Better management of assets is on the minds of many local and State government staff. But what are the core pieces which make up a modern asset management system. Let’s consider this topic in this blog post, and discuss new solutions which help automate the asset management process.
Work orders made easy (and affordable)
Through our work with clients we have recognized 4 core, directly related asset management workflows:
- Inspections are conducted to discover the current state of an asset.
- Inspections are assessed and a maintenance priority assigned to each asset inspected.
- A work order is issued for maintenance and repair.
- Maintenance is conducted and work completed reported.
For many small to medium sized organizations these workflows are manual. That can mean a mix of paper forms, data entry into a computer system and software applications. A central computer based system, which stores all asset data in one place, and has complimentary mobile and office based applications to simplify the asset management process, has been a dream of many small and medium sized organizations. But that has begun to change, as the price of software has decreased, application development has become easier, and cloud based systems (removing the need for a large internal IT team) have become more popular and affordable.
Today the asset management process can be automated and connected into other software systems. Picture this workflow:
- Inspectors go out into the field using a mobile tablet or phone. They load up a map based inspection app which works both online and offline. Conduct an inspection using a very simple inspection workflow built into the mobile app. When they arrive back in the office they upload all their inspection data into a central computer system.
- Managers then assess the severity of problems reported by inspectors through a web application, which pulls data from the central computer system and adds that data as points to an interactive map. Managers can then tap on a point, and see the inspectors assessment. From there they can generate a work-order in the same application, and set a priority level. This data is stored again in the central data system.
- Maintenance staff load up a mobile app on their phones. The app automatically opens a map and loads asset, and work-order data from the central system, shown as points on the map. Work orders points are colored based on priority (eg. red for high priority). Work completed is reported through the app as an update to a work order. A status field can be changed from pending to closed or reinspect for each asset work order. Again this data is all pushed back into the central system when staff are back in the office.
This automated workflow opens wider possibilities for planning, reporting, preventative maintenance and more. Real-time data is also one other possible addition. That is mapping SCADA or sensor data to view asset issues as they happen. Mapping and tracking social media data is also a new way to learn about problems (eg. outages, flooding etc) in near real time.
At WebMapSolutions we have been building these types of new flexible, affordable, integrated asset management solutions. Call us to find out more about our work on 801-410-2532.