In its broadest sense, asset management refers to any systematic approach of caring for, upholding the value of, or disposing of assets. Assets can be tangible, like buildings, streets and water, or intangible, such as intellectual property or employees.
Any entity that owns one or more assets is responsible for ensuring that the asset is safe, properly maintained, funded and able to fulfill its purpose both now and in the future.
These entities include municipalities, utility providers, facility managers (e.g., colleges and universities) and departments of transportation, to name a few. And the asset issues include aging infrastructure, funding priorities, population growth and even sea level rise. Therefore, the need to effectively manage assets is becoming increasingly important, and typically requires an infrastructure asset management solution.
What is an asset management solution? Infrastructure asset management programs apply financial, economic, engineering and other management practices to physical assets. The objective is to help the assetowner provide the required level of service in the most cost-effective manner. Usually, the asset management process includes a life cycle approach that starts with planning, data collection and analysis. It also encompasses design, construction, operations, maintenance/repair/replacement of physical and infrastructure assets.
Comprehensive asset management solutions enable decision makers to catalog essential data that helps forecast, plan and budget for necessary infrastructure improvements. This data includes but is not limited to:
• accurate locations of all owned/maintained assets;
• inventories and conditions of assets;