What is fixed asset management?
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What is fixed asset management?

Fixed asset management is the process of tracking, monitoring and maintaining an organization’s physical assets and equipment.

Organizations frequently use barcodes, QR codes, or RFID to help track their assets as they are easy to scan and to use with mobile devices. Types of assets include vehicles, computers, furniture and machinery.

Using an asset management system, organizations can:

  • Track and monitor fixed assets.
  • Oversee equipment and machinery in multiple locations.
  • Lower maintenance costs.
  • Improve operational efficiency.
  • Maintain a record of retired, sold, stolen or lost assets.

Fixed asset management enables organizations to monitor equipment and vehicles, assess their condition, and keep them in good working order. In this way, they minimize lost inventory, equipment failures and downtime — and improve an asset’s lifetime value.

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Why fixed asset management is important

Fixed assets such as servers, transport trucks and elevators require a large capital investment. They may comprise a large portion of a company’s net worth. In some businesses, as much as 40 percent of investment goes to buying equipment and vehicles.

The better and more effectively a company manages its assets, the greater the prospect of maximizing value from these investments. Without fixed asset management system, an organization may experience:

  • Unplanned downtime.
  • Equipment failures.
  • Misplaced or lost inventory.
  • Safety or environmental breaches.
  • Failure to meet compliance or regulatory standards.

For companies with large inventories, the results may convert into millions of dollars in lost productivity, repairs, replacement or fines. Beyond immediate costs, substandard equipment can impact the quality of an organization’s services or products — in turn, affecting customer satisfaction and business reputation.

According to the ISO 55000 international standard, asset management should maximize value for money. Ideally, fixed asset management improves the quality and useful life of equipment and ensures the best return on investment.

Key features

Fixed asset management can be complex, especially for global enterprises or companies with large inventories — like a car rental business or manufacturing multinational.

Organizations may use spreadsheets or enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools for asset tracking. However, manual data entry is prone to error. It can also be a slow method for staying on top of fixed asset inventory, when fleets of vehicles are moved between locations or the technology is complex.

To put it into perspective, consider this scenario where your organizations owns vehicles. Maybe you have a notebook where you keep track of when each needs an oil change, new wiper blades or a new set of tires. As the number of vehicles increase you begin to see the issues that start to arise. If only you had all this data centralized you could easily track this information with no risk of it getting lost or misplaced. This is the purpose an asset management system serves.

Asset tracking software and management solutions offer a reliable way to oversee fixed assets. Included are features like location tracking, work order processing and audit trails.

Asset management software

Smaller operations may benefit from a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). The automation software assists with scheduling, management and reporting of maintenance activities. Features include handling workflows, resourcing and routing, operating and repair guidance, and reporting and auditing.

For large operations, an enterprise asset management system like IBM Maximo provides a central platform for managing all fixed assets. It integrates asset data from across the asset lifecycle: acquisition, operations, maintenance, depreciation and renewal or replacement.

With a complete view, organizations gain insight into their complex asset environments. They’re better informed to manage asset health. Features and workflows help them optimize management tasks and reduce downtime. Teams also have an enterprise view of safety and environmental controls, the better to address issues and risks.

IoT and AI

The Internet of Things (IoT) offers deep insights and enables greater control of fixed assets. IBM Maximo software, for example, correlates data from sensors and devices to provide timely visibility into asset health and performance. It enhances asset management by analyzing status, assessing value and risk, and anticipating failures.

AI uses machine learning to gauge asset status and enable predictive maintenance. The technology gathers asset data (from sensors, telemetry, work orders, even weather events) and uses algorithms to see patterns or trends and develop forecasting models. The information, coupled with predictive scoring, enables the system to prescribe preemptive tactics or strategies.

Mobile EAM

Connecting maintenance and repair frontline technicians with your EAM system and experts through mobile devices becomes critical to work more efficiently and safely and to make them more productive. IBM Maximo Mobile was designed to transform the job roles of field technicians, delivering near real-time asset performance and operations data and step-by-step maintenance instructions wherever they are. The powerful combination of AI, intelligent workflows, remote human assistance, and access to asset data enables Maximo Mobile to put the digital equivalent of decades of industry experience into technicians ‘hands'.

  • See the details of all your assets, including their specifications and location.
  • Access real-time data from operating assets to learn, diagnose, and take action.
  • Optimize ticket requests and scheduling.
  • View the locations of your work on a map and plan your route.
  • Assess asset health and prioritize repairs.
  • Collaborate with other experts remotely or through AI-based expert assistance.
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Fixed asset management solutions
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Take the next step

Unlock the full potential of your enterprise assets with IBM Maximo Application Suite by unifying maintenance, inspection and reliability systems into one platform. It’s an integrated cloud-based solution that harnesses the power of AI, IoT and advanced analytics to maximize asset performance, extend asset lifecycles, minimize operational costs and reduce downtime.

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