For our critical infrastructure the ability to efficiently and effectively manage the physical asset is essential to the economic development of the U.S.A.
Across the U.S., owners, managers and operators of fleet, facilities and infrastructure are faced with the increasing challenge of doing more with less; sustaining and increasing safe, reliable services, with aging assets and decreased funding. Across utilities, transportation and service sectors, asset management is being introduced as a means of driving operational efficiency of asset intense businesses through improvements to working practices, organization and technology support and critically through a more proactive planned approach.
For many organizations, the realities of budget constraints, limited resources and increasing operating hour’s results in reactive maintenance and capital programs. Often budgets are based on historical data and don’t reflect the deteriorating condition of the asset, nor for that matter the changes to service patterns.
Globally, Asset Management is bringing about a paradigm shift in how we care for the infrastructure on which we depend upon so greatly. Asset Management is about identifying and doing the right amount of work, at the right time, at the right cost, to deliver the right level of service. It is a balancing act between what we can afford and what we need to provide. It is a shift away from reacting to failed assets to more preventive approaches.
In 2014, the International Standards Organization introduced ISO-55001:2014 as a management systems standard that provides a framework for directing, coordinating and controlling asset management activities. Several of the components of the standard have been recently adopted by the Federal Government in legislation including for example U.S. 49 CFR 625 – Transit Asset Management. A core component of the standard and the recent legislation is putting a plan in place. An Asset Management Plan that links service through to assets through to maintenance and capital strategies and work plans. Put simply it requires organization to say what you do, do what you say, prove it and improve it.
As we step back from the day-to-day, to consider the state of our nation’s infrastructure and the need for investment. Let’s think long-term. Let’s put those plans in place now, so we know what we need to do, when and where. Let’s invest in the technologies necessary so we have a better understanding of our assets. Let’s use the information available to us now to create good plans and improve as we learn and more. After all a good plan today is better than a great plan tomorrow. Learn more at wsp.com/usa.
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