Asset Intelligence and Management

Asset Intelligence and Management

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Strategic Asset Management: Definition, Importance, and Best Strategies


Increasing competition and rapidly changing technology have made strategic asset management essential for modern businesses. It is a key driver of business success today, yet many organizations struggle to implement effective asset management strategies. 

Research reveals that a staggering 80% of employees waste half an hour every day retrieving information critical to their jobs, highlighting the profound impact of inefficient asset management practices on productivity and operational efficiency.

This article discusses what strategic asset management is, its importance, and top asset management strategies that work efficiently. Let’s get into it!

What is strategic asset management?

Strategic asset management (SAM) refers to the systematic process of planning, acquiring, operating, maintaining, and disposing of an organization’s assets. These assets can include physical infrastructure, equipment, technology, intellectual property, and even human resources. By strategically managing these resources, businesses can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge.

An asset management strategy example could involve conducting regular audits and assessments to identify underutilized or outdated assets, which can then be retired or repurposed to optimize resource allocation.

At its core, strategic asset management aims to align an organization’s assets with its overall business goals. It goes beyond mere maintenance and extends to proactive decision-making that maximizes value and minimizes risk. 

Importance of strategic asset management for businesses

With the global asset management market projected to experience a substantial 34% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 to 2032, understanding why strategic asset management matters for businesses becomes increasingly crucial.

Organizations should consider strategic asset management for a variety of reasons:

1. Cost reduction

Strategic asset management enables organizations to minimize unnecessary expenses related to asset ownership, maintenance, and replacement. Research indicates that organizations can save up to 12-18% on maintenance costs through proper asset management, including preventive maintenance. By proactively managing assets, businesses can extend their useful life, reduce downtime, and avoid costly emergency repairs. 

2. Operational efficiency

A strategic asset management plan (SAMP) can also improve operational efficiency by ensuring that assets are used to their full potential. By tracking asset performance and utilization, businesses can identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies in their operations and take corrective action. This can lead to improved productivity, reduced downtime, and increased output, all of which contribute to the bottom line.

3. Risk mitigation

Strategic asset management can help businesses mitigate risks by ensuring that assets are properly maintained and that potential failures are identified and addressed before they cause disruptions. By implementing proactive maintenance strategies and monitoring asset performance, organizations can reduce the likelihood of unplanned downtime, equipment failures, and other risks that can impact operations and financial performance.

4. Competitive advantage

Businesses that leverage asset management strategies gain a significant edge by extending the lifespan of their assets, reducing operational costs, and achieving optimal performance. By having the flexibility to optimize asset utilization, reallocate resources, and adjust asset strategies as needed, businesses can stay ahead of competitors and seize opportunities for growth and expansion.

5. Data-driven decisions

SAM relies heavily on collecting and analyzing asset data through advanced asset tracking tools. This data provides valuable insights into asset health, performance trends, and future maintenance needs. Businesses can leverage this information to make informed decisions regarding asset investments, upgrades, and disposals.

Top asset management strategies for businesses

Strategic asset management (SAM) goes beyond simply maintaining equipment; it involves a proactive approach to ensure assets deliver optimal performance throughout their lifecycle. 

Following are 10 most effective SAM strategies that can significantly improve businesses:

1. Maintain a comprehensive item inventory

Develop and maintain a detailed inventory of all organizational assets, including their specifications, locations, conditions, and maintenance histories.

Such an item repository serves as the foundation for effective asset management and decision-making. It enables organizations to develop a clear understanding of their asset portfolio, and track assets and inventory for enhanced operational workflows. 

2. Implement asset lifecycle management

Effective asset management involves managing the entire lifecycle of an asset, from acquisition to disposal. This includes planning for asset replacement, budgeting for maintenance and upgrades, and ensuring that assets are retired or replaced when they become obsolete or too costly to maintain. 

According to a study by Deloitte, organizations that implement asset lifecycle management can reduce costs by up to 20%. By managing the entire lifecycle of an asset, businesses can optimize their investment, reduce maintenance costs, and ensure that assets are retired at the right time.

3. Leverage technology and automation

Implement asset management software and other automated systems to streamline processes, improve data accuracy, and enable real-time monitoring and analysis of asset performance. Technologies such as predictive analytics and integrations, like Zendesk and Jira,  can provide valuable workflows for optimized asset management. 

Leveraging technology and automation can significantly enhance asset management capabilities, enabling organizations to make data-driven decisions, predict maintenance needs, and streamline daily activities for improved efficiency and productivity.

4. Prioritize preventive maintenance

Establish a comprehensive preventive maintenance program to proactively identify and address potential issues before they lead to asset failures or costly breakdowns. Regular inspections, condition monitoring, and scheduled maintenance can significantly extend asset lifespan. 

Research shows that a properly functioning predictive maintenance program can eliminate 70% – 75% of breakdowns.  By prioritizing preventive maintenance, organizations can reduce unplanned downtime, minimize costly repairs, and extend the useful life of their assets.

5. Optimize asset utilization

Analyze asset usage patterns and implement strategies to maximize asset utilization, such as load balancing, asset sharing, or redeployment. This approach helps organizations get the most value from their investments and reduces the need for unnecessary asset acquisitions. 

Optimizing asset utilization ensures that assets are being used efficiently and effectively, minimizing idle time and maximizing productivity. This strategy can lead to significant cost savings and improved return on investment.

6. Standardize processes and procedures

Develop and implement standardized processes and procedures for asset management activities, including acquisition, operation, maintenance, and disposal. Standardization ensures consistency, improves efficiency, and facilitates knowledge transfer among employees. 

By establishing standardized processes and procedures, organizations can streamline asset management operations, reduce errors, and ensure that best practices are consistently applied across the organization.

7. Empower employees with training

Invest in comprehensive training programs for employees involved in asset management activities. Well-trained personnel can effectively operate, maintain, and troubleshoot assets, contributing to improved asset performance and longevity. 

Providing employees with the necessary knowledge and skills through training programs can enhance their ability to make informed decisions, perform maintenance tasks effectively, and contribute to the overall success of the asset management program.

8. Encourage data-driven decisions

Leverage data analytics and reporting tools to gain insights into asset performance, maintenance trends, and operational inefficiencies. Use this data to inform decision-making processes and continuously optimize asset management strategies. 

According to a report by the Aberdeen Group, best-in-class companies are 3-4 times more likely to use asset data to drive decision-making. By encouraging data-driven decisions, organizations can make informed choices based on factual information, identify areas for improvement, and continuously refine their asset management practices.

9. Establish performance metrics and reporting

Define and track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to asset management, such as asset utilization rates, number of checked out items, maintenance costs, downtime incidents, and compliance metrics. Regular reporting and performance monitoring enable organizations to identify areas for improvement and adjust strategies accordingly. 

By establishing performance metrics and reporting mechanisms, organizations can measure the effectiveness of their asset management strategies, identify areas requiring attention, and make data-driven decisions to continuously enhance their practices.

10. Continuously improve and adapt

Treat asset management as an ongoing process of continuous improvement. Regularly review and update strategies, processes, and technologies to adapt to changing business needs, technological advancements, and industry best practices. 

According to a study by McKinsey, organizations that continuously improve asset management practices outperform their peers by 20% in revenue growth. Thus, organizations must continuously enhance their asset management strategies to remain competitive and maximize the value derived from assets.

Achieve business goals and cut down costs with structured asset management

Strategic asset management helps organizations optimize their investments, reduce costs, and gain a competitive advantage. By understanding its definition, recognizing its benefits, and implementing the best strategies outlined, businesses can unlock the full potential of their assets. Adopting strategic asset management facilitates data-driven decision-making, mitigates risks, and guides organizations towards sustainable success.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the 3 pillars of asset management? 

The three primary pillars of asset management include:

  1. People: Skilled personnel to operate, maintain, and manage the assets effectively.
  2. Process: Defined procedures for acquiring, utilizing, maintaining, and disposing of assets.
  3. Technology: Tools and systems to track, monitor, and analyze asset performance and data.

2. What is the main purpose of asset management?

The main purpose of asset management is to optimize the lifecycle value of assets while balancing costs, risks, and performance.

3. What are three major categories of assets? 

Assets can be broadly categorized into three main groups:

  1. Tangible assets: Physical assets you can touch, like equipment, buildings, and inventory.
  2. Intangible assets: Non-physical assets with value, like intellectual property, brand reputation, and patents.
  3. Financial assets: Investments that hold monetary value, such as stocks, bonds, and cash.

3.What are three major categories of assets? 

Assets can be broadly categorized into three main groups:

  1. Tangible assets: Physical assets you can touch, like equipment, buildings, and inventory.
  2. Intangible assets: Non-physical assets with value, like intellectual property, brand reputation, and patents.
  3. Financial

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