Asset Registers: The Power of a Comprehensive Asset Register - DMA Group
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What is an asset register and why do you need one?

Simply put, an asset register is a list of an organisation’s assets. This can include physical items such as buildings, land, plant and equipment, and vehicles, or digital assets such as instructional videos, design blueprints, O&M manuals, SOPs and checklists.

Accurate asset data will help you track and monitor the performance of your assets over time. This information can be used to make decisions about when to replace or repair items and can help you budget for future expenditure. Comprehensive asset registers also play a key part in compliance, as they enable you to link regulatory and statutory practices back to your assets. Additionally, an up-to-date asset register can be invaluable for insurance purposes, providing a detailed list of items that may have been damaged or destroyed ensures that you are more likely to receive a full and fair pay-out.

In short, an asset register is a valuable tool for any organisation. It enables you to record and maintain both the financial and non-financial information of a particular asset and allow it to be verified at any given time. It can help you make better use of your resources, monitor the performance of your assets, and prepare for the worst.

What are the components of an accurate asset register and the benefits?

The components of an accurate asset register should include:

  • Asset identification: each asset must be clearly identified, so that it can be easily located and tracked.
    Asset location: assets must be accurately tracked and their location recorded, so that they can be easily found and used when needed.
  • Asset value: the value of each asset must be accurately recorded, so that the organisation can make the most efficient use of its resources.
  • Asset condition: the age and condition of the assets should be recorded, so that life cycle profiling can be achieved which provides a future replacement value.
  • Asset history: a complete record of an asset’s history is important in managing its life cycle and ensuring its optimal use.

The benefits of an accurate asset register include:

  • Improved asset management: an accurate asset register enables organisations to manage their assets more effectively, and to make better use of often times, limited resources.
  • Reduced risk: an accurate asset register helps to reduce the risk of non-compliance, theft, loss or damage.
    Enhanced decision-making: an up-to-date asset register provides organisations with the information they need to make future informed decisions about their assets.
  • Improved efficiency: an accurate asset register enables organisations to locate and utilise assets more quickly and efficiently.

By taking the time to ensure that all the components of an accurate asset register are in place, you and your organisation can realise substantial benefits.

Fixed and digital asset registers and what information should they hold

Larger organisations may break down and store their data on multiple asset registers, but typically, asset registers are broken down into two classifications: fixed and digital.

Fixed asset registers cover property, plant and equipment, vehicles, tools, furniture etc, and should contain the following information:

  • Name and description of the asset
  • Current location and barcode
  • Purchase date and cost
  • Insurance and warranty information
  • Age and condition
  • Maintenance details (statutory and otherwise)
  • Depreciation value

Fixed assets are normally held for several years, with their value depreciating over time with wear and tear. A good, fixed asset register will show the actual value of these assets at any given point in time.

Digital asset registers typically cover those assets that are in an organisation’s digital asset portfolio such as instructional videos, blueprints, OEM manuals, SOPs, and checklists. These will also hold information such as the name, description, location, and serial numbers.

Creating an accurate asset register; the methodology

The initial process of creating an asset register is key when it comes to maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of your organisation’s assets. The process can be broken down into five key steps:

Asset register
  1. Have an asset strategy – create a framework for the complete lifecycle of your high value assets, including plans to acquire, operate, maintain, replace and retire. This systematic approach can build value, reduce liabilities, and increase productivity.
  2. Identifying what assets your organisation has – this can be done by having a full condition asset capture survey.  Whilst having a full condition asset capture survey can be expensive, having accurate data of every asset will mean that when the assets are labour loaded, it can be priced more truthfully when establishing the number of engineers required to carry out the maintenance.
  3. Categorising your assets – once assets have been identified, they should be categorised in a clear, methodical, and systematic way.
  4. The value of your assets – the value of your asset should be defined by considering the initial purchase value, depreciation, and any repairs or maintenance that has previously been conducted on it.
  5. Create your asset register – the days of old-fashioned spreadsheets are long gone. They take up too much time and effort and are likely to plagued with high-risk errors. The actual creation and storing and maintaining of your asset register can be simplified by using a facilities asset management platform, ideally working as part of your CAFM platform. These technology applications are invaluable in analysing date specific to each asset, saving you time and money.

3D photographic asset scanning; what is this magic you speak of?

Accuracy is key when it comes to asset management; you want to know what you have, where it is, and what condition it’s in. 3D photographic asset scanning technology will give you a precise, three-dimensional representation of your assets, without ever having to physically touch them.

3D photographic scanning is proving to be an indispensable tool for asset management. Simply put, it can be up to hundreds of images that are stitched together digitally to allow a walkable view of your building space (particularly helpful for delicate or hard-to-reach areas) or used create a digital twin of a physical equipment asset.

3D photographic asset scanning is a technology that proves to be accurate, non-invasive, and can provide you with valuable information about your assets.

So you’ve built your comprehensive asset register, now what?

So now you know an asset register is important for tracking the value of your company assets and depreciation. However, once you have built your comprehensive asset register, what do you do with it?

Maintain, maintain, maintain:  Maintaining your asset register is a constant work in progress and will involve many individuals from across your organisation. All involved should be aware of and working to a standard set of operating procedures for updating variables.

Analyse your assets: Once you have all your assets entered into your asset register, you can start to look at the big picture. What percentage of your assets are depreciating versus appreciating? What are your most valuable assets? Which assets are not being used to their full potential? Which assets are costing the most to maintain or are regularly failing. By analysing your assets, you can make better and informed decisions in the future.

Monitor asset performance: By monitoring the performance of your assets, you can identify issues early and take preventative corrective actions. For example, if you notice that one of your assets is constantly failing, you can investigate the reason and take steps to improve its use.

Plan for replacements: Nothing lasts forever, and that includes your assets. By planning for replacements, you can ensure that your company always has the assets it needs to function properly. For example, if you know that one of your air conditioning units will need to be replaced in the next few years, you can forward plan to budget for it, and to have a replacement ready to ensure the least disruption to your building environment.

The asset register is a powerful and critical tool for any organisation, small or large. Done well, it will hold a complete record of all of the essential information of organisation’s assets, which holds the key to effective asset management and decision making.

Please contact us to learn more about how we can assist you.