January 30, 2014
The 9 Best Things About Asset Management
When we talk about picking the best computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for your organization, one of the top things to consider is how good the software is at asset management. With that in mind, in this blog post I am going to highlight 9 of the best things proper asset management can bring to your company.
What Is Asset Management?
Before you can understand the many benefits of asset management, you have to have a clear definition of exactly what asset management is. We frequently think of it in terms of asset tracking or keeping track of equipment and machinery, but this is a short-sighted viewpoint. In reality, asset management is exactly what it sounds like: managing your assets! This includes many things, such as tracking information on your equipment (think location, purchase date, warranty info, instruction manuals), scheduling maintenance jobs (and knowing when that maintenance needs to occur), and even energy management - the latter of which I am a big proponent of.
Knowing What You Have
Without a proper asset management system, it can be difficult to track what equipment you have. This is especially true for companies with moving parts, like a hospital or construction business. Not knowing what equipment you have can lead to many issues, such as theft, machine breakdown, over-ordering equipment, and so forth. None of this is an issue if you're effectively managing your assets.
Knowing Where Your Equipment Is
On par with knowing what equipment you have, knowing the physical location of said equipment - and any replacement parts - is vital. After all, if you cannot find that heart monitor, for all intents and purposes, it does not exist. I have seen many situations where a maintenance manager goes from employee to employee trying to locate some machinery, wasting time and money, and getting more and more frustrated. Save yourself the hassle: manage those assets!
Ease of Finding Documentation
Just as important as the two points above, a good asset management program lets you easily store and find important documentation and information for each and every single piece of equipment you are responsible for. In my mind, this is one of the best things about asset management and CMMS in general. Knowing where a manual is, having warranty data on hand, knowing who to call for replacement parts - invaluable, and all things you can store in your maintenance management software.
Preventing Machine Failure
Knowing your assets means that you know important information about the equipment. This is critical for preventing machine failure. When you purchase a machine, you typically know the expected lifetime of that product, as well as how often you should maintain it, and what that maintenance entails. This is another benefit of asset management. By knowing when to perform your maintenance (and following through with it), you can not only prevent early machine failure, but can actually increase your equipment"s life expectancy.
In the end, equipment and parts breakdown no matter how well you care for them. Knowing your products lifespan and generating reports showing what machinery under your care is reaching its end-of-life can help you budget properly and plan for these failures.
Some will say the best thing about asset management is that it helps you save money, and that is hard to argue with. After all, it is the ultimate goal of a CMMS. For all of the reasons listed above and below, managing your assets can save you money.
Avoid Regulatory and Safety Fines and Issues
In certain industries, such as healthcare and other businesses that have to consider safety regulations, good asset management keeps you compliant, provides proof of proper maintenance and adherence to regulatory guidelines, and can even aid you in times of litigation.
Tracking when equipment was last maintained, and when it needs to be maintained again, helps you to increase employee efficiency. It prevents maintenance redundancy, and tracks how long maintenance on each piece of machinery takes. This, in turn, lets you know how to properly schedule your employees.
A common misnomer in the CMMS industry is that the only reason you should purchase a piece of maintenance management software is for accounting purposes. Obviously, this is wrong. However, you can certainly include that as a benefit of asset management. What could be easier than pulling up a report of all the equipment and parts you purchased throughout the year in one fell swoop?
The Business of Asset Management