Asset Management – How to get started

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 is a requirement for $276.8 billion in improvements in drinking water infrastructure and $202.5 billion in improvements in wastewater infrastructure in the United States over the next 20 years (based on reports from 2005 and 2008 respectively). This is along with the cost of operation and maintenance. Small town, the greater the per capita cost.

Asset management is a program for inventorying, evaluating and planning for assets in order that utilities may make more effective and efficient choices¬†krungsri asset¬†in how to invest in their infrastructure. This can be a daunting task because asset management can be a data intensive activity and even a small utility might have many assets. Utilities don’t need certainly to delay, but can use these tips to start using asset management.

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

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

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

Start with General Information and Add Details as Needed
Information technology has made it possible to record lots of information about your assets. Collecting, coding and entering that data can be extremely time consuming.

You are able to simplify this by choosing to begin with general information about your assets. Begin with information that enables you to identify particular assets and prioritize them for possible inspection, refurbishment or replacement.

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

Consider the Information You Already Have
Identifying, locating and assessing the situation of a utilities major assets can seem like an overwhelming task. Fortunately, you probably have lots of useful information already.

Utilities are engineered systems, and engineering reports, plans and specifications in your files can inform you a 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 well be able to put right into a GIS.

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

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

Utilities are face with enormous needs for infrastructure improvement and pressure to keep rates due to their services affordable. Asset management can allow you to deal with this pressure by improving and justifying your decisions about infrastructure investments. Starting a property management program can seem such as for instance a huge task, especially in light of all the data that could get into it, but you can start sooner as opposed to later by starting small and building from there.

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