This is the next in a series of posts highlighting the importance of modern asset management for multi-location enterprises and how to take advantage of advancements like the latest in asset tagging technologies.
Previously, we wrote about the advantages of integrating asset tagging & management technologies within a service automation platform, and highlighted specific use cases of modern asset management in verticals like retail and restaurants.
Key benefits of this integrated method include being able to make repair and decisions more quickly, as well as being able to use historic and real-time asset management data to improve operations continually.
Of course, moving to this integrated model assumes that a business is using modern asset tagging technologies in the first place. Selecting and implementing digital asset tagging is therefore the first and most important step of an overall effective asset management system.
Unfortunately, there are still many companies who are still managing their assets manually, including using outdated asset tracking methods such as pen-and-paper inventory trackers or paper labels – if assets are even being tracked at all!
The Top Seven Challenges
For facilities managers who are often also responsible for the repair and maintenance of major assets, not having a modern asset tagging/management system only compounds the complexity of their day-to-day operations. Frankly, with all the headaches that FMs face even when things are going relatively smoothly, they need this added complexity like they need a site-wide power outage.
The top seven likely challenges that FMs (and the organization overall) will face by not leveraging a modern asset tagging/management system are:
- Little to No Visibility: Without visibility, there is no sure way of determining the inventory of assets in a given location(s). With no previous record of assets and information, there is also no way to track important data such as an asset’s serial or model number for future support and service uses. This becomes even more problematic when smaller assets (e.g. small appliances and tools) are moved among locations as they are routinely for various reasons, such as scaling up for big projects or to cover for equipment failures. In short, there’s no way to be making smart asset-related decisions without knowing what you already have in place and where everything is.
- Warranty Leakage: If a business is not accurately tracking its assets at all, then it is highly likely that it is not tracking these assets’ warranty status or availability. This could cost the business real money in the form paying for unnecessary repairs. ServiceChannel research reveals that companies are losing up to 35% of potential warranty saving from paying for repair on under warranty equipment.
- Lack of Information Sharing: Asset tagging is essentially a data management strategy. Without modern asset tagging in place, it is difficult if not impossible to create a dynamic data profile of the key assets even at a basic level such as with repair and cost histories. This makes the FM and other users highly dependent on others such as contractors for repair and maintenance decisions, with no good way to hold these vendors accountable.
- Difficult Repair or Replace Decisions: Determining whether an asset should be replaced or repaired is a common decision for FMs. Making the wrong decision can cost the business plenty either in paying too much or incurring the cost of equipment downtime. Without the right levels of data to analyze and to guide the FMs, these repair-or-replace decisions can end up being no better than a coin flip.
- Asset Servicing Errors: Without having a method to easily and confidently identify a particular asset, there’s no way to be sure the that the on-site staff is choosing the correct piece of equipment when creating a work order (e.g. which stove, HVAC unit or refrigerator unit). In the case of emergency or on-demand services, time is of the essence and costs can accelerate with the wrong decisions when the service provider is not certain which asset to fix or maintain when on-site. Even planned maintenance can be wasted or assets can be put at risk if routine services are performed on the incorrect asset.
- Time Sink: The biggest problem with any operational complexity is the time required just to maintain the status quo. This is certainly the case for FMs who are trying to manage critical assets without good asset tagging tools. Ultimately, with all the responsibilities that an FM has, the time investment in managing assets manually may be the greatest cost.
- Difficult Strategic Decision Making: Spending on capital assets and equipment are a big portion of every budget with real business impact to a company’s bottom line. Major decisions such as investing in new capital equipment require comprehensive, accurate and clean asset data across a location portfolio to ensure that the business is acting intelligently and strategically. From new location build outs to future capital planning, it is critical for a business to know the asset inventory, its service history, and the cost-per-asset over its lifecycle. And there’s no way to do that without an accurate way to capture, maintain and track equipment company-wide.
There is No Excuse
These challenges do not have to be a reality for any FM and his/her company today. There are endless options for tagging and managing assets digitally as well as initiating/tracking/managing the work orders when repairs or maintenance are necessary.
In addition, with facilities management mobile app advancements, FMs can easily tag and manage their assets as well as the service work orders, while on-the-go. It can be literally done with a push of a button, which begs the question: why would you do it any other way?