Asset Management System

Learn to set up an asset management system by defining objectives, creating a plan and utilizing today’s technology

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Published February 20th, 2021

What is an Asset Management System?

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.

What are the Objectives of an Asset Management System?

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:

  • Identify and eliminate wasting assets
    Asset management helps minimize losses by rapidly identifying wasting assets across the supply chain and eliminating them. “Wasting assets” refers to items that decline in value and performance over time due to its limited lifespan. An example of wasting assets can be computer equipment, machinery, vehicles, or any asset that is vital to business operations.
  • Improve asset utilization
    Asset management enables organizations to determine the state or condition of assets. This valuable insight helps them make business decisions that will improve the utilization and allocation of assets which, in turn, will further extend their lifespan and speed up business processes.
  • Maximize return on investment
    When the two goals above are achieved, this ultimately results in a maximized return on investment. Companies or organizations are able to save on costs that typically go into repairs and repurchasing of assets.

Other goals that can be achieved with asset management fall under the following categories:

  • Political Goals – e.g., improve the organization’s reputation in the community
  • Social Goals – e.g. protect people and properties
  • Technological Goals – e.g., equip staff with appropriate technology
  • Environmental Goals – e.g., reduce energy consumption

How to Develop a Strategic Asset Management Plan

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:

  1. Collect information
    In this step, all assets owned by the organization should be accounted for. This entails gathering information such as total count, location, value, date acquired, and expected life cycle. It is also important to calculate the life-cycle costs of each asset. This information will be helpful when determining which assets need attention or removal.
  2. Set levels of service
    By setting levels of service, the services that assets provide are measured by its safety, reliability, quality, availability/accessibility, responsiveness, cost, sustainability and environmental effects. This allows organizations to determine the value of each asset and the operating, maintenance, and renewal activities that will keep it in good condition.
  3. Specify how assets will be managed and operated
    Understanding asset’s lifecycle is a key process for an asset management plan. This step summarizes the planned actions that will enable assets to meet the desired levels of service in a sustainable way. The following subsections should be determined in the strategic asset management plan:

    • Background Information – provides asset information such as age, size, capacity, performance, current condition and value.
    • Risk Management Plan – Identifies the risks that might affect the delivery of service, goals or objectives impacted by the risk, risk identification process, risk assessment, and risk mitigation plans.
    • Operating Plan – Provides defined operating procedures to meet the required service levels.
    • Equipment Maintenance Plan – Outlines the defined maintenance strategies and methods, and forecasts of planned maintenance costs.
    • Disposal Plan – Identifies the activities associated with the disposal of decommissioned assets. It also includes forecasts of cash flow of income/expenditures from asset disposal.
  4. Establish a financial strategy
    This step summarizes all the financial requirements of the activities mentioned in the previous steps. A financial strategy should include historical and future budgeted capital and operating expenditures and determine funding sources.
  5. Create an improvement plan
    An improvement plan should provide improvement initiatives, responsibilities, resources, and timeframes. Having an improvement plan can help the organization monitor and control asset management activities to ensure that good asset management practices are applied and that the overall process stays on track.

Utilizing Today’s Technology for Asset Management

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.

Asset Management Checklists

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:

Fixed Assets Audit Template

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.

General Inventory Checklist

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.

Get started with iAuditor as an asset audit software to assist asset management activities such as data collection, real-time monitoring, issue or risk identification, reporting, and other more.



Jai Andales

SafetyCulture staff writer

Jai is a content writer for SafetyCulture based in Manila. She has been writing well-researched articles about health and safety topics since 2018. She is passionate about empowering businesses to utilize technology in building a culture of safety and quality.