What is asset management and what is it not?
The concept of infrastructure asset management has existed long enough that some of us now fall into the trap of confusing it with something else.
As the late US President John F. Kennedy puts it, the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.
So here are some asset management myths busted to clear up the clouded mind:
MYTH NO. 1: Asset Management is achieved by buying a software program.
Or worse yet, you thought asset management IS a computer program.
In both cases, the myth alarm is strong.
If you are one of the people who believe that buying the most expensive software will lead you to arrive at the best asset management solutions, then it’s time to break your bubble.
Although a great software gives your plans that much needed boost, it is not the determining factor to the success of your infrastructure asset management ideas.
A decision-analytic approach to data quality involving actual brainstorming from people – not machines – is still the better way to go.
As what asset management expert Heather Himmelberger said, infrastructure managers must understand that asset management is the thought process, not the computer program.
MYTH NO. 2: Asset management focuses more on cutting cost.
It is widely believed even before that asset management can substantially increase savings. What happens mostly is that, once the organization spent for initial cost and effort, it will pursue savings next.
And this “savings” that we are talking about, is usually in the form of budget cuts in the guise of an asset management approach but which eventually results in deterioration of the quality of service and reliability of projects which can only be noticeable after a certain passage of time.
Instead, asset management is about optimization of cost and performance.
The real function of asset management is to enhance and maximize a range of different programs from substation capacity pole inspection to a simple tree-trimming.
As what another American great, Benjamin Franklin, warned: Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship. So, no, infrastructure management is not purely cost-cutting.
MYTH NO. 3: Aging infrastructure always needs asset management as a solution.
Although infrastructure asset management is a key to maintenance and longevity of public or private utilities, not all existing aging infrastructure need modern asset management intervention.
That is because there are old assets that are still servicing well and most recent ones that are not. Sometimes, it’s the young infrastructure that needs help, especially if that type of asset is poorly performing.
Someone once said that myth is neither a lie nor a confession: it is an inflection. Now that’s three bent information about infrastructure asset management straightened out for you.