Asset Management is like peas on your plate …. 🍽🥦 It’s probably better not to keep pushing them around the plate. At some point, it needs to be dealt with … 🙄 and it’s prudent to manage your assets in a way that allows you to maintain the most optimal operations and maintenance solution, to sweat your assets with a level of acceptable risk to the organisation while extracting the most value as possible. But you can not afford to do this blindly, remember that the truth is in the data.

In my opinion in this day and age, Data is an orhanisation’s most valuable asset. However this write up is focused on physical assets.

  • Do you know the real value of your assets at any one time?
  • Do you know where all your assets are at any one time?
  • Are you confident that you have the right maintenance forecasted? How far can you sweat the assets with acceptable risk to the business, vs. when it’s time to replace?

Assets have inherent value which may change significantly through each asset’s lifecycle, e.g., resale value or scrap value.

The application of a full Asset lifecycle management approach, will enable the business to find that sweet spot balance between business value and intrinsic residual value for the most effective way to optimise how you manage assets. And when it’s really time to replace them. This allows business value to override the concept of sweating assets.

“Sweating the assets” is variously defined as cutting costs, virtualizing, or getting “as much use as possible out of what you already possess.”2 The first definition leads to the reductionist approach: cut services, resources, and/or staff. … Virtualizing is another way to sweat the assets.

So it’s time to value your assets … and how is that going so far…? 🙈 Here’s a short guide to simplified smarter Asset Management … and cleaning up data mess often chaotically spread across all departments. You’ll be surprised at how many organisations are still using excel spreadsheets to record and track assets!

🤖 A faster, simple, smarter way to manage your physical assets is by leveraging elements of AI and emerging technologies to help with data management and augment workforce capabilities. Helping your people do more with less and freeing them from low level tasks so they can focus on higher value work!

I’ve rescued so many digital projects over the years, and have developed a short attention span in order to not drag out projects longer than necessary. As a lazy human, it’s paramount to find the fastest way possible to get things done, or the cheapest way possible, and not compromise quality.

⏰ When you understand that the most valuable commodity for any human is time, you quickly realize not to consciously waste it on redundant repetitive processes. Get clarity on the mission, agree on a target and find the most practical path for delivery. It perplexes me why some people purposely drag out projects for the sake of job security.

📝 Asset Management is the bane for most organisations, and especially governments. It’s like forcing people to eat a plate of peas! You keep pushing it to the sides, no-one really wants to do it, but at some point it will be the only thing left on the plate and you have to deal with it. (Or, it becomes a surprise gift for the next person 🤷‍♀️)

At some point you will need to audit your assets with accurate results in order to understand and manage your true financial position and it’s true cost of ownership, ongoing maintenance costs (which only bean counters seem to take seriously).

Some organisations keep kicking the asset can down the road, passing the baton at each handoff point to new unsuspecting staff members. But if you are the unfortunate one to get it at the end, then you have won the mystery can of worms prize!

🎓 So here are 3 things to consider…

1. All Assets have a lifecycle

Tracking assets through its lifecycle states and status from the point it is ordered through to its decommissioning/ destruction will help give you overall transparent valuation and reporting of all your assets at each stage of its useful life.

  • Create or Procure: when you order assets from suppliers, it’s worth asking for the asset data in electronic form so you can automatically upload into your ERP/procurement system
  • Receipt of Delivery: upon receiving your inventory, you should acknowledge it’s location (e.g., warehouse, storefront, office etc.) this will be needed for warranty purposes as there can be a delay between the time of order, dispatch and receipt.
  • Imaging/Staging: some assets need to be prepared and tested before being deployed. There may be a timeframe required for this also.
  • Deploy and Discover: once your asset is received, it’s either in storage waiting or utilsed. Depending on the type of asset, if it is discoverable on the network then you could potentially grab asset data that way
  • Maintain and Monitor: as assets require preventative maintenance scheduled, it’s important to track its status
  • Contract, Vendor support and Warranty: breakfix and relevance to warranty contracts
  • Retirement/decommissioning and Disposal: some assets may require a destruction process to ensure security. Matching data security to company risk profiles can ensure both compliance and security as well as ensuring you are not over paying for services you may not need. Data destruction is also important to prevent any possible compromise to your organisation.

2. Asset state and status tracking throughout the lifecycle

Most of an organisation’s Intellectual Property (IP) is tied up in data. Yet not all data needs to be managed at the highest level of security. By classifying different types of data, with agreed corporate risk profile enables IT asset values to be optimised and managed prudently.

Yep, you guesssed it.. just like life, you will get out as much as you put into it. Garbage in, garbage out!

You “should” know where ALL your assets are at any one time. And recording a log of events against the asset lifecycle is important to help manage and predict maintenance costs.

Every asset has common data points required for tracking, it is prudent to track and have the ability to record these.. for the smarter folks, this can be done seamlessly e.g., get as much data as possible from the supplier electronically upon ordering (I would even go as far as adding it into condition of commitment to purchase). These may include:

  • Asset unique ID (also as identified by the system of choice)
  • Serial Number and/Batch number
  • State, Status, location and date
  • Asset Description / image(s)
  • Supplier and/or manufacturer
  • Warranty info relevance
  • Workflow relevance for each state
  • Ownership and/or responsibility

3. What to do with messed up data 🤷‍♀️

A good old stocktake will reveal the truth.

In my earlier years of working in retail I’ve built an understanding of inventory management and the same concept applies to any stocktake /inventory or asset audit. I could not believe how people didn’t follow logic to apply the most basic way to manage inventory audits. That’s when I realised it was a skill of value.

When you find yourself inheriting someone else’s mess, give me a call. We have become experts at cleaning up data mess the most efficient way possible!

  • Data digitisation & migration: It’s important to have solutions that incorporate the ability to onboard both unstructured and structured data. Data Information can be loaded in as text, image, or voice from various sources, multiple databases, emails, messaging, M2M etc.
  • Data Cleaning: utilising policy based rules, machine learning and predictive algorithms is the fastest way. I’ve grown fond in using AI digital assistants to outsource to.
  • Data Governance: a set of principles and practices ensuring high quality through the complete lifecycle of your data. Where will we be without standards right 🙄
  • Data Security: with greater concerns over data security and access, many don’t realise that you can gain a lot from accessing a little information, everywhere. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of security. This includes both data stored in systems such as the asset database, discoverable asset data being transmitted to monitoring systems and data transmitted between systems within and outside the closed network.

It’s possible to turn the asset of peas into something that could be easier to digest by organising the process better 😉🤖🖖

Get in contact to learn more about cleaning up enterprise and government scale data mess leveraging AI digital assistants 🤖🖖 www.justaskpenny.com

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