SafetyCulture Summit 2021
Learn to set up an asset management system by defining objectives, creating a plan and utilizing today’s technology
Published 22 Jul 2021
An asset management system is a process used by companies and organizations to monitor and manage their assets. It consists of tools, techniques, and, sometimes, software that assist in achieving asset management policies and objectives.
Managing assets allows businesses to maximize their return on investment and minimize losses. Assets are items of value that a company or an organization benefits from. Through asset management, stakeholders are able to track the overall performance and condition of their assets and ensure that they’re being utilized efficiently throughout their useful life.
An asset management system’s objectives vary depending on what industry or type of business an organization is in. Regardless of industry, however, they can be achieved through careful and strategic planning. Here are the common goals achieved using an asset management system:
Other goals that can be achieved with asset management fall under the following categories:
A strategic asset management plan describes the specific activities, resources, and scheduling required to meet the asset management objectives of the company. Below are the steps that will help you develop your own strategic asset management plan for your business:
Asset inventory management is a key component of an asset management system. It focuses on the individual condition and performance of assets to help businesses properly allocate and utilize their assets.
As part of the strategic asset management plan above, asset inventory management is concerned with determining the following:
Inventory management and asset inventory management both track the property of a business. While the two processes are very similar, they have a few differences.
Inventory management focuses on tracking items that the company sells or uses to gain profit. Meanwhile, asset inventory management focuses on tracking equipment and supplies that a company uses for daily operations. For example, the inventory of a grocery store are the products it sells, while assets refer to equipment like cash registers and barcode scanners.
To better illustrate the differences between inventory management and asset inventory management, here’s a table comparing both processes:
-Retail industry (merchandise)
-Hospitality industry (supplies)
-Transport & logistics industry (packages)
The five most important tips for conducting asset inventory are the following:
One of the core processes of asset inventory management is the tracking and monitoring of assets. Keeping tabs on various assets enables businesses to conduct a more organized and complete asset inventory. Asset tracking and monitoring also ensures that problems with assets are discovered and resolved quicker. This help prevents assets from being disposed of earlier than expected.
Though most businesses already have an asset tracking system in place, some might make the mistake of conducting asset inventory without setting up asset tracking and monitoring first. If businesses don’t know that an asset exists, then they won’t be able to include it in the asset inventory.
Once an asset tracking system has been established and the business has a complete list of all its assets, the next step is to organize them into categories. This not only makes asset management in general much easier, but also helps define the scope of the asset inventory. Instead of performing a complete asset inventory, businesses can choose to conduct asset inventory in phases. For example, the asset inventory this month is for assets in Category A while the asset inventory next month is for assets in Category B.
After organizing assets into categories and deciding what category to focus on for this asset inventory, businesses can set the date and time for when the asset inventory will take place.
Other details that should be discussed among management is the logistics. Certain kinds of assets might need additional preparation or special equipment (e.g. vehicles for transporting assets or the team responsible for the asset inventory to where the assets are located).
While each business has different kinds of assets, a general rule that can be applied when describing asset status is to state whether the asset is usable or not. Businesses can also add the following questions to further clarify the asset’s condition and performance:
After listing assets and their status, it’s important to store this data in a secure, preferably digital, location. While storing paper asset inventory sheets in a filing cabinet can work temporarily, there are many long-term disadvantages. With a digital database, businesses can easily access and use previous asset inventory as templates for the next one.
There is a lot that goes on in asset management, so much that the traditional manual workflow becomes tedious and inefficient. An organization that owns a large number of assets will surely find it difficult to monitor and utilize their assets. Fortunately, we live in the digital age, where most business processes can be automated to help organizations be agile.
Checklists have always been a great tool for organizing tasks and getting things done. But ultimately, it can also be used for collecting accurate data. Digital checklists are greatly being used by businesses in different industries for various uses such as audits and inspections. This enables them to easily collect accurate data from teams across multiple sites as opposed to the paper checklists and forms that most often just get lost.
Digital checklists can also be a great tool for asset management. It can log and monitor an organization’s assets across multiple sites. As an example, here are a two checklists that can support asset management activities:
This fixed asset audit template can be used in keeping records of fixed assets. This template can help organizations empower their staff in gathering detailed and accurate asset information.
Fixed Assets Audit Template | iAuditor
This general inventory checklist can be used to record various types of assets owned by an organization. It can collect asset information such as condition, quantity, and net value.
Available on Android, iOS, and the web, iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a versatile mobile inspection app mainly used to raise safety and quality standards across an organization.
iAuditor offers a number of ready-to-use asset audit templates that can be used by various industries as part of their asset management system to efficiently gather accurate data and consistently monitor asset performance and condition across multiple sites.
Jai Andales is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. As a content specialist, she creates well-researched articles about health and safety topics. She is also passionate about empowering businesses to utilize technology in building a culture of safety and quality.
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