Everything you need to know about asset management
Some examples of asset management and why you need it
Managing and tracking assets in Jira with Jira components
Assets lay at the center of your organization; and in today’s world, there simply is no time for poor quality, bad production or downtime. So, when businesses try to squeeze as much value out of every asset they have, without learning how to maintain it, that’s when you know it’s time for some asset management.
What is asset management?In generic terms, an asset is everything that is useful; the house that you own is an asset, your land, car, phone, laptop; anything. The same goes for organizations; whatever is useful to an organization becomes an asset. It can be property, servers, computers, capital in general; anything.
What are asset management examples?
In finance, asset management has to do with managing investments. In Industrial, asset management is about maximizing the value you get from an asset, throughout its lifecycle, in the most efficient, cost-effective way. In such a case, we’re seeing the asset as a physical item owned by the company, including property, building, cars, equipment, tools, and so on. In software for example, we don’t look at physical assets only; the knowledge in the developers’ brain is also seen as an asset!
Asset management is about tracking and managing assets throughout their lifecycle.
So, how do you track and manage assets? By putting together processes and strategies that can help you start managing assets as soon as you acquire them.
Where does asset management start?
Say you’re a company that builds and manages apps; you’ve got client databases and you own servers where you host these apps. Your asset management process begins the moment you acquire the servers and databases, and goes all the way until your assets are no longer useful. It will also include purchase, maintenance, inventory costs, updates, audits, security and so on.
Why do you need asset management?
Asset management helps you understand your finances and how to plan them; after all, you need to consider inventory, governance and regulations when tracking assets throughout their life cycle. Asset management not only improves the quality and performance of your assets, it also helps you analyze incidents and understand when and how something went wrong.
The asset management process improves the quality of your business, and saves you money by helping you stay compliant at all times. Given asset management allows you to track your assets, you’re now able to plan operations more strategically.
What are the components of Asset Management?
There are 6 main components of asset management: identification, location, condition, specification, maintenance, and cost.
Asset identification is all about knowing your assets. If your organization owns many buildings with countless individual assets in those buildings, and each asset can be broken down into further individual parts, then you need an efficient way to organize and store all of this information. Usually, what we use is an asset registry which will list the assets in a certain asset hierarchy, alongside their bills.
Now that you know what assets you have, you should know where they are. It gets more complicated when some of your assets are mobile, like cars for example. What we use to track these assets are graphic information system (GIS) mapping and global positioning system (GPS) technology, which will help maintenance teams find the assets and plan future locations easily.
This is about knowing the condition of an asset, whether through visual inspection or through direct monitoring with dedicated sensors. Systems, like SCADA for example, can help track asset performance, while failure can be reported via a maintenance request system.
When managing an asset, you should be aware of its design and specifications, as well as its boundaries when operating at maximum efficiency. Asset specification ensures prompt replacement or repair, with knowledgeable personnel that can identify reasons for failure and return the asset to being functional.
Once you know what your assets are, where they are, and what conditions and specifications they’re in, then you can create a maintenance plan. Different strategies can be created based on your asset’s condition, importance, and risk of failure.
Corrective and preventive maintenance
For example, you can use corrective maintenance for production assets that don’t run often, and won’t be expensive to fix. For critical assets however, whose failure would result in a substantial financial loss, you’ll benefit from a more comprehensive preventive maintenance.
This is where organizations use a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to plan, schedule, and execute maintenance activities that make sure assets are always up and running. Also, CMMS tracks asset service history - which includes labor resources, materials, and maintenance budgets.
Since much of an organization’s money is in its equipment and facilities, there’s a lot more to maintenance management than people realize!
Let’s go back to our definition of asset management. The idea behind it is to maximize an asset’s lifespan as you minimize costs, right? With time, assets become more expensive to operate and maintain, which is why organizations need to be able to monitor the performance of their assets and identify where and how they could be saving money. In general, maintaining an asset is cheaper than replacing it, but not always.
Costs will vary based on how much maintenance is needed, what is being done and what resources are being used. Now, it’s inevitable that assets will reach a point where they become more costly to maintain than to replace, in which case, buy a new asset.
A CMMS will help you monitor asset management key performance indicators (KPIs) through maintenance reports. Let me give you an idea about two of the most commonly used asset management KPIs:
Mean time to repair (MTTR) is the average time it takes to repair an asset, from the moment an incident takes place until the asset is back in business.
Mean time between failures (MTBF) shows how reliable an asset is. It will give you a good idea as to how long equipment can perform under normal circumstances before you start having problems.
Configuration Management vs. Asset Management
Asset management is about managing anything valuable to your organization, while configuration management focuses on configuration items and whether they can affect delivery of your service. Say, you’ve built an app, which is your asset; you track it, conduct audits, manage its maintenance, and so on; i.e. you do asset management. Now, this app will have a new software version every once in a while, right? Keeping track of the software version itself, updating it and tracking dependencies will become part of configuration management.
Asset management and configuration management may be similar at a high level, but they’re implemented differently and they differ in purpose.
Maintenance Management vs. Asset Management
There are many aspects to the lifecycle of an asset; which is why asset management includes dependencies, i.e. contributions from many departments like engineering, production, maintenance, and accounting. Various departments will usually work together to assess cost, value, risk and performance of an asset, but you might be dealing with a single department that handles all of these aspects together, based on the type of organization.
Maintenance management on the other hand is a subsection of asset management, with a specific set of objectives:
Minimize asset failure
Increase its life
Plan maintenance work
Improve product quality
Develop better policies and procedures
Comply with regulations
Ensure safety of personnel
Why is Asset Maintenance Management important?
Asset maintenance can have a direct impact on the long-term success of your organization; that is no small thing. Assets that are poorly maintained tend to experience frequent, unexpected downtime, which brings about instability, inconsistency in quality and high operational costs that can be avoided!
If your maintenance management is done properly, your assets are always in their best operating condition, which means less disruption in production and service, better efficiency in operations, and of course, better quality and productivity; not to mention lower operational costs, higher safety and so on.
How to manage and track assets in Jira?
The impact of asset management on an organization cannot be overstated, which is why there has to be a system in place that can help track and manage asset information, no matter the industry.
What are the benefits of using Jira for asset management?
In Jira, you can build a simple, easy-to-use asset management solution to help you track and manage inventory effectively. There are plenty of standalone tools in the market, even a few asset management solutions available in the Atlassian marketplace; so why use Jira?
Well, as we’ve stated countless times before, Jira is very flexible and customizable. With a few arrangements, you can track assets based on how you operate as an organization. All assets and related issues will then be stored in a single place, with all relevant information available with a single click: the reason you acquired the asset, who it’s assigned to, all of its history, what type of ticket it is, the purchase order, and so on. Basically, anything you need to know about your asset.
Always know where your assets are
Manage inventory levels in different locations
Determine past use to plan and track future hardware replacements
Find different configurations of hardware to troubleshoot issues
Assign and update responsibility for specific and track repair orders
Build custom workflows for each type of asset in your organization
Jira Insight for asset management
There is no native way in Jira to do asset management and asset tracking; there may be ways out of the box to work around, but it’s not the same!
Which is why Jira incorporated an app called Insight into its Jira Service Management for Premium bundle.
Unlike other CMDBs, Insight has a flexible and open data structure that allows teams to manage the resources important to their service request, incident, and change management practices.
Why you need an alternative to managing assets in Jira
This is all great, but if you’re on Standard, not Premium, then there is no Insight app. And if you’re getting Premium, only to be able to use Insight, then you’d be paying way too much! One possible solution? Use Octo as an alternative to managing assets, as components!
Insight for Jira asset management can be quite complex to set up and structure, and it might require too much buy-in for doing proper asset management. However, if you just want to track assets at a minimal scale and you already use components, then why not use Octo for a simpler way to track your assets.
What can Octo do for Jira asset management? Octo will allow you to easily create assets in projects and assign issues to them, not to mention you get unlimited hierarchy for your assets.
Manage your assets across all Jira projects from a single place, via labels, versions/releases, and asset classes/categories!
Share assets across as many Jira projects as you want given your asset version can be linked to many projects (cross-project).
Create great reports by filtering assets by name, status, project and assignee.
If you want to know more about components, here’s an amazing intro article for a gist of what components are and how to use them.
Also, you can try Octo for free here!