Asset management: Budgeting

On a daily basis, facility owners face the daunting task of making sure all the materials, machinery and manpower in their facilities are functioning like they should. It’s a difficult job, and the reality is, things have a way of falling through the cracks.

In a series of three posts we’ll discuss three crucial aspects of facility management—assessing risks, budgeting for maintenance, and recordkeeping—and how they can all be enhanced (not to mention made simpler) by more empirical asset management.

Keeping an eye on cost

In a perfect world, each year’s maintenance budget would be sufficient to keep every asset in your facility shiny and new. But real world budgets rarely come close to such rosy hypotheticals. In fact, some of the most difficult decisions facility managers make concern what projects to address right away and what to put off until next year.

Here, more detailed asset management than has previously been available could play a critical role. The same objective scores that can be used to determine which assets are most in need of repair can be used for making both current and future cost projections of critical coatings maintenance, based on the extent of the work that needs to be done and the area that work will need to cover. These projections help owners to weigh, from a financial perspective, which projects will be better to tackle immediately, and which can be addressed in the future.

They can also help to tackle the most pressing projects smarter. Consider a large storage tank in serious need of a new protective coating. Given its size, it’s necessary to erect scaffolding around the tank. Now, what if you had risk assessment scores and coatings cost projections on hand for all of the assets adjacent to the storage tank and in close proximity to the scaffolding. Having that information would make it fairly easy to calculate where you could save by addressing jobs that could utilize the scaffolding already in place.

Of course, more accurate risk assessments will decrease the likelihood that an asset will degrade to the point of failure. But they do more than that. They enable smarter budgetary decisions by providing a more complete picture of the entire facility. And when facility owners have the benefit of the long-term, wide-angle view, they’re empowered to make cost-saving decisions.

For more on data-assisted failure assessment tools, download the guide to data-driven facility management.

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