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How To Effectively Manage Your Company’s Valuable Assets

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featured image: How To Effectively Manage Your Company's Valuable Assets

It’s so easy to let the company’s assets fade into the operational background. They seem fine puttering along, keeping production humming or data flowing day to day. But here’s the rub. Without a sound asset management strategy, you leave tons of potential value and cost savings on the table.   

You’ve seen it time and again. Critical equipment neglected into disrepair and early retirement. Software licenses paid for but unused. Fleet vehicles idled more than driven. It’s asset mismanagement madness!   

But getting asset oversight under control isn’t some magician’s trick. With a little TLC and best practice know-how, you can transform those expensive assets and maintain a strategic business budget. They can go from silent factors to profit drivers.   

Intrigued? Read on, and you’ll find out how to whip your assets into peak money-making shape.   

1. Conduct Regular Asset Audits   

Let’s kick things off with the audit piece – the periodic full review of your company’s assets. More than just relying on data in your spreadsheets, regularly go hands-on.   

This means eyes-on with the assets in your warehouses, facilities, tech closets. Are they tagged properly? Do random test counts match what’s on record? Surprises happen. Servers get reallocated without documentation, tools grow legs and walk off, and so on.   

Don’t assume all’s well with your assets from your office chair. Get your boots on the ground to keep the asset register up to snuff. Consider quarterly audits if workable.   

Make sure those audits on your assets help you determine their market value as well. That’s a great way to ensure your financial records are always current and reliable.   

2. Invest In Asset Management Software   

Even if you ace the audits and stick asset tags on everything not bolted down, consider another step. Centralize the data with purpose-built asset management software.   

Go for smart systems to track asset status and create maintenance workflows. They can also notify for renewals and adjust depreciations – you get the gist.   

It makes managing assets easier, turning unexpected issues into simple notifications and reminders. Look, manual asset management may have flown back in the day. But robust software pays its way over time.   

3. Go For Asset Tracking Systems   

Ensure you can track your assets during audits. Use simple methods like RFID tags, QR codes, or barcodes. Use labeling equipment on those assets. Servers? Laptops? Diagnostic devices? Whatever mobile gear wants to wander. That way, you can scan for location visibility at any time.   

Take it up a tech notch with GPS vehicle tracking for high-value company cars and trucks. That’s a great way to ensure they don’t stray during off hours without your approval. 

Persistent tracking technology makes asset accountability more plug-and-play.   

4. Establish Clear Asset Management Policies   

Talking about the merits of well-defined asset management policies may not get the juices flowing like flashy tech tools. But documentation has its place, folks!   

Codify exactly how your team should handle physical assets at your company. Yes, everything, from the proper procedures from acquisition to retirement.   

Make it clear how employees can and cannot use assets to avoid “creative applications”. And yes, include disciplinary steps for violations or suspected theft. It’s the playbook for asset accountability across your teams. Enforce it through spot checks and signed compliance forms to back it up.  

5. Train Employees In Asset Management   

Policies set the expectations, while training builds employee competency. Don’t just mail a manual, and expect proper asset management to unfold organically!   

Schedule hands-on workshops to show inspection, safe handling, storage, maintenance, and disposal. Show how ignoring warning lights or daily checklists sets up failure down the road.   

Share case studies of asset misuse and abuse so they sink in. Customize refresh training sessions when adding new equipment that will fall under their watch. Building skills for protecting assets should happen in tandem with policy rollout for the one-two punch.   

6. Focus On Preventive Maintenance   

Preventive maintenance involves regular servicing based on real runtime meters. Replace worn parts before full failure and apply software patches proactively. Don’t forget to rotate stock to prevent degradation, too.

It lacks flair but pays dividends. How? By avoiding bigger cost repairs/replacements and extending the equipment’s usable life. Doubling down on preventative care is cheaper every day of the week, even if less exciting.   

7. Ensure Proper Asset Use   

Now we’ve covered the asset tracking, maintenance, and policy angles. But are your assets actually pulling their weight? Analyze usage rates across equipment.   

Which servers are consistently maxed out around the clock while others hum along at 10% capacity? Are some fleet vehicles permanently parked while others rack up the mileage?   

Appropriately reassign and merge unused assets because of faulty initial allocation. Or calibrate schedules if it’s a timeshare situation.   

Sweat your assets to their full workload potential before expanding your stock. Assets should deliver top value for every dollar spent. If not, right-size or right-place them.   

8. Manage Asset Lifecycles   

No piece of equipment lasts forever. But planning for an asset’s eventual end of life needs to happen right from the start of acquisition.  

Estimate realistic lifespan. Then, create milestones for performance checks, maintenance, or overhaul vs replacement calls. As assets cross into lower utility, shift them to lighter uses if possible. This will help you eke out value vs wholesale retiring everything at the first sign of age.  

Keep an eye on when warranties end, too, and get ready to renew or extend them for assets you’ll use for a long time. Adjust depreciation schedules accordingly.   

9. Focus On Asset Security   

Assets can’t be valuable if they get lost or stolen too soon! Physical security remains vital even with fancy GPS tracking in place. Check things like limited-access rooms and cameras. Match them with how risky the assets are and how long they’re stored.   

But there’s more. Test your security to find weak spots, like easy-to-enter areas or open docks. Make sure your digital stuff is safe on your networks and devices. Important data? Unique projects? That’s just the tip of the iceberg.   

Ensure your cybersecurity tools really protect against threats from outside and inside. Being too relaxed risks your assets, so always update your security to keep up with new dangers.   

10. Keep An Eye Out On Asset Performance   

You’ve got the assets tracked and maintained. But are they actually delivering on key performance benchmarks season after season? Establish quantifiable metrics per asset type. Production volume for a packaging line? Compute speed for a server? Fuel economy across vehicle models? Leave no stone unturned.   

Collect usage reports from monitoring systems and track maintenance events and downtime. Then regularly compare benchmark vs actual output.   

If assets don’t meet set standards, they might need fixing or use for easier tasks. Or, they might need overhaul investments or replacement altogether. The proof is in the hard performance data over the asset’s tenure. So, collecting and evaluating it based on your own business needs is crucial.   

11. Plan For Timely Asset Replacement And Disposal   

Nothing lasts forever. Even reliable assets hit eventual end of lifespan when overhaul costs exceed replacement. Plan out target lifecycles for each main asset category. Vehicles may run for 8-10 years, and IT hardware for 5 years.  

Build replacement budgets that align. This way, you aren’t blindsided by repair bills bigger than the asset’s book value. Define age or performance conditions that trigger replacement review. And get ahead of safe, legal disposal well before breakdowns or regulatory non-compliance.   

Document hazardous asset handling, chain of custody transfers, and resales procedures. Enter the endgame process proactively. This is better compared to being reactive once assets are hobbling along barely functioning.   

12. Stay Compliant With Regulations   

Asset management can’t overlook compliance with safety, environmental and industry regulations. Confirm your inspection and maintenance rhythms. They should meet or exceed local and federal mandates to avoid nasty violations.   

Assess high-liability assets like planes and heavy machinery for strict adherence. Standardize compliant disposal procedures for equipment containing hazardous materials.   

And keep compliance documents organized for each asset. Guaranteed auditors will request proof. Overlooking regulatory standards while tracking assets can still land your company in hot water. So, rule number one is don’t cut corners on compliance!   

13. Use Data For Decision Making   

Now, let’s return to the data you’ve been capturing. This includes information from your audits, maintenance logs, performance benchmarks, and monitoring dashboards. Analyze trends for “problem child” assets requiring disproportionate repairs or missing targets.   

Identify workhorse assets exceeding output/lifecycle assumptions. Adjust purchasing criteria accordingly for future acquisitions. Perhaps standardize on assets from a particular vendor. Maybe even opt for lower throughput models to better match real needs.   

The point? To use insights from historical use, compliance rates, and replacement timelines. This informs smarter asset procurement and management decisions going forward.   

In Closing   

Effective asset management is not a one-time task. It’s an ongoing effort to keep improving, forming a key part of how your company operates.   

Sure, the upfront effort pays dividends through increased productivity and reduced waste immediately. But the real payoff comes from embedding asset mastery into your company’s DNA over the long haul.   

Bit by bit, making the most of assets and keeping up with maintenance becomes routine. Cultural shifts can change asset management from a cost center to an engine powering growth and resilience.

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