Maintaining assets is crucial for any field service business, and good asset management can help you create a competitive and profitable company, increasing efficiency while decreasing costs. Unfortunately, asset management is often an afterthought, and the repercussions of poor asset management include reduced efficiency, unexpected downtime, and asset failure.
Fortunately, you can avoid the damaging effects of poor asset management when you take the time to create an effective plan and practice good asset management.
What is asset management?
Asset management is the process of planning and controlling the operation and maintenance of field service assets to improve the efficiency of equipment and machinery and minimise the risks and costs involved.
The benefits of good asset management
Effective asset management is the key to optimising productivity as it increases asset reliability and maximises the use of equipment and machinery. A good asset management plan does this by creating an efficient asset maintenance schedule to ensure assets are well-maintained, decreasing unexpected downtime and breakdowns. This reduces maintenance costs and time spent doing unscheduled maintenance, as reactive maintenance has to be done less often. Asset maintenance also increases equipment lifespan and maximises your assets’ value. A good asset management plan helps you keep track of your assets, so you know where they are at all times. You can determine how many assets have been lost or become unserviceable and remove them from your records to avoid paying insurance premiums on assets that aren’t being used.
The consequences of bad asset management
If you don’t prioritise asset management, your productivity and efficiency will suffer. Poor asset management can lead to a lack of communication between your technicians and maintenance staff, leading to miscommunication about when repairs are being done. Everyone in your team needs to be on the same page to ensure maintenance and repairs are done when equipment isn’t being used. If maintenance jobs can’t be completed because assets are in the field, you could see an increase in downtime and breakdowns. While bad asset management often results in under maintenance, it can also lead to over-maintenance, which is just as disadvantageous as a lack of maintenance. Unnecessary maintenance is time-consuming and increases your costs without adding value by extending asset lifespan or increasing equipment efficiency. Without effective asset management, your business will fail to enhance equipment performance, causing machinery to operate slowly and leading to a decline in productivity. Poor asset management can also lead to an inability to manage assets remotely. Without the ability to track assets, the equipment can easily be misplaced or stolen.
Creating an effective asset management plan
The first step to creating an effective asset management plan is to determine what equipment you have by taking inventory of your assets. Once you’ve completed your asset inventory, there are several things you’ll need to do with this information. You’ll need to determine whether any assets need to be replaced or new assets need to be purchased and how much money you’ll need to do this. You’ll also need to remove unused or missing assets from your inventory to create an accurate record. Next, you’ll need to decide how often maintenance needs to be done for each asset to keep equipment in good condition and extend the lifespan of assets. You can then implement your maintenance plan with an Asset Management System, using the software to schedule repairs and services ahead of time to create a conflict-free schedule and keep track of all maintenance tasks. Unlike a paper-based system, a cloud-based Asset Management System gives you access to real-time data, and your technicians can view the latest maintenance schedule online via their mobile devices.