Sometimes they’re used interchangeably, but asset, facility and maintenance management are not the same thing. Let’s dive into what sets them apart… and what brings them together.

What is Asset Management?

An “asset” is a valuable good that benefits the business. It can be a tangible thing (like equipment, buildings, and property) or intangible (like copyrights or market shares). Understandably, companies want to extract the maximum possible ROI from their investments – and asset management seeks to maximise its value throughout its lifecycle. 

Therefore, physical asset management is the process through which companies seek to commission, operate, maintain, upgrade or dispose of their assets in the most cost-effective manner. ISO 55000:2014 sets an international standard for asset management. But it’s almost impossible to achieve compliance without a system, so here are our 10 top choices for asset management software.

Asset Management Examples

It’s common in asset-intensive industries, such as oil and gas, power and energy, or water and waste. Asset management is also decisive in manufacturing.  Monitoring asset performance leads to timely maintenance, less downtime and losses in production, as well as fewer repair costs. Plus, without asset lifecycle management, businesses cannot prepare for the future.

If it sounds a lot like maintenance, think about a lift. Lifts last 20-25 years on average. In the meantime, they need maintenance  (and, in fact, they last longer if they’re properly maintained). At the end of their lifecycle, they need to be decommissioned and replaced. The whole process of acquiring, operating, planning, maintaining and replacing it is asset management. Maintenance is what happens during the equipment’s useful life.

  • Reliability management is an asset management strategy that focuses on optimising asset reliability, considering criticality and condition. It’s closely linked to reliability-centred maintenance.

What is Facility Management?

Unlike asset management, facility management goes beyond cost-effectiveness. Facility Management comprises both what are known as “hard services” – plumbing, HVAC and other technical interventions – and “soft services”. The goal of these so-called “soft services”, such as cleaning or interior designing, is to provide more functionality, comfort and safety to users. ISO 41001:2018 lays out the requirements for Facility Management systems.

However, efficient facility management is not all about comfort. It also cuts costs! According to IBM:

  • savings in real estate up to 30%;
  • smart buildings turn out 30-50% in savings;
  • engaging employees with world-class facility management results in 17% more productivity, 41% less absenteeism, and 59% less turnover.

Facility Management Examples 

This probably explains why facility management plays a role in so many contexts. Unlike asset management, which is mostly associated with industrial settings, facility management is useful in social housing, student halls, schools, hospitals, condominiums, and real estate. In terms of businesses, it is often associated with the service sector, such as office buildings, hotels and accommodations, shopping centres and parks. 

Back to our lift or even to the moving walkway we’ve chosen to illustrate this article. It’s an indispensable asset to provide a nice experience to users, especially those who’re carrying luggage. Obviously, it needs regular maintenance to work. But cleaning it, changing the floor matting, directing the user flow to one way or the other, or even leaving hand sanitiser close-by – that’s facility management. 

What is Maintenance Management?

As we’ve seen so far, maintenance management is a big part of both asset management and facility management. That makes it indispensable for any business or public entity with a large infrastructure. Maintenance avoids downtime, service disruptions, and managers must perform it with tight budgets and as little waste as possible.

Maintenance management needs to find the best strategy – reactive, preventive, condition-based or predictive maintenance – for each asset. Then, all the strategies must fall within the same schedule and the same budget. Usually, maintenance turns to outsourcing to meet every demand, so there’s the added difficulty of managing several providers and teams.

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Maintenance Management Examples

Maintenance management depends on the company’s infrastructure, assets, and priorities. Common maintenance jobs include:

  • HVAC
  • Lifts
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical maintenance
  • Grounds maintenance 
  • Industrial maintenance, e.g. lubricating, welding
  • Cold rooms or cold storage maintenance
  • Roofing maintenance, repainting, and other upkeeping tasks.

Asset, Facility and Maintenance Management Software

It’s clear how the three overlap, so the same software can often meet the needs of asset, facility and maintenance managers. 

Asset managers need to create an asset registry, track inventory, and quickly assess the condition of each piece. In turn, facility managers need detailed asset inventories, sometimes divided by building, floor, or room. Maintenance managers need to know what’s happening (and where) to answer requests and instruct technicians where to go.

In the past, these might have been all different databases or different spreadsheets, but those days are long gone. Most computer maintenance management systems (CMMS) have enough features to meet each demand. Now, with intelligent maintenance management platforms such as Infraspeak, you choose the apps you need to build a system tailored to your needs. 

Apart from that, you can provide access to several providers and subcontractors. This means every part of your operations can come together in a single place, instead of making several touchpoints at the beginning of the day. When everyone logs into the same platform, you can track work orders and compliance in one dashboard. 

Whether you’re a manager working on-site or a subcontractor managing several locations, you are able to see what is happening at each of your facilities, with each of the assets under your watch, and the status of each task.  

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