The four steps to implementing a successful asset management plan

Last updated on 13 June 2024

Asset management planning is essential for enhancing the visibility of your aged care assets. [Image by vectorjuice on Freepik]

The overall quality of aged care facilities has become increasingly important with Government regulations ensuring that residential aged care providers do not ignore the condition of buildings their residents call home.

One example of how the Government is working to uplift building standards in aged care is the National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines, released in late 2023. Although the guidelines aren’t legislated, they were created to guide providers and architects when building or renovating facilities to improve the quality of life through the physical environment.

Beyond that, it has become increasingly clear that building quality is integral to meeting modern compliance requirements. Therefore, providers must take the initiative to understand where improvements are necessary so both their physical and financial assets are in order.

This can be challenging when you have multiple sites and contractors to manage or are lacking a complete and accurate asset register.

Asset management planning is essential for aged care providers and retirement village operators looking to improve visibility over their assets. For aged care specifically, the desired outcome is to enhance the service environment’s performance, resulting in better conditions and care for residents – much like the Design Principles and Guidelines goals.

This improved performance is achievable through several avenues, including strategic capital works planning, optimised asset replacements, reduced breakdowns, and increased quality asset data to drive purchasing and budget decisions. Embedding an asset management plan in everyday processes will ensure ongoing strategies are implemented.

Expert help can deliver impactful outcomes in all highlighted areas. MDFM is Australia’s only specialist aged care and retirement living industry facilities management organisation. Their asset management services are available from start to finish to assist providers, and they helped hello leaders explore asset management plan development and implementation.

Stage 1: Develop and document an asset management strategy and plan

The first stage of asset management planning lays the foundations for ongoing success and efficiency. Here, you’re developing the framework and documentation of relevant policies and processes of the asset management strategy and plan. 

Development and documentation includes extrapolating and communicating the link between asset management and the corporate strategic plan for the organisation, as well as considering other internal policies and objectives that relate to asset management.  

Additionally, you want to define the roles and responsibilities of key staff members. Operating with staff across multiple locations can often result in double-handing of important processes, resulting in maintenance or financial delays. Recognising where workforce efficiency can be improved is vital for asset management planning.

A long-term strategic plan must consider the current and future needs of residents and staff, plus regulatory requirements and budget constraints. It also outlines how assets will be maintained, renovated, or expanded over time.

Documenting your asset management plan provides the foundation for the organisation. Once this is in place, the following stages are the projects undertaken to implement the asset management plan so that it is integrated into daily operations and appropriately influences asset maintenance, asset replacements and capital works planning. 

Stage 2: Property condition report

Property condition reports are an excellent tool to establish the base state of each site within your portfolio. It’s particularly valuable for older facilities, or facilities with common and recurring issues that are draining resources. 

It’s critical to understand what is already available and what requires upgrading or replacement in future plans. The property condition report involves assessing existing assets, including buildings, fixtures and fittings, infrastructure, and plant and equipment. 

This report pays dividends to countless stakeholders, including facility managers, owners, investors and residents. Each facility’s report highlights defects, potential risks or opportunities for investment with accurate data aiding with capital works planning and forecasting for five-to-ten-year plans. 

In addition to helping with planning and strategy, the report also identifies potential risks and minor defects that can be resolved before they escalate into a complex and costly repair.

Stage 3: Asset register

A comprehensive and accurate register of the assets in your facilities is essential for compliance as well as tapping into powerful data to inform your asset purchasing, maintenance and replacement schedule. 

Referencing is crucial here. Staff need a detailed asset register featuring integral information such as the asset’s description, location, condition, purchase date, purchase price, and other relevant insights. 

A high-quality asset register is most efficient when managed in a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS): the final stage of establishing an asset management plan.

Stage 4: CMMS implementation

A CMMS is where the magic happens. Maintenance works can be proactively scheduled for each individual asset, while reactive requests can be raised and resolved. Double-handling is reduced as a single system operates across all sites and key staff can enjoy robust ongoing asset life cycling and maintenance management. 

All of the data collected in the system can be utilised for ongoing strategy development, while there is an easily accessible history to track costs, improve budgeting and take away the stress from asset audits. 

A wide range of systems are available on the market at varying levels of cost and functionality. MDFM can assist in selecting the most appropriate one with independent advice and feedback on their user experience. 

If you want to review your aged care asset register or asset management plan, contact MDFM to work with your team to find innovative solutions. They can help you work from scratch in developing a plan, or provide support to enhance existing plans. 

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