Managing Risk with Total Asset Visibility
Disaster scenarios are inevitable. For this reason property managers must anticipate the unknown by developing contingency plans. The highest level of risk when facing a tragedy is uncertainty. Failing to act decisively will only serve to magnify the detrimental effects of the disaster scenario.
At the very least, property managers are responsible for providing information. Audits, which should be conducted on a regular basis, will increase your organization’s total asset visibility. The ability to leverage accurate asset information during a crisis situation involving your inventory will drastically improve recovery time.
To this end, property and equipment managers should conduct thorough audits to identify discrepancies in the inventory. Keep in mind that audits should already be a regular part of your asset management workflow, whether self-imposed or implemented from an outside source. Either way audits are particularly useful at creating total asset visibility into property management, physical inventories, reports, and records. Total asset visibility is the type of insight that helps makes sense of the deficiencies identified in an audit and as such it is important to understand how these deficiencies can affect other functions in your workflow.
Another way to reduce potential risks and discrepancies within your physical inventory is maintain open lines of communication with all departments in your organization. This task is essential for property managers. A unified understanding of both potential risks and, more specifically, mitigation strategies must be established throughout the organization. Property managers must identify and communicate the strengths, weaknesses, benefits, and costs of each department’s relationship with the organization’s assets.
This speaks to employee accountability. Namely, property managers should take charge in establishing well-articulated property management roles and policies on the departmental level. Property managers, with the support of upper management, must clearly establish concise and appropriate standards for the organization. These standards must reflect not only the department’s overall responsibilities but the individual employee’s responsibility within the department. Every lay-person must understand their role so that, in the event of a disaster scenario, their action-steps are known and their response is decisive.
All of these elements result in a proactive approach to property management. Property managers must have a working contingency plan, which can account for and adapt to any situation. Moreover, property managers must present upper management with the cost saving opportunities associated with planning, requesting, procuring, maintaining, and properly disposing assets.
Again, this is where total asset visibility plays a critical role in effective property management. Property and equipment managers must be able to view their inventory and organization as a whole, taking into account the inter-dependency of disparaging departments, as assets and equipment are transferred across the enterprise.
Property management is no longer limited to the the day-to-day management of physical assets, it requires a vision of the future to remain prepared today.