Do you keep an Asset Register Database for your building?

Creating and Maintaining an Asset register is not always on the priority list of the facility manager, but, it’s a good indication as to the work load the manager has, and if there is time enough to maintain some sort of asset register. The register is a flag to work load as it is a fundamental document (or data base) which can become secondary to looking after tenants and contractors, hence, if the asset register has a low priority, then it bares to question as to what other important and fundamental aspects of facility management are being missed.

A Quick, informal, Definition of an Asset Register database for Commercial Property

Let’s quickly define what an Asset register database is, yes, this is boring, I’m sorry about that, but, you or your client have invested significant sums of money into you commercial facility and we want to maximize the investment for the long term.

The asset register forms the foundation for your maintenance and budgeting schedule. The register has the capability to track problem areas and “repeat offenders” in the building, hence, the tracking and monitoring of these “repeat offenders” can attract attention and be managed more effectively. This can save you thousands of dollars. The monitoring if the performance of your plant and equipment, via the asset register, make for practical financial opportunities, especially if there is a warranty issue for repaired or replaced main plant equipment.

Consider a comparison with your car, do you service your car regularly and is there a schedule for regular servicing? This schedule is the basis to maximize the life and performance of the car, optimize your dollars and have the best in safe driving your car can offer for the long term. Similarly, with your building, especially when energy conservation is a priority and investment in to energy conservation strategies already exist in the facility .

Asset Register Database Schedule

Generally, an asset register schedule will include a log of all the items in the facility with specific information assigned to each unique item. The information should include the particular item’s details, such as model, size capacity, brand, year of manufacture, supplier, installer, and, information which has a financial relevance to it, for example, obsolescence, cost to replace, cost to install, expected life term, expected date to fail.

Asset Register Database Scope

The scope of an asset register varies from client to client; the “drivers” for the scope is the wish list and the budget. The deeper the wish list or specificity of the register the more time required to investigate and create the data base, and also the more time to maintain the data base in the long term.

Its one thing to include a switchboard, it’s another to include the components of the switchboard, where do we draw the line of specificity of inclusion. We recommend to basis it on the financial risk of the item. For example, an air handling unit has many components, we would include only those which have a likely replacement cost which exceeds $2000 and or need regular replacement, like air filters, belts and pulleys.

Another “definition” might be to create an asset register to cover all the items in a building which has moving parts, another might cover everything that is not structural, another might cover all the major energy consuming items (HVAC, elevators, lights), another, only IT equipment; and so the list develops. The important part of the discussion, is what the primary purpose of the register is.

The Asset Register is a “Live” Document

When one considers the cost of the construction and delivery of an asset register, its important to remember its a “live” document / Database and need to be maintained and monitored. Without maintenance the initial investment of the effort to produce the data base is can be lost, especially when it comes to assets which have a technology component to them, such as the BMS (Building Management System) and the elevators.

Asset Management software

Software to create and manage your database varies tremendously, but, whichever software you choose, even if it is a spread sheet, you need to understand the purpose of your data base, and, develop an outline of the register’s scope of suit.

So why is this so important

If the Facility Manager is too busy looking after tenants and contractors to build some sort of Asset register to use as a fundamental structure to work from, it implies the Facility Management company has a problem, or, the building is busier than anticipated; either way, it implies more time and/or money needs to be spent on the building by the Facility Management company.

Nigel Wraight

Forte Asset Services

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