By: Jason Bishop
In the world of facility maintenance, nothing is worse than receiving a call from a store manager that a major fixture is broken. Is this a normal recurrence or an isolated incident? Is this a case of an asset at the end of its life expectancy – or the indication of a problem with that particular item or location? Is it more cost-effective to repair or replace it? Is it under warranty?
You’d be surprised at how often even the most conscientious facility manager may not have those answers instantly at hand, because very few companies track all or even most of their assets. Most of the time, it’s not intentional. The reasoning is more behind the fact that their current software doesn’t allow them to manage the assets properly. Asset management is the largest component of any facilities budget and encompasses things such as repair cost, replacement, life cycle cost, ongoing performances and budget constraints.
Most companies will keep close track of major equipment, such as HVAC, because the dollar investment is so great. However, each store or restaurant has a tremendous amount of equipment that must be maintained, repaired and or replaced on occasion. From lighting and clothing fixtures to refrigeration and hot water heaters, each item has a life expectancy. Each item has a cost to repair it yet few companies track these smaller items and they could be wasting major dollars as a result.
Knowing how your physical assets are performing can help each individual store plan budgets.
With NEST Facilitate, we capture and archive information related to each including its date of installation, cost, cost of repair, warranty information, and any unique information such as model or serial number. Our Independent Service Providers (ISPs) collect the information and upload to our centralized system, where we identify each individual asset, and track repair costs – not just by location, but by the item itself. Our Client Service Team then analyzes the data to provide a regional, national or company-wide view of assets to assist in planning for both the short and long-term.
Here are the top reasons why you should track all of your assets:
You know the longevity of every asset. This allows you to assess the quality of the items, vendor service, and even the wear and tear based on location and use. For example, a fixture that theoretically should last five years may last only four in some regions with more aggressive weather patterns. This allows you to proactively budget for a shorter lifespan.
A greater, more productive connection with your finance department. By and large, corporate finance professionals love hard numbers and hate surprises. With solid information about warranties and the cost of owning, maintaining and replacing short- and long-term assets, facilities managers can be true heroes to this team. Your contribution to the yearly budget process will be based on fact, not your best estimate.
Stronger ties with the real estate team. In this case, both teams help each other – if the real estate staff knows a lease is expiring in a year or so, it might make sense on the facilities side to do a quick repair of an item rather than replace it. It may even be worthy for the real estate professional to negotiate the cost of the asset into the renewal of the lease. Or a newer asset can be relocated to another store if a closure is imminent, saving some money as a company expands.
Finding regional and national patterns. While many stores know when their own equipment has been installed, regional supervisors overseeing thousands of locations simply can’t keep track of each store’s assets. At NEST, our ISPs collect this information and upload it into our technology platform, NEST Facilitate, that serves as a central repository of data so we can track and monitor trends. Our team will then analyze this data and provide recommendations to help corporate staff plan their expenditures and allocate accordingly.
Avoid paying for covered repairs. A new store manager might not know that his roof was replaced or repaired two years earlier, and that any problems are still under warranty. Why spend money to repair something that should be repaired by the manufacturer or installer for free? Our team has access to warranty information through NEST Facilitate and can notify the appropriate warranty provider of any needed repairs.
A speedier recovery from disaster. Whether the problem is a storm damaging an individual store’s HVAC system or a regional event that affects the entire operation, it’s key to have updated inventory of all equipment with documentation of warranties and recent repairs. Having this information readily available for insurance companies puts you one step closer to getting a store back up and running quickly.
The best asset management covers all of the assets, not just the big-ticket items. Our team at NEST can help you manage your assets – and your dollars.
Do you have any asset management challenges that we didn’t cover? How have you successfully managed your assets?
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