March is Asset Management Awareness Month
Too many small investment facility owners and private schools, religious institutions, and other non-profits fail to take proper stock of the many assets which comprise their facilities. Without a comprehensive cataloging of assets, it becomes very difficult to develop accurate operating and maintenance programs. These programs not only help the owner move from a reactive maintenance position to a proactive position, they also become important aspects of a risk management program. This in turn results in reduced operating expenses.
Proactive maintenance, on the commercial side, increases NOI and can assist in tenant retention. From the non-profit side it can reduce absenteeism and improve test scores in educational facilities; for all non-profits it can reduce operating costs, the savings from which can then be put back into services.
So, what is asset management and how can you implement an effective program?
Asset management revolves around cataloging key components of a facility. Once cataloged, assets can be tracked to manage preventive maintenance inspections and tasks, track repairs (which can then be used to identify failing assets), track warranty information, and identify end of useful life dates to assist in capital replacement planning.
To ease into implementing a management system, begin with large assets such as the building envelope. Roofing, defined by type and square feet of coverage, is an easy start. Example, the roof is 15,728 square feet of EPDM. Ideally, the owner will also have a schematic of the roof drawn which will show different penetrations and equipment placed on the roof. Also, ideally there will be a record of when the roof was installed, by whom, the manufacturer, etc. All of this should be entered into an asset page specific to that asset. Photographs of the asset and identifying information as to the location of the asset also enhance the management process.
While on the roof the lineal footage of coping can be determined, and this becomes a separate asset page. Likewise, lineal footage of gutters or number of scuppers, or number of 2’ x 2’ walkpads can be noted. Each is its own asset.
If the roof is flat, there may be HVAC equipment on the roof. It would be a good idea to identify these assets at the same time. Example, there is one (1) Blaine #XL4328Q “Equinox” roof top unit (RTU). You will want to identify the model number, serial number, type of belts it uses, type of refrigerant, what area it serves (ex: Suite 203, north side), date it was installed, etc.
It is a lot of information to process which is why we recommend starting with the major components and adding assets over time. A good time to enter an asset into the program is when a piece is repaired or replaced.
Identifying all of the assets also helps the owner become more familiar with her asset.
Assets can be saved as word documents and added-to each time a repair is completed. There are also computer programs available which will track the assets (after the initial input).
It is our experience that actively managing the facility assets results in reduced costs, improved staff productivity, increased asset life, better financial forecasting, and improved tenant retention.
Asset management is just one tool which enables facility owners to change their perception of facilities as money-costing, time-sucking necessities into strategic assets. This in turn allows owners to focus on their core competencies to enhance revenue generation.
Contact Dowler Construction Services to discuss how you can implement active asset management in your facility.