In 2016, the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) launched a Good Practice Guide to Asset Management Surveying Practice in the interest of providing important assistance to facility maintenance professionals. Aimed at FMs working with SMEs and large organisations, the guide informs on how to produce meaningful asset data which meets client expectations, adds value to FM operations and supports business decision making.
But why did this guide become necessary in the first place, and what role do FMs play in asset management?
As a short answer, the manager of research and information at BIFM – Peter Brogan – had the following to say:
“Asset Management is of major importance to FM professionals. At the most basic level, better use of data enables FM to demonstrate its value across all business disciplines. However, its potential is not limited to day-to-day operations as utilisation of asset management data is recognised as a catalyst to both BIM and soft landings. The asset management opportunities now available to FMs are a complex and sophisticated area of expertise and stretch across a wide range of professional disciplines and activities.”
Let’s get into more detail
We know that asset management is important; now let’s get to the crux of why. Facility managers are not just responsible for the management of the assets of the facility. They are also required to develop strategic plans for managing said assets. Successful building managers tend to use a systematic approach to monitor, maintain and plan for their facility.
So how to develop a strategic plan?
The first step is to accrue a formal inventory of maintainable or replaceable assets. The former refers to assets needing regular upkeep while the latter refers to assets needing to be replaced regularly. Common practice suggests that facility managers should include anything which needs to be maintained once a year, anything costing more than £5000 and anything which would cause extreme duress if it were to fail.
In order to maximise the efficiency of this system, and get the most from your strategy, you need to be collecting data on your assets. This allows for the best possible long-term planning for your facility. That being said, too much data or the wrong kind of data is just as ineffective as collecting no data at all.
It is best to collect the basics like name, category, model number and so on. Importantly, add field notes each time data is collected. Your team should be looking to record unique facts about the asset. On top of this, standards for the assets should be set in whichever facility maintenance software is used for data collection.
Data collection is critical as it will give you a reference point for judging just how well your asset is performing compared to how well it should be performing for your organisation.
Now that you have an inventory and data, your next step is to define and determine maintenance and replacement schedules for all of the assets. It is necessary to integrate both asset management and day-to-day maintenance in your facility maintenance software, as these two will, out of necessity, go hand-in-hand. Once you have effectively planned the inventory and schedule, you will then be able to make logical and informed decisions about your budget.
Now comes the long-term planning phase. What you need is a plan which revolves around updating and decommissioning assets. Be prepared for cases where a particular asset may not need updating, but rather you find it is not serving your organisation in the best possible way. This is when your asset becomes non-essential and can be let go. In the same way, having your working inventory list and the data which goes with it, you will find dealing with critical needs and unexpected asset failures a much easier task. You will know exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.
Your long-term plan should be simple. Collect good, not superfluous, data. There is an international set of standards, known as ISO 55000, which is a fantastic resource, as is the guide referenced above and published by the BIFM.
The Six Spheres of Good Asset Management
Now that you have developed a plan, specifically for FM asset management, it is time to align that plan with the overall management plans of the business or brand. There are six considerations to make.
- Strategy and Planning
- An asset management plan should align with overarching facility objectives, providing clarity to organisational asset management priorities and goals, and provide clearer methods of achieving these goals. This is the foundation for future plans, staffing and funding.
- Asset Management Decision Making
- This is the formalisation and documentation of your organisation’s decision-making process. It includes detailing capital investments and the ways in which those decisions are made by considering total life cycle value, the way operations and maintenance take place and resourcing. Once achieved, managers will likely make better decisions through balancing costs, risks, opportunities and performance.
- Life-Cycle Delivery
- This is the formal process of evaluating the total costs of an asset; which is everything from design to its final decommissioning. It also summarises how assets are managed and operated at the agreed-upon service level, while still optimising the total ownership costs at an appropriate level of risk.
- Asset Information, Planning and Strategy
- As discussed above, this sphere relates to asset information and how that information can be utilised to deliver on asset performance. It includes the development of standards which will ensure a consistent and unified approach to capturing information accurately.
- Organisations and People
- This sphere encompasses the people responsible for the execution of the strategies. Leadership and management teams are depended upon to ensure that the organisation’s competence, structure and culture achieve the objectives of the asset plan.
- Risk and Review
- Risk management is a critical aspect of modern asset management, and the best performing operations recognise how important it is to the continued improvement in any facility.
Get in touch with Voltix Services today
As a fully-comprehensive facilities maintenance service provider, Voltix Services offers planned preventative maintenance contracts so that facility managers have the best third-party assistance available. Voltix Services specialises in electrical and mechanical maintenance, as well as statutory compliance. As such, Voltix is more than well-equipped to assist you in your asset management plan for your facility.