Tag Archives: asset surveying

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.

How to take photos when carrying out an M+E Survey (Mechanical and Electrical).

M+E surveys require good photos along with being taken in a consistent and methodical manner.

The first photo should always be the barcode not only for the barcode number / reference but also it breaks the assets when viewing a list of photos. Allowing easy identification of images relevant to each asset/barcode.

How to take photos when carrying out an Asset Survey

The next image should be taken of the manufacturer, serial number and model where possible. As this information is not only important for costing a replacement and parts. But also for identifying age and even the asset sometimes if the surveyor is unsure of the asset item.

Third image should aim to capture the whole asset as this allows clear identification of what we are physically looking at. This also assists with identification later and also gives a general condition of the asset from the photo.

Fourth image could be a second name plate of the item. For example many items have a Manufacturer and model on the front plate. But may have a serial number and part number on a side plate.

If no side plate exists the sequence should continue with the following possible images :-

1. Photo of a defect.

2. Photo of unit attached to its parent such as a Pump/Motor set attached to a AHU.

As long as the photos are completed in a methodical manner extra images can be taken. For example there could be a 5th photo of  a roof leak that is damaging the unit. Which can later support the surveyors reasoning for a reduced lifecycle period or remedial action to take place.

M+E Asset Surveyors with experience.

Experienced and competent M+E Asset Surveyors can be difficult to find. I myself have been in the business for a decade and prior to surveying the maintenance and FM industry for over 20 years.

The biggest problem in the industry is the assumption anyone can do it. The reality is its often too late when people realise that its certainly not that simple. But often you will find budgets have been wasted on incompetent surveyors as well as poor planning which can often result in the survey being done again by competent M+E asset surveyors.

A good M+E Asset Surveyor will have the following :-

  • Experience and knowledge of M+E equipment as well as the maintenance regimes involved.
  • The ability to identify all plant and equipment and if not immediate, having the ability to source the information and identify equipment in an organised manner.
  • Organised and capable of working on their own with good communication skills to deal with onsite staff and clients.
  • Ability to read drawings and create sketches if necessary.
  • Intermediate level Excel knowledge.
  • Ability to adapt to problems that can develop due to remote working (e.g. Asset gathering Apps for a tablet failing they automatically fall back to pen and paper or a laptop for data gathering).
  • Understanding the scope of work required and confirming and resolving anything that may become an issue (E.g. if a client is requesting that all light switches are added to the asset list confirming why they are needed. But also explaining that the switches may not be needed as a costing can be made on the lighting itself or based on the power distribution).
  • Being able to follow tasks, methods, procedures, specifications and terminology required for the survey.

Many people in the FM and maintenance industries have no interest in working as an M+E surveyor due to working away from home, excessive amounts of paperwork, lone working to name but a few reasons. Which is why the skill set required is broad but also people actually willing to do it is fairly limited.

However if you are currently seeking experienced M+E surveyors I recommend getting in touch. Myself as well as the surveyors I am associated with are all experienced and have worked with and for many of the larger Facilities Management and construction companies.

M+E Asset surveying globally we are also interested in. Myself I have experience of working and living in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. With many of the surveyors I work alongside having similar experience.

Ventilation Fan Axial Belt Driven

belt-driven-exhaust-fanThese types of fan are easy to identify due to the three many parts making it up. The firs being the fan itself with its blades, along with a separate motor and the final component being the drive belt that turns the fan itself.

 

They can also vary significantly in size and uses. Which also means when looking to add them to an asset list double checking they aren’t part of an extract system or something else is extremely important to avoid assets being added to a list twice.

Belt driven fan

Asset Surveyors available.

As an asset surveyor and lead I have worked in the industry for almost a decade. As well as having over 20 years experience in the Facilities Management and maintenance industry.

We have experience and knowledge that has evolved over the years from data collection for confirming bids and contract values to :-

  • Lifecycle.
  • Compliance.
  • PPM regimes based on FSG20.
  • Identifying staffing levels required on contract.
  • Barcoding for easy identification of assets.
  • Site auditing for logbooks, maintenance and compliance.
  • ESOS – (Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme).
  • TM44 – Inspection of air conditioning services.
  • Confirmation of maintenance regime inline with O+M from manufacturer.

With experience in the Middle East, Asia and the United Kingdom myself and associated surveyors can offer services of high quality and consistency throughout. As well as support services if so required.

All surveyors have a minimum of 5 years experience within asset surveying as well as backed with over a minimum of 10 years Mechanical and electrical knowledge.

Telephone UK : +441213189630 | Telephone Spain : +34693100715

Can anyone do asset surveying?

Matt Wilkie Asset Survey downtown Doha Qatar

Its often an expensive mistake when asset surveying is undertaken without the right people involved. Cost cutting often leads to finding anyone available to carry out the task. This creates long-term issues within contracts as often once the data is loaded people don’t update and correct errors.

But it also means your bid could be wrong, pricing wrong, skill sets of personnel wrong. You could end up with a gas engineer going to fix “heat pumps” on an air conditioning unit because someone unfamiliar with air conditioning and boilers has seen “heat pump” and assumed heating means boilers. The list goes on and on as I have seen contracts without HVAC engineers before due to people misunderstanding the difference between HVAC and Air conditioning engineers. When it comes to cost cutting and showing a client savings you could have fallen at the first hurdle by not creating an accurate asset list.

At the same time people should be aware that selling the value of the asset list to the client may actually recover the costs completely in carrying out the survey.  With a good asset list you can predict lifecycle allowing forward budgeting, energy savings, efficiency changes with new equipment, accurate skillset, identification of failures in current maintenance. Statutory and mandatory compliance in fact a whole host of positive data but it needs to be collected correctly in the first instance.

I have seen contracts where people “available” have been put onto carrying out a survey and the end result is many assets are missing, wrong types added, assets named the wrong items, documents produced being eligible and useless. With tight deadlines it can be impossible to correct which is why I recommend using people who specialise in the Asset Surveying field as although sometimes may seem slightly more expensive than using people you have available already. Long term though you will recover that cost and much more due to high quality data.

Welcome to asset surveyor co.uk

This is a short introductary video for the Asset Survey Co UK channel. I am Matt Wilkie and I have been working in asset integrity, asset surveying and the FM industry for over 20 years.

I aim to share information, hints and tips on not only asset surveying and Facilities Management. But also useful information and tips for things like Excel to help make daily life easier. But also introduce and review software and equipment that could be beneficial to the Facilities Management industry and Asset Management generally.

Am I Obsessed With Asset Surveying?

Matt Wilkie Asset Surveyor

Ok I have to admit I love surveying but in general I enjoy doing any job well. What I find with asset surveying though is you can often take data as far as a client wants and beyond!

There is so much information that most people overlook simply because they haven’t gone so in depth for it or even more so important never asked people who know how to get the data what they want.

Being able to not only show true information that shows the cost of labour, number of employees needed, maintenance regimes depending on budget, manufacturers specification, company specifications or industry standards as well as many other variables you can show how much each thing affects the overall annual costs.

For example a if you took a manufacturers recommended maintenance for condensers on air conditioning units you would find it doesn’t come anywhere near that which is needed for desert conditions. Adapting the maintenance and showing the variables of if they increased maintenance, what to expect if they kept to manufacturers recommendations or went to a run to fail program. You could actually build 3 different scenario’s and show the annual costs and labour needed.

Because in reality sometimes it doesn’t make sense to maintain equipment beyond its expectations as it could simply be burning money which could instead be replacing units on a regular basis and reducing costs as well as improving efficiencies of the units.

Its partly why asset surveying appeals to me as you can find and show where a company can not only save money but predict where they will need to invest or maintain more. Getting the balance right helps keep companies producing and within realistic costing. The big issues these days is showing the viability of what we do as companies don’t often see the value until we are finished and showing figures.

I have been involved in the asset surveying myself for years as well as general surveying and building surveying. All in all though if your wanting a varied and interesting career I highly recommend surveying!

The True Value Of Asset Surveying.

Matt Wilkie Asset Surveyor

What companies get out of asset surveying is often determined by the value they give it in the first place.

For example a rushed survey that tells you that you have 10 air conditioning units and not types,age,serial numbers etc. give very little information except to say they exist.

  • But understanding age and the recommended lifecycle you can program for replacement.
  • Knowing the ideal maintenance regime for their locations extends their life and improves productivity lowering running and maintenance costs.
  • Knowing the brand and serial number assist in locating spare parts long after the labels have been sun damaged beyond reading ability. As well as other key information on the units such as its current gas.
  • Condition of the units and things affecting it are also vital in understanding how long the unit is going to last and if already it needs programming for change.
  • Health and safety issues for access and procedures not being followed can often be found during the survey. Identifying these could actually save lives.

For me these are the basics but the list is a lot more extensive depending how far you are willing to go with the information. For example if you started organising your company for a replacement over a 10 year period you could actually pre-budget everything in advance. Adding to that being aware of any hazards that may affect a changeover such as gases that are now redundant.

These things though are often overlooked by companies even though people managing the assets are more than willing to assist with the data. It mainly comes down to understanding of the information, knowing what can be found from the data and knowing how and where to use the information.

Adding to that having a good solid asset list kept upto date can also identify problem units on a flagging system that are breaking down regularly. Units that are becoming obsolete, e.g. you have 10 units the same and 2 had to be replaced due to failure and being unable to find parts. You are now aware the other 8 will need replacement in the near future and that they are now beyond repair.

All in all understanding the assets from a good asset list can save the company literally a small fortune. The broken down 2 air conditioning units in our example could have had multiple call outs for engineers trying to repair them even though if the system was kept up to date you would know they are needing parts that are unavailable. With the remaining 8 if an inspection by an engineer requires any major parts you know already not to send another engineer a second time but actually program for replacement.

The true value of asset surveying is the ability to understand your entire asset list and being able to create cost reductions through management of staff and equipment via the data.

How To Get A Job As A Surveyor

Matt Wilkie Asset Surveyor

How do I find a job as a surveyor in the UK? Is a question that crops up regularly on LinkedIn and I have to ask why?

Reason being is generally it takes me a couple of days to find my next contract and has done for over a decade.

I can understand people lacking experience struggling as from that perspective it is a hard field to break into. But I would also look at broader options and then work back to Surveying full-time.

For example there is often vacancies involving quotation and management roles within the FM industry. I have worked with some very large companies in the FM Industry including Carillion, Johnson Controls, Integral Services, Mowlem to name a few. Primarily though there is always good people needed. Not always the perfect role you wanted but at worst a starting point and a foot in the door. If your not into Facilities Maintenance I do believe its much harder in the construction industry these days due to the collapse of the market.

I generally stick to service and maintenance contracts which may seem small scale but my last project I worked on was $80 million. Most projects are at least £4million as its the organising, planning and development of FM services I specialise in these days.

But even for housing associations which are normally paying a lower end salary if you can get an interview and show your commitment and interest in the role you may get a look in.

Many people I have come across within social housing have been working towards “Becoming” surveyors and not actually skilled or qualified yet. This alone shows there is a demand within the social housing sector. But adding to that nearly every role I did for social housing had been vacant at least 12 months and the opportunity of permanent working was there if I wanted it.

I would recommend Hays Montrose or Venn Group for work within the social housing market. Both are agencies and both work nationwide. What I would ask though is how serious are you about working in surveying.

Reason being is that I move where the work is and always have, this has given me opportunities to stay in work while others say they can’t find any as well as continuity.