Companies need to manage their properties and keep track of their assets for depreciation and maintenance. This is traditionally done in a disjointed manner requiring several steps to transfer the data from one system to another. This process is time consuming and error prone. It also promotes “islands of automation” as they would need to develop and maintain expertise in different programs.
A comprehensive IWMS needs to address asset management and depreciation, maintenance and capital improvement and property management and financials in a uniform and integrated manner.
Asset Management (EAM)
Hard assets and capital improvements have been traditionally depreciated in a separate program such as FAS. The data for depreciable assets is collected and input to such program on a regular basis. Assets are depreciated and the depreciation results and tables are exported to a separate accounting program for posting into the general ledger. Any changes, updates or error corrections require the entire loop to be repeated.
In an optimum system, a hard asset is simply added or identified and immediately becomes available for depreciation. When the depreciation process runs in the same system, the assets are picked up and depreciation is applied to them automatically. The accounting is integrated and reflects the results in the general ledger in the system. When an asset is reviewed, its current status, its maintenance history, planned maintenance activities and depreciation schedule and book value are readily available and presented.
Maintenance Management (CMMS)
Traditionally maintenance activities are performed in separate and isolated programs. In some cases, there are even separate programs for corrective and preventive (scheduled) maintenance. Predictive maintenance (long term) is usually ignored or performed haphazardly and when a crises happens (such as replacing an old roof when it starts leaking or upgrading an old elevator when it stops working).
In an integrated IWMS/CMMS environment, the maintenance processes are completely integrated with the financial and management activities. Corrective and preventive work orders are scheduled to optimize the use of available resources and maintain the quality of the buildings. The long-term maintenance is properly planned and budgeted for the foreseeable future. Capital expenditures are identified and marked for asset management processes. Accessing any part of a building or an asset allows you to drill down into the details of the related maintenance and financials.
Property management is another area where traditionally several different programs are used for tracking the building, occupancy and usage, leases, design and improvements and acquisition and disposition.
An integrated property management/IWMS provides the tools to easily perform the desired activities using a consistent interface. You simply assign a different profile/view to each team member who specializes in a certain area. For example, when lease administrators log in, on the home page they see the relevant lease related information. They see reminders on the renewals and increases, list of expiring leases, monthly billings and longer-term projections.
The integrated environment provides savings by avoiding re-inputting the same data repeatedly. It speeds up the processes and reduces potentials errors. Most importantly, it provides great visibility to the managers by allowing them to drill down to any aspect of their assets, maintenance and properties.
About the author
Mehdi Khalvati, Ph.D. is the president of Axxerion Inc. Axxerion IWMS addresses properties and workplaces management. In has an integrated CMMS and comprehensive asset management and lease management modules built in. For more information, please review the property management module and contact Axxerion USA. Please send your feedback, thoughts and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.