This involves much more than the fundamentals of acquisition, operation, maintenance, renewal and/or disposal of physical assets – it requires ongoing analysis of costs, risks and performance trade-offs when making decisions regarding community-owned infrastructure assets.
As defined in the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia’s (IPWEA) International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM) the aim of an asset manager is: “To meet a required level of service, in the most cost-effective manner, through the management of assets for present and future customers”.
Put simply, it’s about creating maximum value for the community through effective service delivery to meet community needs at an affordable cost.
And it’s most effective when that process involves multi-discipline practitioners – engineers, accountants, community and environmental planners – who each have a role to play in answering key questions such as:
1. What levels of service are required by the community? How will demand change over time?
2. What is the current state of the assets? Will they meet demands now and into the future? What are the risks and costs of not delivering?
3. What are the best strategies for operating, maintaining, replacing and improving assets?
4. What are the likely impacts of climate change?
5. How much will services cost the community over the long term?
6. How are we working towards achieving intergenerational equity?
Good asset management is even more critical for local governments, that have high asset values relative to total organisation value, or annual revenue.
Such asset-intensive organisations face financial challenges from high depreciation and increasing lifecycle costs. Poor management leads to higher expenses, inequitable charging between present and future users and unexpected financial shocks.
Where to begin your asset management journey?
Begin by completing the internationally-recognised Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning delivered by IPWEA – a 7-module online course delivered over 8 weeks – which steps you through creating your organisation’s AM plan, inputting your own data, using NAMS+.
Supported by leading professionals, you’ll gain a better understanding of data requirements, future asset renewal costs and the trade-offs between risk, cost and levels of service.
The next course starts September 14, 2020. Click here to find out more.
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