Asset Management – How to get started

Wisely and efficiently managing investments in assets is 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 tap 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 as well as the expense of operation and maintenance. The smaller town, the higher the per capita cost.

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

Implement Asset Management in Phases
Element 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). An electricity can spend years assembling this data, but when it isn’t using that data to produce more informed decisions and plan its infrastructure investments, it’s not practicing asset management.

It is much better to use asset management in its entirety to a manageable subset of assets and add to it over time. In this manner you are able to begin experiencing the advantages of it and gain practice for larger asset sets.

Start out with high priority assets. You could choose categories of assets centered on type, location, age or other factors important to your utility. A typical place to start in a drinking tap water system may be storage tanks. In a wastewater system, you might start with pump stations. From there you could add pipes, treatment, sources and other assets one group at a time.

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

You can simplify this by choosing to begin with general information regarding your assets. Start out 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 they will help you make better 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.

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

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

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

Understand that as you begin your asset management program, you’re not starting from scratch. You are likely to have lots of information regarding your assets and their condition at hand.

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

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