If you’ve never before made a plan to track your facility assets and equipment, you shouldn’t panic, even if you don’t yet have an inventory of all your company assets. It is not at all difficult to implement an asset management routine, and as long as you can implement a good repeatable strategy, you’ll be able to pull it off, and do yourself a lot of good by managing your facility assets.
Step One – Decide what information you need
The first step toward implementing your facility assets and equipment management process is to decide the kind of information you should be tracking. This will depend largely on the goals of your asset management program, but there are some fairly common pieces of information that everyone should track regarding their assets. These include the type of asset, the actual name of the asset, the manufacturer and model number, the serial number, the purchase and installation dates, the vendor from whom you purchased the asset, the warranty expiration date, and the name of the person or company who installed the asset or equipment.
Step Two – Collect asset data
Don’t worry much about the resources you’ll need to collect all the data on your assets and equipment, because whatever it costs you, it will certainly be worth it. There are two fairly effective ways of gathering all the information you’ll need on your company assets, the first of which is to have your own personnel do it. An area or district manager is generally a good choice for this task, and all you have to do is create a process which outlines the equipment information and use a tracking template that you can fill in.
For every location that your district manager has to visit to obtain asset information, they can simply create a tab in a spreadsheet. You might also have your maintenance vendors do the information gathering, although that will be a more expensive option. The upside of this alternative is that you will probably get more accurate information.
Step Three – Track service history
Whenever you have your equipment serviced, you’ll need to log some important information. For instance, you’ll need to log the service date, as well as the original issue and the assigned contractor. Then you’ll also need to log in the final resolution and the cost of service. Whenever there is any kind of new repair or servicing, you’ll have to update the amount of money which was spent to repair or maintenance your assets. While this may seem tedious at times, it will be valuable information which you can make use of in the future, for the determination of whether an asset should be replaced, or simply repaired for a while longer.
Step Four – Prevent unnecessary repairs
Now that you have all the information about your facility assets and equipment, including repair and maintenance history, you should have a better handle on avoiding any unnecessary repairs in the future. Whenever one of your locations reports a problem with company equipment, you should troubleshoot the issue with the person who identified it, and try to resolve the problem without hiring a contractor.
If it’s not possible to repair the asset or equipment by troubleshooting and using simple corrective techniques, you may have to review the warranty on the equipment, and take into account its past repair history. If the equipment is covered under the warranty, you can often have it repaired free of charge, and if the equipment was recently serviced, you can decide whether or not to contact that same contractor to have it serviced again.
You’ll also have the opportunity to hire an entirely different contractor, while instructing them to stay within a certain repair limit which you can afford. By keeping an ongoing log of all your assets and equipment, you will position yourself to make much better decisions on whether equipment should be repaired or replaced, and when repairs are necessary, you can accomplish them more efficiently and more cost-effectively.