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Asset Management - Old School vs. New School

by Kevin G. on April 2, 2014

What is asset management and why is it needed?  Let me provide a very brief definition.
 
Asset Management - any system that monitors and maintains things of value to an entity or group.  
 
Why is it needed? It is needed because all organizations have a tremendous number of assets that need to be inventoried and maintained.
 
Now that we all know what asset management is, and we all know that we need it for a variety of areas in our organizations, what do I mean by “Old School vs. New School”?  I can attest to the fact that not all asset management systems are equal. I’ve helped organizations with a state-of-the-art asset management system (new school), yet I have also visited organizations that still have on their shelf (under a layer of dust) the reports that I helped create 20 years ago (very old school)!
 
This dichotomy between old and new asset management systems, prompted me to discuss the two.  20 years ago, we used to take a clipboard out in the field to report data; we located items based upon their distance from the nearest intersection, and photographed items using a 35 mm camera. In theory, this methodology is still valid. However, after visiting offices and finding what I created 20 years ago still on the shelf and not having been updated, I believe this “Old School” approach to be all but useless. The problem with “Old School” is that once an asset is inventoried, there is no efficient way of maintaining the condition of that asset. That is, unless you consider incomprehensible scribblings and sticky notes to be an efficient maintenance program.
 
What is “New School”?  “New School” asset management is taking advantage of some of the many advances in technology to assist with this process.  However, and more importantly, “New School” allows us to create your asset management as a living and breathing entity that changes, grows, and evolves over time. It puts you in control of your assets! 
 
Some of the tools used in the “New School” include global positioning systems (GPS), geographical information systems (GIS), and light detection and ranging systems (LiDAR). We can even take a tablet or smart phone with us to find and record data about assets, document by taking pictures or videos, and geo-reference our assets. 
 
What we have seen with the use of the advancement in technology to assist in asset management systems is that organizations are now much more able to document, analyze, and maintain their assets.  It would take an organization dozens of three ring binders to document all of their assets. You would need multiple binders for equipment, bridges, roads, culverts, and signs just to name a few. When you needed something at your fingertips, with “Old School”, you had to return to the office and dig for it. Now, with “New School”, you access all of the data directly from a laptop, tablet, or your smartphone. You can access it in your car, the office, home, or even at your daughter’s ballet recital. 
 
We have spent years refining our systems and implementing the “New School” approach to asset management throughout the Midwest. Let us know what asset you want to manage, and we will show you one of our custom built systems allowing you to move from “Old School” to “New School”!