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7 fundamental questions to ask about your enterprise assets

A reliable and comprehensive asset register is central to all asset management activities. Determining the level of risk associated with an asset- related failure is of the outmost importance. Automating the underlying foundation of this process calls for an Asset Management System.

 Across asset intensive industries almost every company has a significant register of assets that have to be tracked, evaluated, risk estimated, costed, audited and so on. The consequences of an out-of-date or inaccurate asset register can be catastrophic. In the past, each company had its own idea as to how best to manage their assets – there was no industry standard to drive harmonization. With the advent of the PAS 55 specification, all that has changed.

To manage cost and risk and to align operations with business strategy, organizations must be able to answer these fundamental questions about enterprise assets:

  1. What assets do we have and what condition are they in?
  2. What function do they perform and does this function contribute value?
  3. Do we have appropriate capacity?
  4. Are some assets redundant, underutilized, unprofitable or burdensomely expensive?
  5. Are the risks of our assets causing harm to people or the environment sufficiently low?
  6. Can we accurately evaluate the performance, risk reduction, compliance and sustainability benefits of proposed asset work or investments and, likewise, the impact of delaying or not performing the proposed actions?
  7. Can we confidently address these lines of inquiry and provide answers to stakeholders with a clear audit trail and reliable data?

Obstacles to a comprehensive asset register

A reliable and comprehensive asset register is central to all asset management activities. It should provide information on asset location, condition, failure risk, depreciation and replacement.

While this may seem basic, obstacles can emerge if the list is not comprehensive:

Inadequate record-keeping
Many mining companies, for example, lack adequately detailed records of their electrical and ventilation systems, despite having thousands of meters of them in the field.

Age
Organizations responsible for public infrastructure often have assets dating back as far as 70 years – long before computerized asset tracking. This can mean searching potentially out-of-date and inaccurate paper records, if they exist.

Disconnected silos of information
Transportation companies may operate multiple networks – due to geography, type of operation, or through merger and acquisition. Often these employ different systems and processes, so getting a single view of assets, their condition, and how they are being maintained can be difficult. The PAS 55 specification helps ensure assets are accurately and comprehensively recorded in the asset registry.

Automating the underlying foundation of this process calls for an Asset Management System with built-in business processes that accommodate the PAS 55 framework.

Risk of an asset-related disaster

Determining the level of risk associated with an asset-related failure is of the utcmost importance. Asset failure can mean substantial financial costs from lost revenue, personal injury, equipment damage and environmental harm. How should maintenance be prioritized and scheduled to mitigate risk?

Understanding the risk and criticality of assets is a central theme of an Asset Management System. By applying the PAS 55 framework, consistency of processes deployed across sites can be improved and global operations tailored to ensure risk of disaster is minimized.

Current condition of critical assets

When critical assets are not running, the company is not making money from them. And assets are often spread across a wide geographic area, making it difficult to get an overview of their condition. To combat this, an Asset Management System delivers a comprehensive framework for evaluating asset condition – taking historical inspections, repairs and maintenance into consideration.
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