Category Archives: Asset Verification

Why use Asset Surveyor for your physical assets?

Why use us is a common question and often it comes back to who they used before. Rogue surveyors with little or no experience have been a problem in the industry often being hired due to price.

Yet it has been proven counter productive when we are hired to redo everything they have done due to poor quality and incomplete asset data collecting. The initial saving on the rates of the rogue contractor are lost as they are often disappearing into the sunset after payment is already made.

With ourselves we have a structured Asset Integrity Framework. You know exactly what we are doing and when. You can gain access to your data on a daily or weekly basis not awaiting a contractor to provide it to you several months later.

We partner with you to make sure you get the right outputs and objectives from your surveys. We are in Facilities and assets for the long-term and continue to develop our strategy, software and technology to evolve with the industry and pioneer new developments.

Another important factor is as as  contractor we have worked with many of the large Facilities Management companies as well as the majority of Asset Surveying companies in the UK. If you are looking for a cost saving as well as receiving the same or improved standard of surveying take into account that working with us directly removes a layer of expense. As well as giving peace of mind knowing we have been in Facilities for over 25 years and experience of surveying for over a decade with some of the largest organisations within the UK and globally.

Getting physical with your assets

Lets get physical with your assets

There is never a wrong time to start getting physical with your assets making sure that you know what you have, where it is and its condition. As well as its statutory and mandatory compliance.

Since the recession hit the UK market the investment in physical assets has significantly reduced. But also the monitoring of the same pieces of equipment. The potential risk of major failures has increased significantly due to the shelving of things like asset surveys.

Out of sight may leave things out of mind until something significantly fails. Several examples of equipment failures have brought about surveys in recent years. From a call centre that had no UPS system at all, to generators not switching on in power failure due to parts being removed for replacement several years earlier and not replaced.

These are failures more importantly in processes rather than the Assets themselves. The failure relating to the generator was down to a change of contract and no asset survey being undertaken for condition by the incoming FM company. The UPS system not being installed for a call centre was down to the company not ever carrying out a survey at all and this was an FM company themselves in their own building.

The value of physical asset surveys begins with receiving the data gathered. But prior to gathering that survey data you should be asking what do you want out of the survey to begin with. Did you just want a count of assets for an idea of what you have on site then filling in the gaps with onsite engineers? Do you want a survey where you know where and what every asset is as well as its lifecycle and compliance? although it all normally comes down to budget the reality is that you need to know at a minimum what assets you have then start building a picture from it.

Asset lists are the beginning of a contract, everything relies on that information from budgets to what skills are needed to who you need for the contract and how many. As well as which contractors are required to maintain specialist equipment. Without it you are running many risks from legionella to business failure risks.

Which is why its important to get physical with your assets and get your asset data not only up to date but build the processes to keep them up to date and educating staff on why its important. Designing entire processes for not only success but failure, an example of this was in a shadowing exercise with engineers I asked how they update the data in the asset register. They said they have been trying for years but it always gets kicked back and the wrong PPM’s are sent regularly. This is a failure and the problem with the engineers and their managers was the reliance on the call centre which was simply not updating the information because they didn’t have the authority to do so. Having a company champion responsible for the asset register they can become the central source of information but also the main point of contact when things aren’t working. This allows them to assess the situation and see how things can be adapted to make sure the asset register(s) are kept up to date.

Showing why its important to keep the information upto date is also extremely important. An example of this is regular failures of equipment. You could have a £200 motor that shuts down every week due to some internal fault. It is much cheaper to replace it than constantly having an engineer going to reset it. Simple things like this save contracts money but also allow data to show why the client should be replacing pieces of equipment due to lifecycle and also regular failures.

Condition surveyor available.

I carry out M+E and fabric surveys and although this is a bit of a plug i will also explain what a condition survey is to those who are unaware.

Matt Wilkie Asset Surveyor and FM Manager

When carrying out a condition survey its main focus is in identifying the condition of assets. In the Mechanical and Electrical condition surveys (M+E). This could be identifying things like has the maintenance been carried out and to an acceptable standard. Is the equipment operational and in good working order. How soon would the equipment last before it needs replaced.

Does the equipment sit in or out of scope? E.g. a contract may say all things are in good working order but you discover many items are failing or outside of compliance and regulations. E.g. an electrical isolator may be 50 years old but its replacement would also lead to an entire rewire from where it was originally fed. This needs to be identified as a risk and to be removed from scope or an adjustment in budget to cover its costs.

Fabric is similar because although its not pumps, motors and air conditioning. It does have things like periodic refurbishments and repairs. This means things like mold that can cause paint flaking and health issues are a problem. As well as ground movement cracking walls etc. which can often see written into a contract what is defined as a chargeable crack and what you should expect to absorb within the contract at no extra cost.

All these things affect building a contract for maintenance and as such its a critical part of renewing a contract or setting one up. It gives a realistic view of the business and all its assets as well as identifying any assets that are missing from the system completely.

Asset Verification Surveyor

Matt Wilkie in Downtown Doha,Qatar

I am an asset verification surveyor and lead manager for asset surveying available for hire as a consultant. But I wanted to discuss today what is Asset Verification and how does this affect a contract.

Firstly I work within the FM industry (Facilities Management) which will often see that maintenance contracts arise and its all based on a set figure which can sometimes be picked out of the sky.

For asset verification though we actually spend time identifying what assets a client owns and the condition they are in. Doesn’t sound so exciting but the fact of the matter is from the information gathered you start to get an accurate value of the contract and the components that need maintaining or replacing.

All in all the asset surveying in the FM industry is a growing enterprise especially with companies looking to extend the life of equipment. Good maintenance will always equal longer life cycle of equipment and poor maintenance will always lead to unexpected and unplanned for breakdowns.

Its part of why I became so passionate about surveying as I can see its long reaching ability to help companies pre-plan upgrades and changes as well as keep on top of things for not only weeks or months but literally years. For the FM company they get a true picture of the value of the contract and both parties get to see the viability of the work and the staff and equipment needed to sustain the contract.

Property Condition Surveys For Social Housing.

I have carried out many condition surveys for social housing throughout the United Kingdom and wanted to talk about the key reasons this is done as often people don’t realise why they are carried out.

Because there are multiple surveys often being carried out at the same time. Main one being related to health and safety but also followed with energy efficiency and refurbishments.

The one I personally mainly cover is the issues relating to the age of the properties inherited onto a housing associations books. Generally we find that ex military,Royal Air Force or even ex council houses often don’t meet our requirements as a housing association so we need to begin to bring the property standard up to specification.

The decent homes standard is something that was introduced and is often referred to as part of the ideals your looking to be able to provide as a standard.

Often though inherited housing stock is well below par when it comes to ages of bathrooms, heating systems, kitchens and windows. Often age and other factors also mean some buildings being prone to things like condensation and damp. Being able to understand the affects and prevention of how one thing impacts on another is an important factor in improving a homes condition.

For example wall and loft insulation can often have a huge positive impact on a home not only for the resident but in also maintaining the quality of the home reducing the number of repairs as well as extending the life of some components of the home.

So although sometimes people don’t see the immediate benefits in fact they have probably forgotten the surveyor was ever there by the time large budgets are allocated for entire estates. But even looking round the plumbing of a house a resident isn’t aware that we are often looking for things like pipe lagging to protect the pipes from frost as well as help in lost heat. Both having a positive impact on the resident and the housing association stock of done properly.

Asset Verification Surveys

An Asset Verification survey or “AV Survey” for short is generally carried out at the start of a contract changeover period. I wanted to cover the reasons why Asset Verification is so important in a contract.

Most companies on a large scale leave their general maintenance to Facilities Management companies or some other external body who deals with the day to day maintenance of their facilities and equipment. The problem is between the client and the FM company the data is often not updated on a regular basis.

This creates a problem with contract evaluations as they can be under or over valued for maintenance. For example if your equipment was all 50 years old and constantly breaking down but the basis of the contract is written in as “new” you could expect a huge amount of extra repairs during the contract period. The opposite happens if you have replaced a lot of old equipment yet its still on the asset lists as very old. Because the incoming FM company would put additional repair costs to the equipment or even remove it from contract completely until brought up to standard.

So the asset verification process is extremely important in getting  the right budget for the right maintenance. But going forward as long as the  FM company and client manage their asset lists correctly they should only need minimal updating with changes, repairs etc. as long as its kept up to date!

From a replacement point of view having the asset verification completed often shows a lack of maintenance as well as a lot of equipment in poor condition. These can now be allocated a time period of replacement and expected life before they need replacing.

The reasons I wanted to stress this is that the asset verification is normally coupled with asset condition surveys as they can both and ideally need to be done together. Your paying for a surveyor to assess things are there it doesn’t take much longer to give it a condition code!