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A Faster, Better Way to Activate Asset Maintenance

Concept Evolution

30/09/19 | Sally Wotton

FM service providers look to hit the ground running with new contracts by establishing a comprehensive asset register and mobilising the maintenance schedules, all formatted in the CAFM / IWMS system they are most familiar with. FSI discusses with PFM magazine.

Traditionally, this would involve a significant allocation of time and personnel. The manual collection of asset data across numerous sources is arduous enough alone - couple this with the reconciliation of the provider's specific rules and classifications, and there's a momentous task at hand.

Ensuring this consistency can often be a weeks-long ordeal, with the steps and overheads involved in completing this task taking time away from providers looking to find and secure more work.

Plus, persisting with a manual approach to collecting, classifying and activating data carries inevitable risks of bad or incomplete data. This could be due to an incorrect identification or reclassification of assets in the CAFM / IWMS system, or statutory updates that have occurred that alter how certain assets should be maintained to achieve compliance. Either way, it results in gaps in providers' knowledge, and therefore gaps in maintenance schedules and statutory obligations.

Fundamentally, asset mobilisation as we've known it for over a decade has left much to be desired with regards to helping providers be agile in a competitive landscape and safe from the dangers of bad data. That is a concern FSI seeks to remedy with a completely renewed, automated method to mobilising FM contracts.

An Evolution in Asset Mobilisation

Where there have been other attempts to resolve or streamline the apparent issues in how we traditionally mobilise asset maintenance, the focus has centred on automating the collection of asset data. While this is a crucial component, it is just one of many. With Agile Mobilisation, FSI's focus is on the complete lifecycle between securing an FM contract and mobilising maintenance tasks.

FSI's mobilisation software was developed with three core objectives:

  • Reduce the administration overheads currently required in the asset mobilisation process;
  • Prevent poor quality data affecting asset classification or PPM schedules initially and moving forward;
  • Ensure all data within an asset register is clearly visible and accurately collected.

The software fulfils these aims by turning its back on the manual, gruelling processes of the past in favour of an automated, risk-free, and faster alternative.

How is this achieved? It starts with FSI working with those responsible for the mobilisation of the contract to predefine a template of asset classification rules for their property, which is inputted into the software. These unique rules act as a filtration system, assessing data collected from the range of sources available (Excel spreadsheets, custom workflows, COBies, mobile devices, etc.) and placing it in the correct category based on each asset's specifications.

This ensures all data, regardless of its source and how it's originally classified, is collected into the provider's CAFM / IWMS system in one unified, consistent language. This is essential to avoid gaps in data or maintenance schedules caused by discrepancies in how data is classified, particularly important when it comes from multiple sources or from decades-old legacy data. Through this regime-based filter, providers can be confident all data collected is accurate and classified in the terminology of the CAFM / IWMS system they're familiar with.

Based on these predefined rules, PPMs are then automatically created for each asset, all following the most up-to date guidance from SFG20. This allows maintenance tasks within the property in question to be automatically mobilised once all information has been verified by the providers.

Plus, this intelligent software is capable of self-generating assets required in properties based on their statutory obligations (eg fire alarms, main boilers, etc). This saves providers time having to manually survey and input these assets, as they must exist for the building to be compliant.

Instant software updates also ensure asset classifications and PPMs agilely respond to changing standards or regulations. As these evolve over time, PPMs are automatically created, altered or suspended in the CAFM / IWMS system in accordance with the changes. This means time does not have to be spent manually reclassifying assets while a contract is ongoing, and no developments are missed that could cause the property to fall short of achieving compliance at any time.

Rapid Mobilisation Across Property Portfolios

Once this predefined template of rules is developed, it can be repeated for future properties that fall within the same sector (eg health sector, retail, residential, etc). FSI's software allows for multiple templates to be created based on sector or the provider's service offering. This is especially helpful for providers working with a diverse portfolio - they can simply run collected data from their latest contract into the right regime, rather than approach each one individually.

In addition, this approach works as effectively for legacy data as it does for freshly collected information. Running aged data through this agile mobilisation software gives providers a clear indication of data that was not classified correctly, and thus gives an indication of which assets aren't being maintained in line with the current regulations, ensuring revisions can be swiftly made and compliance is achieved.

This enhanced layer of automation means a new era for how asset maintenance is mobilised in buildings going forward. It allows FM providers to classify asset data faster and more accurately than traditional techniques, freeing more time and resources to be spent on sourcing and securing more contracts.

Support Beyond Faster Mobilisation

As well as enhancing how quickly and reliably FM providers can mobilise newly won contracts, FSI's agile software presents rounded support for providers across the process.

For instance, using the predefined rules set in the system as a guide, the software can accurately forecast maintenance costs for assets going forward. This adds clarity to providers on the projected costs of carrying out PPMs, as well as a point of comparison to existing forecasts if the software is introduced part-way through an existing contract.

The software also provides two-way functionality. This means that, if the provider intends on refurbishing the property in question, the asset data collected in the system can be used to survey areas to verify where changes have been made to stick on new barcodes, establish new PPMs, and more.

Furthermore, by providing a clear, easyto- digest interface, the software presents a picture of how assets should be correctly maintained as per the rules defined prior to data being fed into the CAFM / IWMS system. This can be a helpful point of comparison for providers into identifying gaps or issues with their existing asset register or maintenance schedules, so these can be rapidly remedied.

A New Dawn for Mobilising Asset Maintenance

With the effort, overheads and inaccuracies associated with the current asset mobilisation process, it is time to embrace a new era that prioritises automation.

By shifting to software that automatically collects, classifies and mobilises data rather than persist with the manual approaches we've become accustomed to, FM providers can reap the benefits of more time and opportunity available to pursue contracts, with total confidence that their existing portfolios asset registers and PPMs are accurate and performing as intended.

FSI is a global-leader in CAFM / IWMS software, with Headquarters in the UK, offices in Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong and Canada, plus an international partner network. The portfolio includes Concept Evolution CAFM / IWMS, Concept Advantage workplace apps, and FSI GO workforce apps.