GIS Inventory Management Data and Accurate Asset Inventory: Do They Work Together?

public works directors
public works directors

Cities and counties across the nation are having to catch up to the new wave of open data requirements that society expects. As a result, constituencies across the nation want to know what the city is doing, how much it is costing the taxpayers and in what condition the infrastructure in their area is. Unfortunately, many of these cities and counties don’t have an accurate inventory of their assets, much less an understanding of the condition. Largely, institutionalized practices lack the funds to support large scale asset inventory requirements and possess a misunderstanding of the importance of an accurate asset inventory.

Why should my organization spend its budget on an asset inventory?

Cities and counties throughout the country are going to be required to submit condition assets and asset management plans for the aging infrastructure of their area. This requirement stems from the safety concerns and risk assessments that have been made on bridges, roads, water lines and other assets, which have been highlighted as possessing a high risk of failure or are in very poor condition.

How do you know if your required preventive maintenance is being completed if you have no idea where the asset is, or who the last person to work on it was?
How do you know whether your water main repairs are scheduled before or after your next pavement repaving project?

Without a GIS system that is integrated with a powerful asset management system, you really don’t know. Asset management can save you money on maintenance costs and inventory overhead. During the operational phase of the life-cycle of the asset, a company can face over- or under-maintenance problems. Overdoing maintenance activities can bring significant costs. On the other hand, under-maintenance can lead to reduced productivity and increased asset deterioration and replacement costs.

What GIS and asset management questions should I be asking?
  1. What is our intended purpose of asset tracking?
    1. In the U.S., we have something called GASB 34, which requires us to maintain some valuation of each asset owned by a city, which can range from sewer, to buildings, to more obscure things like trees. Although sometimes ignored, trees are actually large assets, both in value and maintenance.
    2. There are other regulations that also require some degree of tracking assets. On the storm water side, part of your discharge permit includes maintaining an inventory of the enclosed lines. It is just a step from there to creating a cleaning schedule to ensure these lines are being maintained properly so they are clear in the event of a storm.
  2. What assets do we need to manage?
    1. If you manage a city, this may be utility information like water, sewer or storm water; street information like paving, sidewalks, or street lights; electricity; and telephone lines or poles. It may also include facilities like city hall, fire departments, police stations or larger areas, like parks and playgrounds, which are maintained by the city.
  3. What information are we interested in tracking about these assets? What level of complexity do we want to use for different asset types?
    1. Like the assets themselves, this can range from simple to complex:
      1. Simple: Dimensions, length, width, slope, height, material, date installed.
      2. More complex: Condition, capacity of assets, most recent Capital Improvement Projects (CIP).
      3. Most complex: Ongoing condition tracking with multiple entries with timestamp; all CIP projects for a particular feature; linking media to assets.

If you’re looking for a system to encompass and effectively manage those assets, you’re in the right place. AssetWorks Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solution is integrated with Esri ArcGIS to track your assets inventories, conduct asset management on all spatial and non-spatial assets and create a culture of accountability and trust throughout your organization and community.

Sign Up For
Email Alerts
Subscribe for blog updates, educational videos, case studies and infographics.

Ready to talk?

Simply fill out the form to get in touch with the AssetWorks team. 

Recently Published