Getting Started and Keeping Going: Why You Need an Asset Management System
The population of the US is growing. In the four years between 2010 and 2014, the country’s population grew by 3.3%; that’s a further 10 million whose needs must be served.
For a public works department, this means expanding their asset roster and developing the infrastructure required to cope with this level of population increase. As the list of assets under the public work body’s jurisdiction expands, so does the list of potential issues and concerns that must be addressed.
Commissioning the building of a bridge, for example, provides a solution to the logistical and transportation problems facing the area. However, turning that short term solution into a long term one requires thorough and ongoing management of resources, as the department works to keep the bridge functional and operational.
To handle this sort of job adequately and efficiently, a degree of automation is required; you need an asset management system.
Asset Management Issues
While a growing asset list is certainly signifies that the public works body is serving the needs of the populace successfully, it brings with it a diverse array of problems;
You need to know what assets you have and what action needs to be taken to keep them functional and well-maintained. This is easier said than done as your inventory grows and becomes increasingly disorganized.
Too much paper work
Bureaucracy is an inherent part of asset management, and paper work soon mounts up. This can cause major delays to vital maintenance and refurbishment tasks as public works departments battle to get paperwork cleared.
Incompatible data resources
Which assets need to be updated? Which members of your team are up for retirement? Are you performing within budget this year? You need to be able to compare and examine these disparate data-sets in tandem, something that is incredibly difficult to do manually.
Time might be a healer, but it is also a destroyer. As the assets in your inventory age, it is up to the public works department to commission replacements and schedule maintenance and installation work. Again, this is a task that can prove difficult to handle manually.
The Asset Management Software Solution
In the public works industry, the parameters for success are a little different to those in the private sector. Avoid failure, and adequately serve the needs of the population, and your department can be considered successful. To achieve this, you need automated asset management and work order software to organize your department.
A web-based software solution like WebDPW is ideal for this, as it enables a collaborative effort across your whole team. Team members – both external and internal – can securely log in to the system to access data and add their own findings, creating a vital data-resource that is updated and accessible in real time.
Software users can then commission reports across a range of different metrics, easily cross-referencing the data and using it to plan the department’s strategies. Identifying where operational costs can be reduced, prioritizing urgent tasks over others, keeping track of a growing asset inventory and improving project execution becomes easy with this level of analytical capability.
A Change in Culture
But the benefits of such software go far beyond increased efficiency and comprehensive reporting. The implementation of a good quality piece of asset management software fosters an important cultural concept within the department; the concept of linking activities directly with assets.
Those serving in the public works industry quickly find that their actions are almost always bound up in their assets. Everything from government vehicle fleet maintenance, through road work and water meter servicing, requires a fresh appraisal of the infrastructure and a judgment call to be made regarding the efficacy of the related asset.
Software like WebDPW acts as a crucial link between the activities of a public works department and the assets they oversee, laying the groundwork for an ongoing culture of success.