Infrastructure Asset Management Definition
Infrastructure asset management is a specific term of asset management focusing on physical, rather than financial assets. Infrastructure asset management is the integrated, multidisciplinary set of strategies in sustaining infrastructure assets such as water pipes, electric and gas, sewer lines, roads, bridges, and railways. Generally, the process focuses on the later stages of a facility’s life cycle, specifically maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement, and is critical in reducing risks. Infrastructure asset management becomes extremely critical for underground utilities. Implementing a smart mapping or GIS solution is a critical component of a modern infrastructure asset management solution.
What Is Infrastructure Asset Management?
Infrastructure asset management is a discipline to provide a more systematic approach to the management of infrastructure assets. The benefits of infrastructure asset management are an improved asset management process, enhanced customer satisfaction, governance, and accountability, risk management, financial efficiency, and sustainability. By looking at infrastructure assets with a holistic approach, organizations can enjoy a great ROI and provide a safer environment.
What Does Infrastructure Asset Management Do?
The basic of infrastructure asset management is to intervene at strategic points in an asset’s normal life cycle to extend is service life and to ensure is it operational. Typically, a long-life-cycle asset requires multiple intervention points including a combination of repair and maintenance activities and even overall rehabilitation. Costs decrease with planned maintenance rather than unplanned maintenance. Yet, excessive planned maintenance increases costs. Thus, a balance between the two must be recognized.
While each improvement raises an asset’s condition curve, each rehabilitation resets an asset’s condition curve, and complete replacement returns condition curve to a new level or upgraded level. Therefore, strategically timing these interventions help in extending an asset’s life cycle. A simple working definition of asset management would be: first, assess what you have; then, assess what condition it is in; and lastly, assess the financial burden to maintain it at a targeted condition.
What Are Infrastructure Asset Management Tools?
Infrastructure asset management can include a variety of tools. An often overlooked tool is GIS. The versatility and functionality of a GIS system allow for the control and management of all assets and land-focused (location) activities. Most assets are interconnected and share proximity, and this connectivity is possible through the use of GIS. GIS-centric infrastructure asset management standardizes data and allows interoperability, providing users the capability to reuse, coordinate, and share information in an efficient and effective manner.
Who Benefits from Infrastructure Asset Management?
Integrated infrastructure Asset Management is used by the following sectors:
- Higher Education – Infrastructure asset management helps colleges and universities know where to build and develop comprehensive grant plans. Design and maintain a safe campus. Get in front of issues with a data-based maintenance schedule.
- Construction Companies – Uncover hidden risk by understanding underground infrastructure asset locations. Track progress with an integrated view of all plans with on-site views.
- Commercial Real Estate – Get a handle on property maintenance schedules and annual costs with infrastructure asset management tools. Reduce costs by optimizing repair work based on location. Understand the true costs of expansion with full knowledge of underground asset locations.
- Large Business – Maintain building and campus health with a complete smart map view of your locations using infrastructure asset management tools. Create safety zones, emergency plans, and community areas based on a full view of the property.
- Health Care – Understand quickly expansion areas for emergencies knowing where critical facilities are located such as water and power using infrastructure asset management tools. See hidden dangers underground before expanding and reduce maintenance costs with a location-based plan.
- Casinos – Reduce risks and security by knowing where all assets are located by implementing an infrastructure asset management system. Manage property flow and configurations based on a full picture of each property.
- Non-Profits – Managing property is not the first goal of non-profits but often they are called on to caretake important community land or holdings. Historic sites, parks, museums, discovery centers, clinics are just a few of the sites that can be better managed by bringing infrastructure asset information together using location.
- Cemeteries – Smarter map-based infrastructure asset management helps cemeteries be more efficient in maintenance, remodeling, and expansion.
- Local Governments – Areas such as parks and libraries while small are complex. Underground infrastructure is often not on the city’s utility maps but in file drawers and CAD drawings. Bringing these to light helps reduce costs and lower risks.
What Are the Issues with Using Infrastructure Asset Management tools without a Map?
Map and/or GIS-based infrastructure asset management solutions are critical. Beyond maintenance, planning, and design for remodeling, expanding, or replacing facilities requires knowledge about what currently exists, its age, makeup, capacity, life expectancy, and where it is physically located. Guessing about any of this is very risky. And to build a new facility, expand an existing one, or perform a major remodel without properly documenting every aspect of the project is akin to continuing a cycle of abuse.
Even well-intentioned professionals who work to organize and store boxes of paper plan sets or CDs are doing little to protect against future problems. We reduce risk as we increase certainty. Knowing what exists and where it is located, to the highest extent possible, is the key to responsible ownership, stewardship, and future success. The technology exists to research, understand, document, and organize the existing details for any facility and have that information at your fingertips 24/7. As we witness with PG&E in northern California, as infrastructure assets age and calamities occur on a more frequent basis than ever before, it’s becoming an urgent matter to get this done.
How Does UVARA Support Infrastructure Asset Management?
We build solutions that solve fundamental infrastructure asset management problems. We strive for minimal configuration and no customization. Our users rely on us to deliver a complete solution with their data. Solutions include all types of users and information. Our flagship solution, UVARA, is focused on the full lifecycle of infrastructure assets starting with the engineering-planning and construction phase and continues through operation and maintenance and financial planning.
We understand and see the need to addresses the infrastructure asset management challenges facing those responsible for commercial and public sector facilities including municipalities, educational institutions, utility companies, hospitals, and medical centers, and their architecture, engineering, contractor and risk management, commercial real estate and insurance partners.
What are the Benefits of Infrastructure Asset Management?
Infrastructure asset management, especially with a GIS and location, component have many benefits.
Better forecasting and budgeting
By seeing the big picture below and above the ground ahead of time, you can make smarter decisions.
Better design and construction
With spatially accurate data about important infrastructure right at your fingertips, planners and designers can properly locate new assets in the right place the first time around.
Better construction outcomes
When all sub-contractors work from a common set of plans – a single source of truth – construction happens right on schedule.
Better maintenance and operations
An accurate and current visual picture of all your assets helps you prioritize and allocate resources wisely.
Fewer trips to your plan room
With all of your maps and information online in a single, secure platform, there’s no more wasted time on trips to plan room and less worry about losing documents.
Identify high-risk information gaps
We field check your information and help plug the holes in data. Confidence grows when your design, construction, and maintenance teams can easily identify missing information.
Preserve institutional knowledge
As a generation of professionals begins to retire or personnel change jobs, your institutional knowledge is preserved in a central repository accessible by the next generation of managers.
Reduce your liability
When you don’t see the big picture, costly mistakes happen. We help you reduce mishaps by delivering the most current information about what’s above, on and below the ground.
Better emergency preparedness and disaster planning
When a crisis happens, we bring order to chaos. Our platform can quickly share information about your facilities or asset with public safety and disaster recovery professionals.