Asset Management — How to begin

Wisely and efficiently managing investments in assets is really a major issue even for small utilities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that there’s an importance of $276.8 billion in improvements in drinking tap water infrastructure and $202.5 billion in improvements in wastewater infrastructure in the United States over another 20 years (based on reports from 2005 and 2008 respectively). This is in addition to the cost of operation and maintenance. The smaller the community, the more the per capita cost.

Asset management is an application for inventorying, evaluating and planning for assets to ensure that utilities will make far better and efficient choices¬†krungsri asset¬†in how to purchase their infrastructure. This can be quite a daunting task because asset management can be quite a data intensive activity and even a tiny utility may have many assets. Utilities don’t need to delay, but may use these tips to begin using asset management.

Implement Asset Management in Phases
Part of asset management would be to inventory assets and assess their conditions. It’s increasingly common to link databases of asset and condition information to geographic information systems (GIS). An application can spend years assembling this data, but when it isn’t using that data to make more informed decisions and plan its infrastructure investments, it’s not practicing asset management.

It is better to apply asset management in its entirety to a manageable subset of assets and add to it over time. In this way you can begin experiencing the benefits of it and gain practice for larger asset sets.

Begin with high priority assets. You may choose sets of assets centered on type, location, age and other factors vital that you your utility. A typical place to begin in a drinking tap water system might be storage tanks. In a wastewater system, you may focus on pump stations. From there you can include pipes, treatment, sources and other assets one group at a time.

Begin with General Information and Add Details as Needed
Information technology has managed to get possible to keep an eye on plenty of information about your assets. Collecting, coding and entering that data can be quite time consuming.

You can simplify this by choosing in the first place general information about your assets. Begin with information that will allow you to spot particular assets and prioritize them for possible inspection, refurbishment or replacement.

You can add additional information over time. As you select what details to include, consider whether or not they will help you make smarter decision about where you should invest your effort and funds. If information won’t factor into decision-making, don’t waste your effort by collecting and tracking it.

Go through the Information You Already Have
Identifying, locating and assessing the situation of a utilities major assets can seem such as an overwhelming task. Fortunately, you probably have plenty of useful information already.

Utilities are engineered systems, and engineering reports, plans and specifications in your files can tell you a whole lot about the body as it was built. The engineers who prepared these documents may have the ability to supply you with electronic plans you may be able to put in to a GIS.

Utilities may also be regulated by utility, environmental and health agencies. State agencies might have a wealth of information on your own utility and its assets, and it may be for sale in electronic formats. These agencies make periodic inspections of facilities which could include conditions assessments.

Remember that as you begin your asset management program, you’re not beginning scratch. You will likely have plenty of information about your assets and their condition at hand.

Utilities are face with enormous needs for infrastructure improvement and pressure to keep rates for his or her services affordable. Asset management can allow you to deal with this particular pressure by improving and justifying your decisions about infrastructure investments. Starting a property management program can seem such as a huge task, especially in light of all of the data that can enter it, but you can begin sooner rather than later by starting small and building from there.

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