The first core component of Asset Management is assessing the current state of the assets. This component is probably the most straightforward. It is also, arguably, the most important as it underlies all other aspects of Asset Management. This step is critical to improving the water or wastewater utility's understanding of its system. Completing this step alone can greatly improve the overall operations and management of a utility.
This core component involves gathering information on the following basic questions:
- What assets do I own?
- Where are they?
- What condition are they in?
- What is their remaining useful life?
- What is their value?
- What type and amount of energy do they use?
After the key information on assets is gathered, it is important to create an asset inventory to store the data. This inventory will need to be maintained to ensure it is kept up to date and accurate. The utility may also want to establish a work order system that is tied to the asset inventory to manage asset maintenance and repairs and to track the costs of these activities over time.