Three Steps to Making Assets Last Forever

A facilities manager stands casually with hands in pockets, smiling at the camera

Across Australia and New Zealand, we’re lucky to have so many iconic, historic buildings to enjoy, such as The Opera House, Flinders St Station, and Auckland Town Hall. Buildings like these, built without the luxury of modern technology, still welcome thousands through their doors each year.

Credit must be paid to the original builders and craftsmen whose meticulous work brought these buildings to life. However, the fact these buildings are still operational, beautiful, and safe, is due to the dedicated owners and operators who want them to continue to serve a purpose.  

The continued existence and utilisation of these old buildings beg the question – how can we manage assets to last “forever”?

Understanding the changing environment

To understand how your assets can remain relevant, it’s important to understand how demands and needs will change over time. Of course, it’s usually not possible to predict what will happen in the future, but by observing trends over time, you can get a better understanding of changing needs and expectations.

Prepare for risks and opportunties

To effectively manage risks to service delivery, decisions need to be based on accurate data and metrics. Maintaining asset data helps paint a clear picture of where your assets are, and an up-to-date asset register can be a valuable addition to your toolkit.

Further to this, to protect assets in a changing environment, you need to be able to understand how demands on service delivery change over time.

Be proactive, not reactive

Maintenance strategies centred around reactive works, rather than planned works, can lead to a build-up of problems over time. If teams are spending all their time reacting, it becomes very difficult to get in front of problems before they eventuate.

A lack of control over spend, and unplanned interruptions to service delivery, is not usually viewed favourably by executive and management teams. Unfortunately, for some teams, a purely reactive approach to maintenance can result in underinvestment in critical assets, which over time, will lead to their demise.

Implementing a maintenance strategy that includes planned maintenance helps to mitigate unplanned interruptions to service delivery, and better control costs.