All too often there is requirement to physically verify assets in situ, in other words to do a survey.  The scope and nature of information to be gathered can vary significantly dependent on the business’s perceived objectives, but ultimately it is the ‘Asset Inventory/ Register’ with pertinent asset attributes and a likely inclusion of a condition assessment. The activity of asset surveying is not only labour intensive and costly, requiring consolidation of data and information sources, but requires careful consideration on what the outputs will deliver in terms of business benefits. So what are some of potential outputs are we talking about from the exercise? Data to be surveyed:

  • Asset inventory
    • Validation of asset inventory
    • Attribute data capture/verification
    • Asset – Type/ Manufacturer
    • Age -Auditable Maintenance History
    • Tag ID verification
  • Condition assessment and classification
  • Asset utilisation verification
  • Physical location, geographical and relationship to parent assets
  • System configuration capture/ verification
  • Local maintenance information and records

Objectives the survey will support:

  • Contractual due diligence
  • Statutory compliance -Statutory maintenance planning and assurance
  • Contractual Compliance, Performance Monitoring and Service Development
  • Maintenance planning and response
    • Location/ System (Parent/Child relationship, intuitive maintenance structures)
    • Forward maintenance planning
    • Identification of asset specific maintenance instructions and troubleshooting guides
    • Risk based maintenance planning
    • Operational availability 
      • Corrective maintenance response classification and capability
      • System development requirements for redundancy
      • Identification of assets having or requiring condition/ BMS monitoring
    • Level Of Repair Analysis
    • Spares, Scaling and Ranging
  • Cost planning- Identification of immediate repair/ replacement requirements
  • Life Cycle Cost and capital planning
    • Long term asset life planning
    • Major overhaul replacement spend profiling
  • Business Continuity Planning

The list is long….. but not exhaustive and there are information crossovers. Yes, you have probably read it thinking the outputs cannot be achieved by asset surveying information alone, but underlying information captured in surveys is key in deriving the outputs. Personally I have used and seen survey information (with varying levels of quality) that has not been challenged or tested pre survey to see if they will achieve end business modelling or wider asset management objectives. What you need to remember is to consider these types of outputs as part of survey planning. Is it not key to measure twice and cut once given the cost and investment of effort?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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