Imagine a standstill in core business processes due to the failure of assets that could have been prevented - a nightmare for any Corporate Real Estate or Facility Manager. Because of situations like this, combined with increasing legislation in maintenance and the urge to mitigate workplace related health and safety risks, an effective maintenance management process has become a must-have for every organization. When implemented well, it drives efficiency and cost reduction in maintenance planning, contracting and execution, and delivers financial transparency across your buildings and assets.
Determine the relevance of your assets
Getting the basics in place for your maintenance management starts with building a structured repository of your assets. The important first step in this process is to determine what assets are relevant for your maintenance processes and how you group them. Aside from maintenance processes, you might need a structured asset registry for processes in other areas, such as finance (asset valuations and costs), housing (asset moves), services (asset reservations), compliance (asset documentation) or sustainability (asset footprints). In most cases, asset categories are related to the asset function in the organization, building, or environment. Production assets, such as machinery have a different purpose (producing products) compared to, for example, a heating installation (creating comfortable climate). Different asset categories also relate to different needs and processes. A production or business critical asset needs to be high performing with high continuity, so preventive maintenance is important, whereas less business critical assets are maintained in a less extensive mode or frequency.
Adopting standards for asset classification
Asset classification and grouping also refers to informational needs. For example, when it comes to technical ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) assets you need to know technical and operating information, such as detailed type specifications, serial numbers, capacities, guarantees, or maintenance instructions. However, for building fabric assets such as windows, you need to know size, material, color, and locks. In addition, with an IT asset like a laptop, you need to know its network IP address, processor, disk size, and user. For corporate real estate and facility
management, many global and marketspecific standards are available to help classify assets in logical categories and groups like CEN, SfB or VDMA. Be aware that these standards might support only a part of the asset lifecycle (such as construction) and may not suit the full asset lifecycle (including operations and replacements). However, adopting these standards helps to jump-start the setup of your asset repository. As you begin, be mindful of three important do’s and don’ts:
- DO ensure that the asset classification and grouping are clear and logical for the people that will use them, such as technicians or asset specialists.
- DO NOT detail more than is really needed and only register data that is relevant, data that you can capture, and data that you can manage over time to avoid a “data cemetery.”
- DO use a software solution to group, code, register, and maintain your assets in a consistent way in order to get the information and process support you need.