You know you need to keep track of your facilities' assets and equipment, but you don't know where to start. You don't even have an inventory of your assets, let alone asset warranty information, service history, or cost. And with the number of locations you are managing, organizing all of this information is an overwhelming task.
Don't worry. Starting an asset management process is simpler than you think. You need the right strategy and the proper process to make it happen. The good news is you already have every resource you need to pull this off.
How to decide what information should you gather.
The first step in starting your asset management process is deciding what information you should track. While this varies based on your goals for your asset management program, the necessary information you need to gather is:
Asset Type (i.e. Roof Top Unit, Walk-In Cooler, Oven, Fuel Dispenser, etc)
Asset Name/ID (Use 1-001 as a best practice, where 1 is your location number and 001 is the actual asset number, starting from one. This will make it easier to keep track of later.)
Labor Warranty Expiration Date
Material Warranty Expiration Date
Other Warranty Type
Other Warranty Expiration Date
We created a spreadsheet template for you which you can download here.
How to collect your asset information.
Most companies get stuck at this stage because they worry about the time and cost to obtain the information. While this concern is entirely understandable, be encouraged that the investment will pay for itself. The average multi-location business pays for at least one unnecessary maintenance repair a month. Foodservice businesses, like restaurants and convenience store chains, may see that number as high as three to four unnecessary repairs costs given the amount of equipment they have in their facilities.
The first time you prevent an unnecessary maintenance repair cost your company will see a return on your initial time or money investment. There are three cost-effective ways to gather your information.
Have your people do it.
Your district or area manager is the ideal person for this task for two reasons. They should already be in your locations regularly. You will only need to train one person for each district or area. Simply create a process outlining which equipment's information, you will need and provide them with the asset tracking template you just downloaded. Have them create a tab on the spreadsheet for each location they visit.
The only information you will need to look up later is the warranty information which you can obtain through the manufacturer's customer service departments.
Have your maintenance vendors do it.
This option is more expensive. However, you may feel you will receive more accurate information. The same process applies here that applies to the district/area manager strategy.
Whichever strategy you choose, be sure to provide clear expectations and a deadline for the project to increase your success.
How to prevent unnecessary repairs.
Now that you have all of your asset information you need a process for tracking repair history, new repairs and checking for warranty status. This process should look like the following.
When a location reports a new maintenance issue, you will want to troubleshoot the problem with the person who reported it. You are looking for common problems which can resolve without hiring a contractor. Common issues are power supply problems, incorrect settings, or restarting the equipment.
If you cannot resolve the problem through basic troubleshooting, review the warranty status of the equipment and the repair history.
If the equipment is under warranty, you will assign the repair to the warranty contractor for a free repair.
If the equipment was serviced recently, you should assign the repair to the contractor who maintained it last as a workmanship recall. If the issue is the result of an improper or incomplete repair, you should hold your contractor accountable for making a proper fix.
Otherwise, hire a contractor to repair. Provide them with a not-to-exceed dollar amount (NTE) which will give them enough time to troubleshoot the issue or make a minor repair. For more extensive repairs, they will need to provide you with additional back up and a price to repair. This will keep you informed and give you the opportunity to make sure you receive a fair price.
How to track service history.
Every time you service your equipment, you need to log the following information:
The date of service
The original issue
The assigned contractor
Every time you have a new repair, update the amount of money you have spent repair the equipment. This is valuable data you can use to determine whether to replace an asset or continue repairing it in the future.
You can manage this entire process on a spreadsheet. However, the best and easiest way to do asset management and facilities maintenance management is with maintenance management software.
At Envoy, we have made the simplest maintenance management software in the industry while still being a leader in powerful features and automation. You will stop wasting time and money with our software, and you can try it out completely free.