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The 5 Crucial Foundations of a Successful Asset Management Strategy

CAFM

12/02/21 | Rebecca Drewett

Explore the key components of effective asset management strategies, giving you complete control of their performance over time.

Among the many duties today’s facilities management teams are responsible for, tracking, maintaining and getting the most out of an organisation’s assets is one of the most critical.

Modern facilities will typically hold hundreds upon thousands of assets at any given time. All with different specifications. Different costs. Different lifecycles. Different degrees of importance in relation to overall facility performance. All of this needs to be accounted for and addressed in order for these assets to operate at peak efficiency.

With this in mind, an asset management strategy is vital for FM professionals to have to hand. Within this document should be all the information necessary to locate and understand every asset on site, optimally maintain them, replace them where necessary, and more. The complete guide to your assets and how you interact with them.

Here, we outline the essential elements these strategies should include to work successfully, and the role that CAFM software plays in making asset maintenance management more effective in today’s landscape.

Why is an Asset Management Strategy Important?

Fundamentally, a fully fleshed-out asset management strategy is the key to optimising operational performance, unlocking asset performance and keeping costs to a minimum.

It is giving your team peace of mind on how they are expected to approach asset management in-line with your overall business objectives, and how you intend to maximise the productivity and efficiency of this process.

How do you benefit from having a plan in place? Tangible benefits include:

  • Consistent asset performance: Having a strategy in place greatly reduces the risk of an asset’s drop in performance or quality falling under the radar, which could lead to productivity issues and costly downtime in the future
  • More efficient maintenance: Rather than deal with the costs and inconvenience of regular reactive maintenance work, an asset management strategy should provide structure in when and how these tasks are conducted
  • Better inventory management: A secure strategy should account for the times and processes when items need to be replaced or restocked, again helping these tasks to be completed more efficiently and with less hassle
  • Clear asset identification: With thousands of assets spread across large organisations, your asset management strategy should provide reassurance on how to locate them and how to interact with them once they’re identified
  • Reduced workforce demand: If everyone is aware of the strategy behind your asset management processes, your team’s days can be scheduled around these, ensuring they can be at their most productive

Of course, to unlock these advantages your asset management strategy should follow these 5 essential principles:

  1. A comprehensive asset inventory
  2. A consistent standard of classifications
  3. A set of relevant performance indicators
  4. A clear, well-structured maintenance plan
  5. A proactive asset replenishment strategy

1. Complete an Asset Inventory

The first step in a successful asset management is conducting a thorough audit of your facilities. After all, it is impossible to form a usable strategy if you don’t have a clear understanding of all the assets found within your facilities.

Within your asset inventory, you should include details such as:

  • The name and specifications of each asset
  • Where they are located within your facilities
  • Their cost/value
  • When they were acquired/built/installed
  • Their estimated lifecycle
  • Any important regulatory information

As the volume of assets within facilities has expanded and become more diverse, it is practically impossible to perform this accurately and efficiently without the use of a CAFM solution.

Tracking this information on multiple different software or spreadsheets is problematic for several reasons:

  • It increases the risk of data being unnecessarily duplicated
  • It takes longer to find an asset’s details when updates need to be made
  • There is a greater chance of information being misplaced or lost if it’s not tracked closely

Instead, inputting this asset data into a centralised CAFM system will ensure everything is in one place and is straightforward to access for the development of your strategy.

Rather than rely on multiple different software or spreadsheets to track this information, which can create a lot of redundancy and confusion, inputting asset data into a CAFM system will ensure everything is centralised and straightforward to access for the development of your strategy.

Plus, with real-time tracking and updates, utilising a CAFM system as part of your audit will make it significantly faster and easier to add, edit and remove assets when necessary, ensuring information is always up to date.

2. Ensure There’s Consistent Classification

Just as important as capturing all of the information about your assets in one place is ensuring that they are classified correctly.

Asset classification is the crux on which your asset management strategy will succeed or fail – and with vast amounts of data to keep control of, this is incredibly challenging without the right CAFM system in place. Again, these solutions offer a complete picture of the assets you expect to have within your facilities and those you don’t, so your strategy is grounded in completely verifiable data.

To best support your strategy, we recommend that your asset classifications are stored in a dynamic structure based on the attributes and properties you feel are most fitting for your organisation. This could be the date they were introduced, the type of model the asset is, their specific maintenance needs, or a range of other factors.

The key is consistency – regardless of which metrics you classify your assets against, ensuring consistency throughout will make it simpler to build your strategy and for your team to implement it going forward.

3. Establish Your Performance Indicators

Knowing whether or not your assets are operating better or worse than you anticipate is dependent on the performance indicators you assign to them.

Within your asset management strategy, these will likely vary depending on the type of asset or asset group you are referring to. But, again it is about making sure that these indicators are consistently applied and tracked over time.

Indicators you might consider within your own management strategy include:

  • Average time it takes to perform maintenance/repair work
  • Average downtime of an asset per month/per year
  • Time between failures
  • Typical downtime following a failure
  • Running costs of assets over a set period of time
  • Availability of assets at different times of day

In order to give your strategy and team clear goals to fulfil and an obvious signal if assets are failing to perform as expected, performance indicators are a vital component to incorporate.

4. Determine Maintenance Plans

One of the biggest objectives of your strategy should be to add structure to your asset maintenance management.

Using the asset data you now have at your disposal, you should be in a strong position to plot out the most fitting times for your assets to receive maintenance to keep them running optimally, restrict any downtime and extend their lifecycles to their limits.

This push towards predictive or proactive maintenance can be a significant cost-saver in the long-term. As assets are regularly checked and treated over the course of their lifetime, they will subsequently operate better for longer, and reduce the risk of inconvenient and costly failures or breakdowns. This means less frequently paying out on replacement parts or components.

Furthermore, your strategy should also establish the process of how maintenance work will be distributed to your relevant engineers. Again, this is where a system like Concept Evolution can be a valuable ally – a solution like Regime Manager can distinctly define the maintenance rules across all your assets, and then automatically distribute any subsequent work to the most appropriate engineers. This makes implementing your strategy infinitely more streamlined.

Without an effective CAFM solution in place, maintenance work becomes a primarily reactive measure. While it is near-on impossible to avoid reactive maintenance in the day-to-day management of any site, leaning too heavily on this approach:

  • Makes engineers’ days more erratic and disorganised
  • Increases downtime between failures being identified and rectified
  • Leads to more costly repairs or replacements in the long run

5. Organise Asset Replenishment

Alongside maintenance requirements, your asset management strategy should also include the process behind replacing and restocking items.

While proactive maintenance can significantly extend the active usefulness of a wide variety of assets, everything breaks down eventually – and this aspect of your strategy should look to minimise the disruption this can cause.

Fundamentally, there are two areas to focus on here:

  1. Disposable, often-used items and assets that are relied on regularly
  2. Replacements for business-critical assets and components

For the first category of assets, you’ll want to determine a minimum stock level that, once reached or surpassed, acts as the catalyst for that item to be replenished. When paired with a solution like 360º Stock Control, which can automatically order assets once they fall below the determined threshold, this makes your strategy immediately actionable.

In the second scenario, your strategy should utilise the data you hold on the expected lifecycle of these assets, and then use that to plot out an appropriate time to acquire a replacement. This means you won’t feel compelled to hold these critical items on-site for months or years at a time, which will lead to their useful lifecycle being shortened by the time they replace the existing asset.

It also reduces the risk of needing to look after potentially expensive or fragile assets before they need to be put into action, and leaves you more freedom to source potential upgrades on the market should they become available at a later date.

Support Your Asset Management Strategy with the Right Software

With the number of assets FM teams are responsible for consistently climbing, creating and implementing an asset management strategy is a more pressing concern than ever.

If organisations want to run as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, be it in how they maintain and monitor their active assets or their approach to restocking and replacing these over time, a clearly defined strategy is pivotal. It limits confusion and inconsistencies, and gets everyone on your team on the same page.

We hope that this insight into 5 crucial considerations for your asset management strategy is helpful in developing your plan, or reimagining your existing one. But, as we’ve identified throughout, how effectively you can gather the information required for this strategy and putting into practice will depend on the software you employ for the job.

Concept Evolution is the ultimate building management platform. Connect and control your entire facility and the people within it through one intelligent, flexible ecosystem, including our unmatched approach to asset maintenance management.

Our globally-recognised solution is designed to proactively identify and remedy maintenance issues across your properties:

  • Optimise asset efficiencies and lifecycles
  • Achieve complete compliance at all times
  • Push towards maximum profitability
  • Guide engineers’ workflows with total ease

Get in touch with us today to discover how the Concept range can take your approach to asset management to another level.