Today, you find more and more commercial building managers and facilities professionals are challenged with managing assets. Critical assets breaking down mid-use, poor equipment performance and inefficient building systems are some challenges that have beguiled many commercial facilities. Every asset needs proper management and maintenance for it to continue to function according to its intended design.
It is on this premise that asset management represents a critical tool that every property owner or manager can use to cut costs, save money, improve productivity, and elevate the overall performance of the facility. Keeping tabs on important assets in a commercial property, including in-service appliances, replacement parts, and systems is key to achieving continuous and predictable profit.
So that brings us to a question:
What is asset management?
Conventional thought would want you to believe that Asset Management is limited to the financial or manufacturing industry. That is not entirely true in recent times, however. Critical asset management as it relates to real estate can be described as a systematic process whereby very important assets are identified, cataloged, monitored, maintained, operated, upgraded, and replaced cost-effectively. These processes can include establishing maintenance programs for HVAC and lighting, scheduling utilities, handling sensitive information, and tracking and monitoring energy consumption etc.
It takes into consideration the whole life-cycle of the asset – from the time it was purchased or leased to the time it is disposed. By keeping a close eye on the entire lifecycle of these critical assets, it not only ensures they are in tip-top working condition but also reduces operational costs, increases productivity, and prolongs their longevity. This is of particular significance where the cost of these assets is high; it helps you improve the bottom line of your business.
A good asset management strategy optimizes your organization’s performance, minimizes costs and supports your goals. Unfortunately, most facility or asset managers struggle when it concerns critical asset management processes. Limited data collection and poor data quality are common struggles in commercial facilities. Good asset management processes are essential.
The good news is that critical asset management is attainable with technology like the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT - the future is here
IoT is a network of interconnected devices that makes use of sensors, software, and network connectivity that allows the collection and exchange of data between multiple systems over the Internet.
IoT in commercial buildings includes technologies such as cloud computing, big data, sensors, software, and mobile devices among others.
By attaching sensors to building equipment and systems, IoT technology can glean vital data pertaining to equipment performance, energy utilization, fault detection, predictive maintenance, etc. Available sensor data will guide the decision making process and will stack the odds in favor of decision makers.
IoT and Critical Asset Management: Importance and benefits
IoT’s ability to capture a range of data from an array of sensors forms the base from which critical asset management succeeds. Condition, age, vibration, flow rates, pressure, temperature, and other performance data regarding building assets can be gathered using IoT.
This is particularly important for critical assets because their failure can result in delays in operations, loss of revenue, and diminished business reputation. IoT-enabled critical asset management will improve various aspects of asset maintenance and operations, and will make it possible for your assets to work at their most productive and profitable levels.
Areas IoT will enhance critical Asset Management
1. Centralized control of assets:
Most property or asset managers deal with an eclectic mix of assets from a single building or multiple buildings spanning a wide geographical area. Tracking and monitoring assets is extremely challenging in this environment.
However, with IoT enabled asset management, you can keep a close eye on all critical assets thanks to a “command center” that aggregates all data from sensors attached to the various assets. From a single dashboard, you can quickly and easily monitor, analyze, and make decisions.
Not only will this save you time and stress, it is cost-effective and better organized, thereby reducing the risk of losing control.
Asset management typically has an asset register that tracks all pertinent asset information – the asset’s purchase date, maintenance schedule, plan for replacement or even insurance and other information required for auditing purposes. IoT helps with creating and maintaining this register with up to date information. IoT's ability of continuously monitoring asset performance and maintenance helps identify areas where efficiency savings can be achieved.
2. Predictive maintenance
The IoT based critical asset management is proactive rather than reactive. What this means is that sensors attached to critical assets within a commercial facility or group of properties, as the case may be, will provide data regarding performance that can be used to determine the best possible moment to conduct maintenance – whether it is just prior to equipment downtime or end-of-life. Instead of waiting for critical assets to “break” before “fixing it,” IoT allows you to predict the exact moment that is ideal for maintenance. With this capability, you not only keep your asset in a good condition, but you also avoid asset downtime, expensive repairs, tenant inconvenience, etc. This also helps in extending the life of an asset.
3. Quality data acquisition and use
Data is at the heart of asset management. You need quality data to generate useful information that will guide the decision making process.
IoT solutions based on sensors, meters, actuators, etc. can generate and maintain accurate real-time data on the fly. With IoT you can establish a baseline regarding critical assets and also develop a comprehensive process to acquire validate, assimilate, analyze, and interpret data into usable information. This helps you make wiser asset investment decisions.
4. Remote Asset tracking and monitoring
It is not uncommon to find situations where facility managers or asset managers run into difficulties because they are unable to accurately track and monitor remote building assets. When this happens, it can result in supply shortages, downtime, increased operational cost, and occupant discomfort.
With IoT, keeping track of assets is a breeze because it can provide you with real-time information on the condition, inventory level, and performance of assets from more than one location even without you been there. You can also access this information on the fly using your mobile device.
You will be better prepared and ready to take action.
In conclusion, IoT enabled asset management is a paradigm shift from the traditional approach that is time consuming, expensive, and tedious.
IoT gives you the power to be proactive; it provides asset managers with visibility into their assets at a holistic level. The data obtained can provide useful insights and information for proper planning, monitoring, and tracking, which in turn will lead to more productivity, higher profits, and reduction in operational cost. So if you desire to meet your organization goals from the management of your critical assets, using IoT in your asset management strategy is a good place to start.