Property Management Standards – Part 6

Guest Contributor: Amanda Watkins

Winding down this series on property management standards, we’ll again address three new standards in this blog entry. This week’s topics will be: Moveable Property Storage, Management of Low Risk Property and Uniform Data Management in Asset Management Records Systems.

The standard of Moveable Property Storage establishes a practice for storing and warehousing moveable property. The first step for storing and warehousing movable property is to know what you have and where it is; a concept known as total asset visibility. Sounds basic, but for many, this is a challenge. Having an asset management system in place will ensure that this step is taken care of already. Specifically, the standard addresses the physical protection and control over an organization’s fixed and mobile asset inventory. Additionally it is important to balance the storage cost with the cost of protecting these assets. The Moveable Property Storage standard helps organizations to address security expenditures with the same level of importance as resource expenditures.

Almost every organization classifies their fixed and mobile assets in terms of risk. The Standard Practice for Management of Low Risk Property sets a precedent for managing your LRP by shifting your focus from risk avoidance to risk management. Risk is inevitable; assets will get lost, destroyed or stolen at one point or another. How you manage that occurrence through your risk assessment plan and your daily management of high to low risk assets will determine how those risks truly affect your bottom line. The following is a list of criteria (though not inclusive of all possibilities) for determining the risk level of your assets:

  • Asset scarcity
  • Technological obsolescence
  • Lead time, standardization
  • Asset criticality
  • Asset sensitivity
  • Dollar value
  • Environmental regulations
  • Level of national security/threat
  • Schedule constraints
  • Vulnerability of the asset
  • Societal or personal safety
  • Contractual agreements.

Using these factors, organizations can separate the HRP from the LRP and effectively manage their resources dedicated to these assets.

The Standard Practice for Uniform Data Management in Asset Management Records System is a pretty straight forward standard mandating the regular upkeep of accurate asset data reports. Maintaining asset data helps organizations to improve operational and strategic management capabilities at all phases of the asset life cycle. We’ve discussed previously how important it is to have an accurate record keeping system and in previous blogs have even covered how to choose a system that’s right for you, but this standard stresses the importance of having a uniform system. One thing I’ve learned over the years in property management is that uniformity and consistency are two words that go hand in hand with effective asset management. Maintaining data integrity, consistency and usability will lend your system to being an effective uniform data management records system.

Have you determined yet if your property management is living up to the ASTM standards? Are you keeping uniform data or do you need to find a system that’s right for you still? A broad based internet search will send you a lot of information. Make sure you know what you need before you start your search.

We hope these blogs have enlightened you on some of the standards in practice in property management today and we encourage you to join in discussions on these standards and more through the ASTM or your local NPMA branch.

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