Assets come in two major forms: physical and intangible.
Physical assets include buildings, equipment, and supplies typically used in day-to-day business operations. Intangible assets include human capital, intellectual property, or goodwill.
In this article, we will focus on the importance of maintaining physical assets, how you can improve asset maintenance, and how to choose the best system for your asset maintenance needs to improve workplace safety, productivity, and cost-efficiency.
Before we dive deep into these objectives, let's first cover the differences between inventory management, asset management, asset maintenance, and maintenance inventory management to avoid common confusion around the subject.
Inventory is composed of products actively on the market and available to be purchased. Inventory management is about keeping track of orders, products, projected sales, production, and supplies to ensure you have optimal inventory to meet the sales demand while cutting back on unnecessary costs in production, storage, and transportation.
The asset management process overlaps with inventory management in many ways, especially when keeping track of the number of assets that a company owns. This contributes to the valuation of the company and other business operations such as insurance.
Asset maintenance is a key component of asset management. The main purpose of asset maintenance is to ensure smooth day-to-day operations and create a safe working environment. Quality asset maintenance will also make sure you get the most value from the assets your business invests in.
Maintenance Inventory Management
Maintenance inventory management is managing the inventory of tools, materials, and supplies needed for asset maintenance. The objective is to help facilitate a smooth asset maintenance process at the lowest possible cost.
Quality maintenance of physical assets can benefit a company in five key areas:
Maintaining assets is thus an essential part of any company. It is especially important for asset-intensive industries such as retail, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, fishing & forestry, oil & gas, power & energy, and water & wastewater.
Asset maintenance is not a simple task. It includes keeping records of past maintenance, scheduling future maintenance, handling repairs, conducting safety inspections, keeping an eye out for incident or hazard reports involving equipment or property, and initiating the appropriate corrective and preventive action as and when necessary.
Below are some common procedures involved in asset maintenance.
A risk assessment can help identify equipment with high safety risks. Once identified, the appropriate maintenance schedule can be adopted.
Regular risk assessments can also help identify equipment that isn’t functioning as optimally as it should and needs to be repaired or replaced.
An audit is a type of inspection reporting that provides an objective record of a facility or equipment condition. These reports are generally required before work can be resumed on any item or area.
The frequency can also range from daily to weekly, monthly, or annually according to a specific equipment’s safety requirements. Some companies may need to conduct audits more than once a day, such as when drivers inspect their vehicles before every shift.
An incident is any event or accident that leads to personnel injury or damage to equipment or property. Incident reports record the facts related to an incident on the worksite.
A hazard report system is a proactive measure to identify potential hazards, whether or not these hazards are visible in the workplace. By identifying hazards, you can initiate preventive action before they cause incidents.
A maintenance schedule is a predetermined schedule for physical assets—such as part replacements or upgrades. Maintenance schedules can vary for different assets according to manufacturer’s recommendations, health and safety policies, legal requirements, or other influencing factors.
Asset maintenance involves many types of procedures that can quickly get overwhelming if you still rely on manual processes.
Dealing with paper trails is time-consuming. You have to physically collate pen-and-paper inspections and reports, organise them with a manual filing system, or convert them into digital records. Worse, it creates delays.
Since pen-and-paper inspections and reports are not visible in real-time, it can take hours or days before the equipment that needs repair gets the urgent maintenance it needs. This delay can lead to an incident that could have been prevented if the process was not so time-consuming.
Furthermore, manual records make it difficult to spot trends or view the entire maintenance history of an asset. This, too, can compromise your ability to take proactive action to optimise asset maintenance, promote productivity, and improve health and safety in the workplace.
A cloud-based asset maintenance system provides organisations with a digital solution to manage their asset maintenance on one cloud-based platform.
The most immediate benefit of digitising your asset maintenance processes is that everyone—from the workplace floor to senior management—will spend less time completing or managing paperwork.
Having your digital records submitted onto a cloud-based platform allows for real-time reporting. This makes it easier to keep assets in their best condition, save costs, and enable a proactive safety culture. A cloud-based platform also streamlines how employees complete inspections, audits, and asset maintenance tasks, helping you to boost workplace productivity.
There can be much resistance to new technology, and not every employee may be keen to let go of legacy systems. So how do you know if making the shift to a cloud-based asset maintenance system is worth the financial and time investment? Here are a few things to consider.
If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then moving to a cloud-based asset maintenance system is worth the investment. The time and costs you’ll save from streamlining asset maintenance will give you back your ROI multiple times over.
When choosing a digitised asset maintenance system, consider the following criteria:
If you’d like to explore some market-ready options, check out Workflows by Vatix. Our solution is a digital inspection and audit system with integrated task management. An intuitive interface makes it easy for your team to make a smooth transition into a cloud-based asset maintenance system.
Contact us for a free 14-day trial or a free consultation to discover how our suite of solutions can help you create an employee-led safety first-class safety culture in your workplace.