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Efficient asset maintenance mobilisation

Facilities Management

01/04/21 | Rebecca Drewett

Efficient asset maintenance mobilisation: The benefits of an organised structure

An accurate asset register is the foundation for successful maintenance measures. But can the process be accelerated without sacrificing the quality of output?

It is no secret that how effectively an organisation mobilises the asset data across its portfolio is a powerful factor in its long-term prospects. From ensuring compliance to statutory regulations to optimising the life cycle of assets, everything is reliant on a reliable, consistent asset register.

Traditionally, this stage has proven a tough hurdle for many, due to the desire to find a balance between accuracy and efficiency. In past years, these two haven’t always sat comfortably together.

The pursuit of optimal efficiency for this crucial task can lead to critical mistakes being made: inaccurate or incomplete data, inconsistent presentation, or assets being overlooked altogether.

Conversely, a more methodical, manual approach to collecting and classifying voluminous asset data can have a substantial drain on time, resources and costs – while still not always guaranteeing completely accurate results.

Addressing the challenges

To pinpoint the major challenges that have prevented organisations from achieving both efficient and accurate asset mobilisation, the process can be broken down into three core areas:

  1. Classification
  2. Collection
  3. Scheduling

The collection stage presents some very notable challenges if it is conducted in an unstructured way. It can lead to significant inaccuracies in data, data being duplicated, or asset information being missed entirely. This can mean asset surveys will need to be conducted again to correct mistakes and plug any gaps, costing even more time and resources.

In addition, if this data is collected by multiple people, they could track or store this information in a variety of ways, meaning it takes even longer to collate into one consistent format for the next phase. Again, this can lead to bad data at the other end, causing inaccurate maintenance measures and failure to comply with necessary regulations.

These issues can be compounded further if asset information is obtained from multiple sources or legacy data.

When all collected data is then classified, a prevalent problem is the use of conflicting asset classification standards. This is particularly pertinent if the collection is conducted by a third party – they may use an unstructured methodology, while your FM team has its own distinct standards.

This conflict between standards can lead to inconsistencies in how assets are classified, again leading to bad data, which will in turn impact on the quality of your maintenance schedules. If your classifications are inaccurate or don’t follow a consistent pattern, it could easily result in required maintenance regimes not being assigned to relevant assets. This means:

  • Failure to comply with statutory asset maintenance standards, may leave organisations open to prosecution
  • Breaches of SLA agreements, again incurring penalties and hurting the relationship between FM providers and clients
  • The life cycle of assets being restricted, resulting in reduced building performance, earlier breakdowns and the need for more regular, costly repairs
  • The potential of increased downtime due to unmaintained assets failing

These are the risks of an inadequate asset mobilisation strategy. However, as highlighted earlier, taking a structured approach to avoid these issues would previously increase the time and costs associated.

This need not be the case. In today’s landscape, it is possible for FM professionals to find the right balance with the right software solution.

Making asset mobilisation efficient and accurate

Fundamentally, at the heart of efficient and accurate asset mobilisation is access to an effective CAFM / IWMS solution and having a clearly established asset classification standard from the outset of this process.

This can be Uniclass, Omniclass or a standard unique to your organisation, but ideally should be consistent across the board and determined BEFORE you begin to collect data for maximum efficiency.

By agreeing upon a classification standard and programming it into your CAFM / IWMS software, you can set a fixed framework for how you want your data to be presented, and automatically set maintenance regimes based on these classifications.

This transforms a traditionally time-consuming, long-winded process of asset mobilisation into one fluid process:

  • No matter who is collecting asset data and by whatever methodology, all data collected is converted into the classification required for your purposes
  • By assigning maintenance regimes in advance based on asset classifications, these can be automatically mobilised from a date determined by you – contract start date, building opening date or activation of asset date.

Establishing a clearly defined classification standard within your CAFM / IWMS software ensures that when data is collected, it can concurrently be classified and set up with its required maintenance regime in one fell swoop – a major boost to both efficiency and accuracy.

In addition, this approach works as effectively for legacy data as it does for freshly collected information. Any data that is not classified correctly in their former state will be clearly highlighted within the software. This allows for these discrepancies to be rectified within the system to ensure assets are maintained as required.

Tackling further barriers to swift mobilisation

Harnessing the right CAFM / IWMS solution also goes a long way in countering several other obstacles that can hamper the speed or precision of asset mobilisation.

For instance, if your organisation has distinct types of buildings for different purposes, e.g. warehouses and retail outlets, accounting for their unique maintenance needs could lead to confusion over which assets in which buildings require what levels of maintenance.

Employing a flexible solution that facilitates effective asset classification group management allows you to easily set precise groupings of maintenance requirements for each unique building or group of buildings, while preserving a united classification standard and keeping all information in one central location.

What about the issue of missing asset data? For example, if the group of buildings you are responsible for, by law require a fire alarm panel to be in each, using traditional data collection techniques, it would be easy for the absence of this asset to be missed, which could leave your organisation open to non-compliance issues if it doesn’t recognise and rectify the omission.

By including these compulsory assets within your initial asset classification rules, a capable CAFM / IWMS solution will add it to your database even if the data is missing and assign the necessary PPM regime to it.

This would introduce a complete fail-safe for your most crucial asset requirements.

Making efficient, accurate asset mobilisation possible

As you can see, today there no longer needs to be a sacrifice of either efficiency or accuracy when it comes to asset mobilisation.

By moving away from manual approaches and embracing the potential of CAFM / IWMS software, we know FM professionals can continue to create asset registers with unwavering accuracy, while saving valuable time.

Tony Green of FSI has 30 years’ experience in the FM industry, 20 years of which in CAFM / IWMS, implementing enterprise FM solutions around the world.

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, Regime Manager for automatic PPM mobilisation, FSI GO Asset Manager for remote asset collection, and Asset Classifications for the correct structuring of data.