Business & Leadership Behaviors

Return on Investment: Finding the Why in Asset Management Solutions – Data

In our last post, we talked about the critical importance of ROI in Asset Management Solutions (AMS). Key areas of an AMS surround Data, Money (of course), and Use. All of these are integral to an AMS. In fact, if a solution is missing any of them, it isn’t worth investigating further. Given how important each of these is, we’ll break them down to ensure that when you are reviewing an AMS for your organization, you understand what you should be looking for in a system – and pressing your vendor or developers to deliver. Today, we’ll focus on Data.

“Garbage In, Garbage Out”

Your focus on Data should be from two perspectives – how do you get it and how do you use it. Let’s start with the latter – Use. Most organizations use their asset data principally in financial reporting – straight assets vs. liabilities. Budgeting is also another use. How about procurement decisions on insurance or maintenance contracts – or the ever-popular decision to buy “spares” or equipment to ensure you have what you need when you need it (just in case)? How frequently do you need inventory information? Annually? Quarterly? Knowing what data you need to have (and when) will drive your entire AMS design.

With that use in mind, think about what your data looks like now. Ask yourself is it complete – or are there holes that I’m filling in? Is it correct? If your data goes down a path where it was jotted down on paper then keyentered into your ERP, there might be some typos. How old is it? Do you know the last time the information was collected?

The whole point of implementing an AMS is to get better data. This means that the data should be complete, accurate and current if you are going to be able to effectively use it. An effective solution will provide you with the means to obtain quality data – fulfilling these three criteria:

  •  Complete
    • The asset data reported is exactly what was physically found – whether it has an existing asset (or identification) tag or not
    • Eliminates Ghost Assets – the asset data was captured from the asset itself – not by checking off of a list of assumed assets. When these assets get moved, disposed of or just disappear but remain on the list – you now have Ghost Assets
    • The asset is properly profiled with its serial number, age, condition, etc. – whatever your organization needs for reporting and management
  • Accurate
    • The data on record matches up with the asset – quantities, location, serial numbers, etc.