CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUL. 29, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Prepare an Asset Strategy

Strategic asset management is one of the most important elements in company development. An asset strategy is what dictates the purchase, use, maintenance, and disposal of each and every company asset. When developed correctly, this strategy can ensure continuous productivity, minimise risk, and lower cash losses. Whether your business is big or small, having a rock solid asset management strategy can ensure healthy, organic growth in any market environment.

Where to Start

Each department should manage its own, unique assets. You and your board first must choose which departments will participate in the asset management strategy. Some departments absolutely must be included, these manage the core operations of your company’s day to day activities; namely, HR, research and development, logistics, and accounting. Each department should be held accountable for the assets they control.

Analyse Your Current Assets

Reports regarding original cost, appreciation, depreciation, cost of maintenance, and possible disposal costs should be taken into account during the company asset review. To keep it simple, have each department run an asset audit for each it controls. Make sure that the reports regarding these audits are run periodically throughout the year to ensure it is updated and accurate.

Management of Most Vital Assets

Certain assets will need more regular attention than others. These can include, but are not limited to: property owned by the business, intellectual property such as patents or copyrights, and hardware and software needed for research and development. Departments must continually maintain and evaluate the condition of their most critical assets to ensure both their health and validity.

What Your Plan Should Include

Preparing your asset plan means taking into account each of the following: organisation of assets, maintenance of assets, capital used to garner and maintain assets, and the facilitation of individual assets. These should be broken down into separate sections of the asset plan for more streamlined management approach.

  • Maintenance Plan: This should include a detailed list and protocol of the maintenance needed to ensure tangible assets such as property and equipment are at top form at all times.
  • Organisation Plan: This divides the assets according to department and should list both most vital to least vital assets. This plan should also include the company’s plan or vision for each asset as it pertains to growth or end of life forecasting.
  • Capital Development: This should include the maintenance and health of the assets’ supporting infrastructure and company investment.
  • Facilities Management Plan: This plan should outline all aspects of facility management in order to maintain efficiency and promote productivity in day to day operations.

Budgeting for Management

Since each separate department is in control of their unique assets, they must budget in preparation for costs of acquisition, maintenance, and disposal of assets. Budgets should be reviewed often so that they may be adjusted when necessary. 

A well prepared asset strategy can give you the upper hand during times of growth and provide you with security when times are tough. In order to facilitate good overall company health, it is imperative that you keep a close watch on your most vital tangible and intangible assets. 

 

Image via J. Hunter

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