Millen began his career at Cambridge Associates, trained in finance at SMU, and has an MBA from UCLA. Talk to him about bicycling, business, and green chile burritos.

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