Asset Intelligence and Management

Asset Intelligence and Management

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6 Steps to Implementing Asset Management Automation

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Asset management is critical for businesses to monitor physical resources. But managing assets manually is time-consuming and riddled with errors. Data entry mistakes, endless spreadsheets, and the absence of real-time tracking add up to liabilities and costs. That’s where automation kicks in. 

Asset management automation enables enterprises to get rid of manual work, ensure all records are accurate, and get a full picture of asset performance and maintenance. This allows businesses to make the most of their resources, reduce costs, and comply with regulations.

In this blog, you will find everything about asset management automation. What it really is, its benefits, and how to implement it properly in your organization.

Common challenges in manual asset management 

Manual asset tracking comes with certain challenges for businesses, including the following: 

1. Limited Visibility 

Manual asset management often makes it impossible to accurately track and monitor items across various locations. It results in underutilized assets, lost or misplaced inventory, and slow workflows leading to a decrease in overall productivity. According to research, about 43% of businesses struggle when it comes to real-time visibility of their asset locations and conditions. This makes it challenging to locate assets quickly, schedule their maintenance on-time, and ensure optimal utilization. 

2. Frequent breakdowns

Organizations that rely on manual processes to maintain their assets tend to experience increased downtime incidents. This leads to costly production delays in addition to supply chain disruptions. And it primarily happens when a company with a manual asset management system can hardly keep up with regular maintenance schedules hence causing costly breakdowns.

3. Poor decision-making

It becomes difficult to make decisions for assets based on obsolete and siloed information. Gartner points out that poor data quality costs businesses an average of $12.9 million per year. Without access to real-time performance metrics and historical asset data, organizations struggle to identify optimization opportunities and forecast future asset needs accurately.

4. Compliance issues 

Manual asset management can lead to inaccurate audits.Without automated asset tracking, it is almost impossible to stick to industry standards and comply with legal requirements. The company can face a lot of penalties, fines, and damage to reputation. Organizations using manual asset management techniques find it challenging to track and gather scattered data from multiple departments across different locations. 

What is asset management automation? 

Asset management automation involves the use of technology to track, maintain, and optimize an organizations’ assets. Advanced asset monitoring tools allow enterprises to automate the entire lifecycle of their assets, from procurement to utilization, and disposal. In turn, automation of asset management helps businesses maintain the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about where their assets are, their condition, and performance.

How does asset management automation benefit businesses? 

By improving the way assets are managed and utilized, automation in asset management significantly benefits organizations. Here are some of the convincing reasons why assets should be automated: 

1. Improved asset visibility

Real-time location tracking makes it easier to monitor asset movements across different locations. Organizations are able to track assets throughout their entire lifecycle, by deploying modern technologies such as RFID and barcode scanning. Accurate asset data minimized chances of equipment loss and misplacement. 

Furthermore, automated inventory tracking enables organizations to continuously keep close control of their assets. They can quickly spot underutilized assets, trace their movement, and maintain thorough documentation for upcoming audits.

2. Increased operational efficiency

Manual asset management is time-consuming and prone to errors. Automation streamlines the management of routine tasks such as maintenance scheduling, work-order generation, and depreciation calculations. It means that your team will have more time to dedicate to  strategic work – data analysis, strategic planning and process improvement. 

Secondly, use of a centralized system enables all of your authorized workers to stay current on the location, status, and maintenance record of all assets. This level of access to the data translates to better coordination across different departments, hence boosting overall productivity.

3. Enhanced asset utilization 

Automated asset management enables enterprises to gather and analyze data on how assets are used. This information can then be used for making informed decisions about allocation and optimization of assets. If the data reveals that certain assets are underutilized, they can be reassigned to conserve business money that would have been wasted otherwise. 

Furthermore, automated systems help businesses set up predictive maintenance schedules to keep assets running at their optimum performance for as long as feasible.

4. Improved decision-making

An automated system, once fully implemented, provides accurate and up-to-date information on an organization’s entire asset inventory. Such system-driven transparency provides essential knowledge for executives to make decisions about asset acquisition, replacement, and resource allocation. 

On top of that, automated reporting in asset management makes it easy to track patterns and predict future needs. Businesses can analyze which processes are most likely to benefit the performance and lifecycle of an asset.

5. Advanced regulatory compliance

Industries like healthcare, finance, energy, and manufacturing are heavily regulated, and require a high level of compliance while managing assets. With automation, these industries can maintain optimal asset management compliance by thoroughly monitoring maintenance schedules, calibration records, audit trails and other aspects. 

As a result, organizations can generate traceability and documentation reports that are often demanded by the FDA, Joint Commission, HIPAA and many others. Hence, automation reduces non-compliance risks, ensures flawless audits, and reduces audit time. 

Implementing asset management automation: 6 key steps to follow

Automate your business asset management processes by following these steps:

Step 1: Define your goals and objectives

Before you rush into implementing any automation solution, take some time to define clear goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve by automating your asset management? Common automation objectives may include reducing manual effort, improving accuracy, and increasing compliance. With your goals defined, you can start identifying the particular processes and workflows that need to be automated.

Step 2: Assess your current asset management processes

The next step is to evaluate your existing asset management practices. The current asset management strategies must be assessed to identify what tasks are taking too much time, are prone to errors, and inefficient. This will give you an understanding of what needs to be automated sooner and what can be optimized manually. As a result of this stage, you will know the exact processes that can benefit the most from automation.

Step 3: Select the right automation solution

Once the processes to be automated are identified, it’s a high time for selecting the right automation solution. There are hundreds of asset management automation systems available in the market, each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. 

When choosing one, consider the user-friendly interface, the ability to expand or scale, compatibility with your existing systems, and the price. Ensure that the automation solution you choose is tailored to your specific industry, workflows, and goals.

Step 4: Implement the automation solution

Finally, it’s time to implement the automation solution.To start, use barcode scans to identify and record your assets. Barcode scans are a quick way to ensure to know what you have, and where it is. Think of them as digital labels for your items. You should also assign each asset an Asset Identification Number (AIN). It’s like a personal ID for every asset, so when you need a specific asset, you can just pull up its number quickly.

Now that your barcode scans and AINs are all set up, it’s time to create an asset register. This is a digital list of all your assets. It does not seem like much, but having everything neatly recorded in one centralized system is a big upgrade. You’ll never wonder what you have and where again. This system will save you plenty of time and hassle.

Step 5: Train users on the new system

Eventually, now that your asset management automation system is live, it is important to make sure your team knows how to use it effectively. Training your users is important to maintain a good flow of operation and to make sure everyone benefits from the new system. 

Make sure to conduct comprehensive training sessions for all relevant staff members. The training should include the basics of using the system, entering record data, and retrieving key information. It should, however, be divided according to user roles and previous experience. 

Step 6: Monitor and optimize the system

To cap it off, always monitor the performance of the automation solution to keep it in line with your goals. Regularly review data to identify any weak areas that require improvement and optimization. These adjustments will improve the performance and outcomes of the system.

Additionally, invite feedback from users to make necessary improvements since their needs may change from time to time. Develop a culture of continuous improvement, and you will realize the full potential that asset management automation has to offer your organization.

Achieve your business KPIs with asset management automation

Automating your asset management processes can truly revolutionize your business operations. By following the steps we’ve outlined, you can overcome manual processes’ limitations and boost efficiency. Automation can reduce your costs, get more done, and make your clients happy. And that’s how you set your business up for constant growth and achieve its KPIs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the two types of asset management?

    There are two primary ways to manage assets: manual and automated. In manual asset management, businesses track their asset inventory through manual processes, such as physical audits. On the other hand, automated asset management uses modern technology to automatically track, organize, and manage assets.

  • What is an automated asset management system?

    It is a cloud based tracking solution that allows organizations to track, maintain and optimize their physical assets with the help of a barcode scanner.

  • What are the benefits of asset management automation?

    An automated asset management system is the best tool for making data-driven decisions, minimizing downtime, and maintaining compliance. Consequently, you get a significant profit on your assets while running a more productive, profitable organization.

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