When Ross commended the EFC Network for the asset management training they are doing for years now, Heather presented their resources.
And one of the things that we offer is a free Access Database and a free Excel spreadsheet.
There’s nothing magic, whatsoever about them. But it’s a place that people can start.
And I’ll often say start with that. Get your feet wet. See what kind of information you might want to have.
Once you put it in a spreadsheet or an Access database, you can start looking for, you know, I wish I was collecting this other information.
And that leads you to down the road to say, well, out of the 20 pieces of data we collected, I only use five of them, or ten of them, or one of them, or whatever that is.
So again, when you go look for something more robust, if you like to go that route, you can focus on what you’ve actually used instead of shooting in the dark and saying, well, you know my eyes are lit up because there are 60,000 things this program can do and you probably not going to do most of them because it’s too hard.
It’s too hard to keep the data in there and keep it current and fresh. If you get too grandiose with what you are trying to do, you kind of “lose the forest for the trees” sort of things. So be cautious that way.
And then the question also mentioned business practices. Make sure you do have some written standard operating procedure for how does data get in the system.
Who does it? Who can read into the system? Who can write into the system? Who can make changes? And how do you fix the wrong information?
I was telling people, it’s okay to be wrong the first time. We all will be wrong in our databases or CMMS or whatever you have the first time, the map.
It’s not okay to be wrong the second time because once you find out, once you have this information, you got to have a business practice for how do I get that fixed? Whose job is it, and how’s it going to be done?
And then look I think one of the things with this whole process as well is that people go call up the crews, the guys in the crews will build all the information, do condition assessments and get all our asset inventory for us, and they tell us all the time that they’ve gone up to that.
Probably they don’t want to do that. They love being on the tools than doing physical work. So, you force them to do it.
And they go, look, okay the officers, the engineers want us to do this, so let’s see whether they’re the reading the stuff.
So the first month, they fill these forms up, but they will put in the comments like Bob, and I fix this valve. There was an alligator there and that it bit Bob’s leg off, and while he was bleeding to death, we managed to change the flange, and we put a hydrant there the second time just because we wanted to, and it cost a hundred thousand dollars.
And they put that, and they submit that, and it goes into the CMMS, and then you go, oh good we’ve got a record that they did some work. And nobody looks at it.
And they know because I’ve written this graphic story that nobody’s ever going to look at, that maybe he’s looking at it.
And then you end up ten years down the track, somehow we are going to analyze all these records and what you find out is that everything is average. Everything in general, and everything is on general maintenance code, and if you are lucky there’s a, maybe you’ve put on the thing it’s called GPS, you actually got it positioned.
But you have unusable data because they’ve worked out pretty quickly that nobody’s looking at it and so they’ll do what you forced them to do to get paid but nothing more.
And that happens time and time and time again. The same thing happens with the inventory stuff, and so then you’ll realize, ah, we got a lot of, we have a database that has information in here that’s not as good as it could be, be polite.
And then what do you do with that, and how do you rectify that?
And so, over-collecting or forcing the wrong people to collect the asset management information without any training is just going to get you in the world of pain later on.