The Challenge with Condition Assessments

three facilities team members take a photo of a smoke detector on a tablet, to complete a condition assessment

Asset condition assessments help organisations understand the state of various assets. Most commonly, this is done by conducting a visual inspection of the asset, and awarding a “grade” ranging from “good as new” to “failed”.  

This approach to condition assessments comes with the benefit of being relatively straightforward to do. However, the viability of a visual asset condition assessment will depend on the type of asset.

For some assets, this approach has stood the test of time, but for others, it has obvious flaws.  

Asset classification

Assets whose dominant failure mode is based on material degradation characteristics are what we would call passive assets. For example, carpets deteriorate over time, and it is easy to see deterioration happening from a visual inspection.

The deterioration of assets with dynamic mechanical or electrical parts however, is usually down to a random failure of parts. These assets are referred to as active assets, and are challenging to accurately assess with a visual condition assessment.

Painting an accurate picture of what assets you have, and their condition, is imperative to asset management. Creating helpful condition assessments starts with creating condition grade standards, providing descriptions of each grade to drive consistency, and agree on scope.  

Considering the condition assessment process

Central to the usefulness of condition assessments, is the collection of relevant data. Before undertaking condition assessments, you’ll need to plan how to collect, and collate that data.

One of the most common causes of errors in condition assessments is the double handing of information. Information stored in disparate spreadsheets and other siloed repositories is easily lost and overlooked in the decision-making process.

By ensuring every assessment is going into a centralised system, and automatically verifying that data as it is put in, most common errors can be overcome.  

Equipping your assessors with a template, accessible in the “field”, while they’re looking at the asset, can transform the condition assessment process. Empowering them with all of the information they need to make an informed assessment at their fingertips helps to validate inputs.  

Better still, if your condition assessments can be paired with a photo of the asset, you’ll have unlocked a rich information source to base decisions on, with minimal data management overheads.