Keep money in your pocket with IOT and smart inspection software

Coins growing trees out of them depicting financial growth

Money being measured by vernier calipers


The way you are handling your asset management is costing you money, from equipment downtime to searching through hundreds, if not thousands of pieces of paper for that one inspection document. A smart inspection platform has the potential to save you money - who wouldn't want to save money?


All business owners have days where expenses cannot be pinpointed but it feels as though cash is slowly flowing out of the business and time has to be invested in determining the cause of these expenses. No new assets have been acquired recently, there has been no increase in staff numbers, a potential decline in productivity and yet the money continues to trickle out. Where is it going and how can the metaphorical hole be plugged?


Investigating unknown expenses

Often in the investigation of these expenses, it comes to light that existing assets are costing the business far more than originally anticipated or budgeted for with no one having an overarching view of this or an understanding of the reasons why the expenses are there. Over and above the expenses, time has now been committed by members of the team to carry out reviews and make recommendations, potentially very costly recommendations, on ways to reduce the costs from equipment overhauls to replacement. Great! There are recommendations to be considered but how can you ensure that you are not having the same challenge a year or two down the line? This is where efficient asset management can shift your business from the example above to a ‘well oiled machine’.


You can always opt for an excel spreadsheet to monitor the performance of equipment, and assign a member or two from the team to be responsible for ongoing monitoring and to flag any areas that are cause for concern; but there is another way to approach this challenge read our article “How smart inspections will revolutionize your business” to delve into the details of manual versus digital asset inspections and management.


We will look into two of the most common expenses related to the management of assets that could be classified to some as hidden expenses that were not anticipated well in advance and addressed sufficiently upfront to help keep your business on track financially.


Manual Asset Management

So, you have your spreadsheet and you are keeping track of the performance of your assets. That is great, a step in the right direction, but how much is it costing you to keep all the information up to date and on track? There is one member of your team who is responsible for monitoring and measuring asset performance but the information is coming through from multiple sources; this team member is one of your most efficient so he doesn’t only take into consideration the fact that a service has been carried out according to the job card. He ensures that all details on the job card have been updated accurately, he requests that the technicians take photos before and after the service to validate the state of that particular piece of equipment. The job card for the relevant service is checked and all is confirmed to be on track but to know that the information is accurate he will check the photos that have been submitted to him via email. 


If there are any queries down the line, the spreadsheet can be referred to in order to ascertain when the most recent service was carried out but insurance requires images to be assessed for verification purposes - now hundreds, if not thousands of documents need to be reviewed for that one correct record to be provided and suddenly the team member looking after this element of the business has lost half of his day on work that has already been done - time that he had allocated to something else and should not have been spent filtering through paperwork. Using a Smart Inspection Platform would have saved countless hours on this, never mind saving the planet as there is no need for all the paperwork anymore. Take, for example, the Platinum Mine North West Province, they had an incident in 2019 where one of their front-end loaders rolled down an embankment. The vehicle itself was damaged and the driver was injured. Had the mine not been able to submit evidence showing that the machine and operator had been cleared to work to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) the mine may have had to be shut down. Using the AssetPool Smart Inspection platform all of this evidence was submitted to the DMR within minutes and the mine was able to continue running. For details of this example and others read our case studies on how many companies have benefitted from moving to our smart inspection tool.


Equipment downtime

There is nothing quite as frustrating as having an expensive asset unable to work due to a breakdown; particularly when it is a breakdown that could have in some way been anticipated or prevented. With so much capital invested in these assets you want to ensure that they are performing to maximum capacity for the full duration of their lifespan; this entails regular maintenance and upkeep of each individual asset. Like your car needs to be serviced at regular intervals the same is true for factory equipment, heavy duty vehicles and even air conditioning systems. You can monitor these elements on a spreadsheet, incorporating reminders in your calendar but this is also a time consuming exercise and relies on an individual within your company maintaining the information and driving execution. Should this person become ill for an extended period of time or forget to schedule one of the services, it could result in a significant (and unnecessary expense) for your business. If you have a detailed history of the performance of the pieces of equipment that you use in your facility you will start to see trends in the performance of the equipment and know which spares you need to have on standby at what intervals; this will eliminate the possibility of equipment being down for an extended period while you wait on that one specific bolt that you need to import from another country and reduce the number of spares that you need to keep onsite for that ‘just in case’ situation. It will also ensure that all members of your team are able to carry out their duties to the best of their abilities. These examples contribute to efficiencies within your organization, reduce working capital being invested in spares and eliminate time wasting activities.


Keep money in the pockets of your business

With cash not sitting in spares and staff costs to filter through countless pieces of paper, you are allowing yourself room to invest your money where it should be, growing your business. And ask yourself the question: “who can afford to not save money on unnecessary costs?”


Michael Kirk

Specialist in process management, digital transformation and change management! Passionate about our businesses, it's people, friends and customers we help on a daily basis.

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