On 21 January 2020, Ross Waugh and Heather Himmelberger held another Ask-the-Experts webinar titled, “Infrastructure Asset Management – How to Start.” Inframanage.com presents the webinar topics through a series of blog posts.
So we have several questions that are related to the cost of asset management, how expensive was it going to be, how much it’s going to cost?
We want to spend a few minutes just talking about the cost of asset management because I think both of our opinions are, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
So let’s talk a little bit about that and how. This doesn’t have to be a big grandiose expensive thing that somebody does, especially for smaller utilities.
There are free resources available online
Yes, the starting point, I think, and this is why I like the EFC model that you run here in the US, and the support you have available is that there’s an awful of free help available.
I’ve been consulting in New Zealand and internationally now for 21 years. So I make my living from helping people consulting with asset management.
But the people we like working with the most in our practice are people where they want a bit of mentoring or a little bit of particular support in an area, but they don’t want us to do the whole lot.
And there’s always going to be somebody that comes and say look just chuck a gold or money at the end, and we’ll make all your problems go away. That may be their opinion.
I think the significant gains were when the staff of the authority engaged all the system, and they learn along the way, and they learn around the thinking.
And the good news is if there’s a massive amount of resources available to get you well down the track of that.
And as we’ve already said earlier in the webinar, starting simple, doing the basics well. That’s the 80-20, you can spend 20% of the effort and get 80% of the result.
If you need to chase the last 20 percent, that’s going to take a lot of extra effort and cost. But for most organizations I think, getting 80% is a perfect place to get to.
The Asset Management Switchboard
I wanted to refer to something that’s brand new, hot off the presses. We have started an asset management switchboard.
We did this in conjunction with EPA headquarters, where we were trying to collect all the free resources available from around the country into one place so that it could be looking forward, can be one-stop shopping.
These are not actually on our website but rather links to the things in different states around the country or assistance providers. We are always looking for more. So if anybody sees a resource that they think should be up there and is not. Please let us know. We will gladly add it.
But the switchboard will help you figure out resources on getting started or doing the five core components, or once I have a plan, how do I go beyond that? So, we have like beyond the basics.
And there’s lots and lots and lots of resources up there. And like I said, we’re going to keep adding to those resources as we go along.
So we want to make sure collect all of these different things so that you can go to one place and find resources. And again, to help you as much as possible do-it-yourself.
And then Ross has a webpage and I collaborate some on these, inframanage.com. And there’s a lot of good resources up there as well that utilities can access. So why don’t you talk a little bit about that.
Yes, so I just had a vision if you like, I’ve been able to provide resources. Internationally, I do work in marginalized communities as well. Similar to Heather’s work with the tribal areas where I don’t have a lot of resources sometimes.
So the inframanage.com is just a collation of substantial range resources. We keep adding to them.
These webinars go up in that. I do things like Auckland University every year in New Zealand. I do a lecture for a Master’s program in asset management, often on-demand management or risk. And so those lectures go up and things like that.
And then when I find really good stuff around the internet, I by-link to that as well. And I do little vlogs as well on just a single subject. So that’s all up there. And the idea is anybody can jump in and have a look at it.
And the driver behind that is people in faraway places with not very good resources, never going to get to a conference for asset management, or even in the developing countries, they are not also going to be able to buy the manuals or the literature.
They are not available, have heard about it somewhere. Hey, what’s this asset management where I can do my job better for my community. So, that’s the thinking.
So that’s the thinking. My master’s degree thesis was on asset management for developing countries and why it doesn’t stick there.
So, it’s a bit of a passion of mine, but that resource site I keep adding to it. I have a significant backlog of stuff to add at the moment, but that will happen over the next few months. Feel free to go and have a look, and there’s a sign-up area for free newsletter and things like that.
So just to encourage you if you are looking for resources, there is plenty of stuff there at Inframanage.com.