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Asset Register

The asset register is the heart of all asset management systems. It forms the link between all asset management information modules and is the structure by which individual components, each asset or functional system, and an organization's asset portfolio as a whole, are assessed.

The hierarchy of assets and their relationships are important to the overall effectiveness of the system.

Service authority infrastructure assets generally have a clear hierarchical relationship that breaks down from the asset type as a whole, to large units (facilities) then to assets and their components, as shown below:

The information needs of the organization vary throughout the hierarchy, and are usually defined by the management structure.

At the workface, the key elements are operations, maintenance and resource management at a component level.

Further up the hierarchy, information needs to be aggregated to provide details on assets, facilities and (infrastructure) systems as a whole in terms of finance, strategic planning and policy.

This is represented in the following table:

The type of information required at each level within the organization clearly relates to the needs of staff in managing these assets.

It is an advantage where the asset register can be altered to suit the specific needs of the asset and the organization, for example:

  • Assets have different needs throughout their lives. Additional data may need to be collected and held to enable renewal options to be assessed, eg Maintenance costs for components, Condition of other aspects. This can then be eliminated once the asset has been renewed.
  • Outputs/Objectives for the Asset. Customer expectations and changes brought about by the overall needs for the system (service delivery) will result in different management objectives for the asset.

The key issue is the way in which the assets are broken down and classified to ensure that future outputs are capable of being achieved. eg:

  • Different effective lives
  • Different maintenance regime
  • Different consequence of failure
  • Reasonable value.

Asset register functionality

The asset register module should:

  • Record the necessary details and descriptions to clearly identify the assets
  • Define the relationship between assets and the part they play in the overall service delivery
  • Interface or integrate with other asset management modules, eg finance, Life Cycle (Strategic Planning), Maintenance
  • Provide specialist databases to cover the unique attributes (physical details) for the different assets
  • Allow customisation and alteration to suit the organizations specific needs
  • Aggregate the data through various levels to provide accurate details for all levels within the organization.

A well constructed asset register will offer the functionality illustrated below:

In many cases organizations will not be able to afford the "ultimate system" in the first instance and will need to develop it in stages over several years. In this case the use of a standalone "interim system" is a suitable alternative. What must be remembered is that it is the data that is valuable, not the software or the system.

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