Good asset management is essential to maximizing the value of your business and reducing unanticipated costs or delays. Our advisory services experts list the 10 questions you need to ask yourself to ensure good asset management.
Admittedly, “asset management” is one of those nebulous terms that we often put into conversations, but rarely get defined. Approaches to managing your assets should be tailored to your business to fit your unique needs and goals. Due to its multiple approaches and applications, asset management seems to be a blurry concept at first, which can create a lot of confusion as to how to achieve your goals.
To clear things up and help your business get more out of good asset management, here are 10 questions you need to ask yourself.
1. How can asset management benefit your business?
The first step is to understand how asset management can benefit your business. Be careful, it is not enough to count your resources in a spreadsheet or software! Depending on the situation, adopting good asset management practices can benefit your business in multiple areas, such as risk management, financial planning, environmental protection and social impacts. Basically, it’s about offering your core services without leaving room for additional costs or failures. The table below includes some of the key benefits that asset management can bring to your business.
2. How will you meet the needs of your business?
Another important point: you have to find solutions adapted to your requirements and constraints. As soon as possible, it is essential to determine how to deliver your services while achieving your goals and ensuring the financial sustainability of your business over the long term. Your asset management strategy should meet the needs of your business and, more importantly, your employees. The way you deliver your services should take into account the specific context of your business. That being said, large companies sometimes use simple tools, as long as they allow them to solve their problems. And some small businesses sometimes take expensive approaches, if the return on their investment is worth it. The asset management system can be designed to take a view of the strategic, tactical and operational decisions that are made throughout the company and to ensure that the set goals are approached. It helps company employees focus on the results that build the communities we aspire to be.
3. Who will take care of asset management?
Asset management needs strong leadership. Employees responsible for asset management must be supported by senior management. They should be clearly identified and be responsible for implementing asset management and ensuring that communication about it is consistent across the company. Too often, companies simply assign asset management to a regular employee who is already in full-time duties. However, asset management cannot be treated as a side task that is rushed through. It is fully part of the company’s activities. Asset management affects all employees and often needs to be handed over to a designated employee to ensure that its implementation supports the change process and allows the business to move forward over time. Far from being a simple task, asset management is more about running a business, which impacts the culture of the business.
The bottom line is that companies, no matter how small, succeed in better asset management when they designate an employee who is responsible for its implementation and when all employees understand the role they play. they must play in the way in which the company manages its infrastructure effectively.
4. Have you designated the right people to manage your assets?
As you already know, there is essential knowledge at all levels of the business. Particularly in large companies, opportunities and relevant knowledge can be leveraged at the operational and frontline business levels to maximize results.
Asset management is a team sport and it is essential to make all levels of your business contribute to it.
5. What already exists in asset management?
You probably already do some asset management, and you could centralize and consolidate existing data across different areas of your business. Most organizations address many aspects of asset management, but the links between these aspects are missing. So you can save time and build a foundation on which to build by looking at work already done (both in your field and in other complementary areas).
For example, a small municipality worked with WSP to understand what had already been done and what still needed to be done to improve the management of its assets. Based on what had already been achieved, the city was able to identify some important gaps and act accordingly to implement a system to manage all types of assets.
6. What determines your level of service?
What is a “level of service”? Sounds like an abstract buzzword! In fact, it simply refers to how your business decides to offer its services. Are you going to provide top notch services? Or the most cost-effective services while meeting requirements? Or an in-between, perhaps? Understanding the range of services you can offer, the cost of different solutions, profitability, and the risks to expect for your community is essential in order to properly manage your assets and balance meeting the needs of end users and your business. financial sustainability.
7. Are you collecting the right data?
Another important point: data collection. Collecting and maintaining infrastructure data can be expensive and time consuming. It is important to identify in advance the data that is really related to the results you are seeking to achieve, to carefully evaluate the data to be collected, and to know how to retrieve and store it. You can only start thinking about what software you might be using once you know what data you need and understand the kinds of decisions you need to make.
8. What financial obstacles might you encounter?
Before committing to anything, it is important that you assess how financially sustainable your decisions will be in the short and long term. Are there significant costs to be expected? Should you invest now to prevent costs from escalating later? Are there funding sources that could help you? You may be eligible for external funding, but it is not always easy to find out without the help of an experienced advisor.
There are a lot of things to do with good asset management, but you don’t have to have everything in place at once. Start by roughing up your project. Taking the time to start off on the right foot will allow you to unite your team around a common goal. By having a clear vision of the future, you will be able to take the right steps. We can help you see the future clearly and understand certain financial, social and environmental aspects to help you make the right choices for your business.
9. How will you take the risks into account?
This spring, the floods in Quebec and Eastern Canada caused nearly $ 208 million * in insured damage. Last year, extreme weather events in Canada caused approximately $ 1.9 billion * in damage. These are two examples of climate change, but there are many other types of risks to consider.
Understanding and planning for the different types of risks that can affect your assets is essential. This will allow you to save money, even in the absence of a disaster. For example, WSP recently assisted the New Brunswick Department of Transportation on a project by anticipating possible culvert issues due to storms. This proactive planning has secured $ 28 million in funding from the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, and has probably saved many headaches for the authorities in the province!
10. Do you have a change management process in place?
\In our experience, it is often easier to technically put changes in place than to get them adopted by employees. Good change management can help manage the current complexities of a business, instill transparency and accountability in the decision-making process, and break away from entrenched ways of operating. When management, change advocates and all employees take ownership of the change, it greatly contributes to the success of a company’s operations.
Keep in mind that good change management is a collaborative and dynamic process, driven by employees. In a recent project at a large airport, for example, WSP helped create a series of interactive workshops with airport staff, which prompted key players to actively participate in the development of the change, while by giving everyone a better understanding of asset