A Small Business Guide to Construction Asset Management

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The assets of a construction site are the valuable tools and equipment necessary for the success of a project. This guide will help you manage them with maximum efficiency to reduce costs.

In construction management, your strengths are essential. After all, you can’t effectively clean a site without a bulldozer, you can’t quickly cut wood without a circular saw, and you can’t easily share documents and images with stakeholders without a computer.

Assets make a project possible, and if you don’t manage those assets properly, you risk running into problems that could delay your project or wipe out your profit margins. As everyone in construction project management knows, it happens all the time – and it’s never a good feeling.

If you’ve ever been frustrated with a backhoe that wasn’t available when your crew needed it, or overspending on tools you didn’t need in the end, it’s time to master asset management. This guide will help you understand what this process entails and what strategies will make it work for you.

Overview: What is Construction Asset Management?

Construction asset management refers to the process of tracking equipment, vehicles, computers, and facilities on a job site. It is a subset of construction resource management, which includes all resources used by a construction company and not just assets.

Because assets drive activities on a job site, construction managers must manage them effectively to eliminate waste and ensure workers have access to the right assets at the right time. This will avoid cost increases and delays in the construction schedule.

Types of assets under construction

Construction assets come in many shapes and sizes, but they generally have one thing in common: they are a non-consumable item needed to complete your project.

1. Construction machinery

Construction equipment represents the high-value assets companies use to do the heavy lifting on a job site, such as cranes, bulldozers, excavators, backhoes, trenchers, pavers, and a host of other equipment specialized depending on the type of construction work in progress. .

The size, value and fuel consumption of these assets make them particularly important to manage.

2. Vehicles

Although you may be tempted to group all wheeled assets with construction equipment, you should separate vehicles such as cars and trucks, especially if they are used off the job site for running errands or for transportation. general.

3. Computers

Once a rare sight in construction, computers are ubiquitous on construction sites today. Whether they are desktop computers, tablets or even mobile phones and portable electronic devices, computers need to be managed with care not only because of their value and importance, but also because of cybersecurity issues.

4. Tools

You might be tempted not to monitor every hammer or screwdriver in your arsenal, but if a worker needs a tool to complete a project and has to go looking for it, it will cost you valuable man-hours for the lifetime. of a project.

By keeping an accurate inventory of tools and tracking their usage, you can ensure your workers have everything they need at the right time. Additionally, some specialty tools are expensive and insured and should be followed for that reason alone.

5. Facilities

Each construction site has small facilities to help workers do their jobs, such as trailers, portable toilets and washing stations. These are also assets and should be tracked as part of your asset management plan.

5 Asset Management Strategies for Construction Companies

When it comes to managing these resources to maximize efficiency, these five strategies are essential.

1. Use software

Asset management gets complicated quickly, and given its importance to your bottom line, you should use specialized software rather than relying on spreadsheets.

Today’s construction management software uses GPS equipment tracking to tell you where every asset is, allows workers to time them in and out, and performs many other tasks that would otherwise simply too difficult for a manager to track manually.

Free asset tracking software exists, although you’ll have to do without the more advanced tools.

Point: The Ascent has reviewed the best construction management software and asset tracking options. Check out a few of them to see how they manage assets and determine if they’re right for your business.

2. Track the lifespan of your assets

Assets create an additional challenge that labor, materials, and other resources don’t, and you need to track their lifespan and plan accordingly. Assets are only useful for a certain amount of time, and this lifespan differs greatly depending on the type of asset and how gently they are used.

By accurately predicting the life of assets, you will determine when new equipment will be needed. This will help avoid delays between when the equipment breaks down and when you get a replacement. It can also prevent security incidents caused by aging equipment.

Point: Consider the total life cycle costs in addition to the purchase price. Figure out how much fuel the asset will use, how much you’ll spend monthly on maintenance, and anything else you can think of.

3. Make someone responsible for the asset

Putting one person in charge of maintaining and using the asset will make it easier to track.

If you have a crew of three workers who regularly use a backhoe, for example, assign the most experienced worker the responsibility of checking fuel levels, keeping track of the maintenance schedule, and logging hours. Create a manual on how to do this or provide access to your software to help them do it.

Point: Establish a regular reporting schedule with the designated person. Clearly state what information you want them to show you, such as usage logs and maintenance events. Follow up and meet with this person on assigned dates to ensure they are tracking equipment and other assets as agreed.

4. Review assets regularly

As the construction manager, the responsibility lies with you. Now that you have assigned people to track your assets and have developed a plan that takes the lifespan into account, you need to examine your assets regularly to determine if they are being maintained and are depreciating at the rate you waited.

If you find irregularities, determine why and if you need to make changes, either to your process or to your expectations.

Point: Create a checklist to increase your exam efficiency. Set aside a few hours every few weeks or so to go through this jobsite checklist. Allow extra time for meetings with equipment managers if you encounter irregularities.

5. Make adjustments

If you follow the assets closely and review them regularly, you will notice that some things need to be changed. Maybe equipment is declining at a faster rate than expected, and there’s nothing you can do but adjust your expectations in your next project plan.

Maybe equipment gets misplaced too often and you need a software platform that does a better job of tracking it. Either way, regularly make adjustments and adjust your operations to improve your asset management.

Point: Hold a quarterly meeting to discuss the asset management plan with stakeholders and brainstorm ways to improve it.

The software will give you asset management ideas

A good way to understand how to manage more efficiently is to see how today’s software does it. Try a few construction software options and evaluate their asset management tools. Find out how their asset tracking system works in monitoring asset assets.

Evaluate your own processes to identify differences in your approaches and choose the methods that work best for you and your business.

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