A participant shared that they have started doing asset inventory. She expressed that numbering assets are a bit overwhelming so she asked for some recommendations.
In the previous post “How to Number Assets without Being Overwhelmed,” Heather shared a couple of ways. Then she asked Ross to share his knowledge and experience.
Providing a bit of a background, Ross shares:
I’ve just finished writing, updating the section in the International Infrastructure Management Manual on data management and asset information systems. And that question falls within that.
So that’s the 2015 update. I did the same thing back in 2011 for that manual.
Using a mapping system
I think the interesting thing is that if you’re using a GIS and say for reticulation and the point assets, the hydrants and the valves on reticulation, normally these days, you’d be using some sort of mapping system.
Then the sequential number that the GIS assigns is fine. Or if you’ve got a system that’s linked to the GIS just typically you are just looking at a map and going, hey it’s the four-inch pipe on Elm Street.
Hopefully, it’s not the nightmare on Elm Street because it’s been bad, but that’s how you do it. It’s the hydrant of that pipe on Elm Street. So you’re typically thinking spatially to do that.
Where it gets a little bit more interesting is when you’re talking about particularly treatment facilities, where they’re all at one spot. But you could have multiple assets that are very similar there and also multiple treatment processes that are paralleled.
Applying hierarchical-naming of assets
And I think that’s where the hierarchical-named asset works quite well. And so what I’d I say is don’t be afraid to mix it up.
Don’t be afraid of your linear assets to use a, just a sequential code based on the GIS numbers that are linked to the database or whatever. As long as you maintain the link, you’re fine.
And for your treatment assets, it might be hey, this is treatment plant 1, its process 1 and its pump number 3 in that process. And so you come up with a naming.
The other thing is with treatment plants, depending on what you’re doing, often those assets are tagged as well with a number.
In reference, if you’re using a maintenance management system for the treatment plant those numbers are tagged as well.
So often, if you’ve got a tagging system going on, just use those numbers and link them with a photo into whatever other systems you’re holding.
And I think that sometimes, just give yourself the freedom to use different systems for the treatment plants and for the linear assets that work really well.
PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr Creative Commons License. The photo was cropped and re-sized to fit the website requirement.