Asset Management Toolbox: Keys for Property Stewardship
"If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail" - Abraham Maslow.
A successful carpenter has a toolbox that includes a hammer, saw, screwdriver, pencil and various other implements. If the toolbox is not complete, the carpenter either will not be able to practice their trade or will only be able to do so inefficiently. Imagine trying to cut a piece of wood with a hammer — it can be done, but the edges will be jagged and it will serve no useful purpose.
Asset management, like carpentry, requires a set of tools…
These tools empower the asset management team towards effective “insight, foresight and oversight” of the assets. When the tools are used properly, they serve as the keys to help the owners, managers and facility operators ensure responsible stewardship of the physical assets, such as roofs, boilers and elevators.
In addition to the 10 tools listed below, you can watch a video at the end of this blogpost. A workbook is also available for download.
Tool #1. Schedule of Documents (SODO)
What: A list of the key reference documents and historical documents, usually organized into useful categories, such as financial, legal and technical. The average building receives about 1500 pages of documents from the developer after construction, including drawings, warranty certificates, manufacturer product literature. SODO is typically 1-10 pages in length.
Why: The schedule is somewhat like the table of contents at the front of a book and the index at the back of a book. The owners/managers do not need to be familiar with the content of every document but rather only need to know where to find a document when they need it.The purpose is to serve as a system
- To quickly be able to find information when it is needed.
- To ensure that valuable information is not lost
Example: We have 22 architectural drawings and 17 mechanical drawings, which are located in the filing cabinet in the board room on the P2 level.
Tool #2. Schedule of Historical Events (SOHE)
What: A concise history of the “significant” events that have occurred at the building over the years, organized either by year, by asset, or by system. While an older building will generally have a longer history (and therefore longer schedule) than a younger building it is expected that there will be approximately two event entries for each year of life of the building. SOHE is typically 1-3 pages in length.
Why: Recognizing that owners and their management teams change from time to time, this schedule helps to manage the transition over the life the building:
- To capture and preserve the corporate memory. A building without a memory is a building without knowledge.
- To establish past trends and patterns in order to make better forecasts and determine reasonable trajectories.
Example: We replaced the roof in 2004 and there was a small fire in 2007.
Tool #3. Schedule of Isolation Points (SOIP)
What: A list of the major shut off valves (water, gas, etc) and other critical isolation points (electricity) in a building with information on their location and shut off procedures. Depending on the size of the building, SOIP is typically 1-3 pages in length and it should be conspicuously posted on the wall in a convenient place such as the main mechanical room.
Why: It is an essential risk management tool for emergencies and a useful resource for regular maintenance.This schedule helps manage risk and achieve operational efficiency.
- To mitigate against limit collateral damage through expedient shutdowns.
- To isolate equipment as necessary for repairs and renewals.
Example: Our main water shut-off valve is in the P1 mechanical room. Our main gas shut off is in the alleyway behind the building. This valve can only be adjusted by the utility company.
Tool #4. Schedule of Equipment and Supplies (SOES)
What: A list of equipment kept in the building (such as ladders and vacuums) and supplies (such as fan belts, fan filters and spare cans of paint). It indicates where these items are stored, the quantity of each and other information necessary for inventory control. SOES is typically 1-2 pages long.
Why: This schedule helps with risk management, preparations in the event of for emergencies, keep people safe, save money, and manage obsolescence. Other benefits are:
- To buy products in quantity to secure reduced volume pricing (ie., economies of scale).
- To ensure efficient and safe access to certain assets.
Example: One box of fan filters, two fan betls, three tubes of caulking, one box of lamps for our fluorescent fixtures, a 12 foot ladder, one upright vacuum cleaner and one wet vac, are stored in room #438 on level 1.
Tool #5. Schedule of Tags & Certificates (SOTC)
What: A list of the which assets are regulated for safety reasons and therefore must have tags attached to them and/or annual certificates on file. Of the approximate 130 asset in a building, it is expected that less 10% of the assets will require tags and certificates. SOTC is usually 1 page in length.
Why: SOTC is necessary for risk management, accountability, safety and efficiency. Specifically, it helps:
- To meet the mandatory requirement of safety codes (elevators, boilers, etc).
- To respect that the insurance providers have an expectation when underwriting the strata insurance policy.
- To verify which company tested our assets, when it was done, etc
Example: All of our safety certificates are kept in a filing cabinet at the property managers office. Equipment tags conform to our facility numbering system and are properly fastened to all critical assets.
Tool #6. Schedule of Logbooks & Service Reports (SOLS)
What: A list of the assets that have service logbooks. While few assets require logbooks, these are typically the safety assets, such as elevators, backflow valves, pressure vessels, fall protection equipment. Of the approximate 130 asset in a building, it is expected that less 10% of the assets will require logbooks and service reports.The SOLS is a brief list, usually only one page in length
Why: The purpose of this schedule is to demonstrate due diligence and:
- To satsify the requirements of the insurance providers that underwrite the buildings insurance policy.
- To demonstrate due diligence to the warranty providers and authorities having jurisdistion regarding all the necessary and sufficient maintenance being carried out on the assets.
- To ensure that service contractors are held accountable for their work.
Example: We have logbooks for five of our assets: our boilers; our cooling tower, our swimming pool. The logbooks are all stored in the managers office on site.
Tool #7. Schedule of Warranty Expirations (SOWE)
What: A list of all active warranties, including the type of warranties (such as contractor or manufacturer), the expiry dates and the lead time to make preparations before the warranty expires.
Why: The SOWE is a critical document and serves to help provide oversight as follows:
- To protect the owners in the event of a warranty claim.
- To guard against missed warranty dates. To give the owners time to prepare for warranty reviews in sufficient time prior to expiration of the warranty periods.
- To effectively manage the lead times during the warranty cycle.
Example: We have active warranties on 16 of our assets, including our roof, our boiler and our new windows. Copies of all certificates are kept in a filing cabinet in the 2nd floor board room.
Tool #8. Schedule of Maintenance & Inspections (SOMI)
What: A checklist of all the recommend maintenance tasks on the assets and cycles for each task. The schedule of maintenance and inspections is sometimes a rather long and complicated document, that can be anywhere from 5 to 50 pages in length. It tells the owners what maintenance is necessary and how often it should be done in order to properly preserve the assets. .
Why: The purpose of this schedule is to ensure that the owners are able to extract the full potential life from all the assets, avoid unnecessary repair costs, stretch the dollars and delay the big ticket items.
- To identify resource requirements, to schedule staff and coordinate with the ownership
- To determine optimal pricing for maintenance and to demonstrate the need for adequate funding to complete the necessary work.
Example: We have 18 maintenance tasks to be performed over the next two months, 22 in the two months thereafter. During the summer months we have 163 maintenance tasks to be carried out on all assets.
Tool #9. Schedule of Service Agreements (SOSA)
What: A list of all the active contracts for maintenance and other services in the building. It includes, among other things, the name of the contractors, their scope of services, the contract anniversary dates and contract value. SOSA is typically 1-2 pages in length.
Why: It’s purpose is to help manage the various service providers and to assist with ongoing procurement of services.Listed below is a summary of some of the key reasons why a schedule of service agreements is important:
- To help manage service providers and institute cost controls.
- To establish reporting requirements and performance schedules.
- To establish lead times to review contracts and assist with procurement of services.
Example: We have an elevator service agreement with Company ABC, which has anniversary date of March 31. The contract value is $18,000 per year.
Tool #10. Schedule of Investments (SOIN)
What: A list of the different investment vehicles in the long range replacement reserve fund, their interest earnings, maturity dates, and other useful information.
Why: The purpose is to provide lead times for maturity to liquidate the investments for cash flow on capital projects.
Example: We have $150,000 invested in a GIC with institution ABC, which earns 1% and will mature in 90 days.
Are there some other tools that you have used as a facility manager, property manager, asset manager? Please share your comments so we can all learn together. Thanks.
David is a certified professional reserve analyst, and a specialist in building maintenance and planning.