The FM industry has been going through big transformations with the advance of technology. Dated systems and the use of spreadsheets have been proven to be inefficient and even cause setbacks when managing assets.
Organisations are being pushed, in some cases mandated, to implement an Asset Information Management system that actually functions. Without a platform that is able to synchronise the data in real-time between what is happening in the field and the asset register you end up with a static picture that has little relationship to what is actually needing to be replaced when it comes time for budgeting.
Effective management includes having a register with all the relevant data about your assets, calendar view with maintenance schedule, monitoring of performance and lifespan, plus having easy access to this information for audit purposes. Technology plays an important part in this strategy as it streamlines the processes and saves you time to focus on more important business decisions.
The aged care sector is one of those sectors that is feeling the pressure perhaps more than any other at the moment. The new updates to the Retirement Villages Act 1999 and the Retirement Villages Regulation 2017 in New South Wales, states that every operator of retirement villages must prepare and keep up to date compliant and detailed asset management plan. Although this requirement only covers NSW for now, it is already on the way for Victoria and Queensland – and it is very likely that the remaining states will also have to follow it very soon.
Released in February 2021, the amendment requires all operators to keep an asset register, a 10-year maintenance schedule for each asset, and a three-year maintenance report to accompany the village’s annual budget. It is also advised to use a CMMS (Computerised Maintenance Management System) or an Asset Information Management System (AIMS) to create and maintain an effective plan – spreadsheets are not recommended due to the potential large amount of assets to keep track of.
We wanted to dive deeper into this matter so we chatted with our partner Jess Johnson from MDFM, a company that provides maintenance and facilities management services exclusively to the aged care industry. Jess asked us to reflect on the sheer volume of work for a single village operator to keep track of “maintenance expenditure – what was done, when was done and how much was spent for every single asset” plus tracking the cumulative cost of it all and then added “you can imagine how quickly that volume of data is going to build up”. Most of her clients used to work with spreadsheets and she helped them transition to a system that was actually efficient.
Jess also shared that this legislation is not based on the assets conditions but in its life expectancy according to the ATO, therefore it’s essential to implement an asset management system that is not only compliant but that allows you to monitor your asset’s condition over time, and have supporting photos and documents that are easy to access. Having all this data available will help backing up decisions of replacing an asset or not.
One common issue that we should see with this new legislation is that a resident might ask for a particular asset in their unit (for example a carpet or an AC) to be replaced after seeing that its life expectancy is finished on your assets management plan. Most times if the asset is well maintained throughout its service life and it is working properly, it won’t need replacement just because its age has passed. The whole idea of this legislation is to avoid disagreements with residents and having a single south of truth system is definitely the answer for that.
When it comes to age and health care it is even more crucial to make sure that the residents are safe and comfortable. We often hear claims of neglect and inefficient facility management when operators don’t schedule maintenance or don’t replace assets so having a CMMS helps to reduce these complaints and ensures your decisions are backed up by reliable data.
FMClarity has just launched its Asset Management Module that is fully integrated with our highly intuitive CMMS, FMC Core, which simplifies the creation and management of Asset Management Plans, out of the box. Request a demo today at email@example.com.