Enhancing ISO 55001 Asset Management with Digital-First Tools and Strategies

Published on 22 Apr, 2024

Assets are a crucial part of any organization’s day-to-day operations and a host of financial and environmental outcomes hinge on their effective functioning and maintenance. Therefore, a dedicated Asset Management Strategy is a must-have for organizational efficiency and sustainability. 

Keeping in line with modern asset management strategies is the ISO 55001 standard - a highly focused global standard that sets forth a comprehensive framework for optimizing the lifecycle of assets.

In today’s relentless business landscape, with tightening budgets and resources, technology and digital tools are playing a pivotal role in reshaping industries. So embracing a digital-first approach is imperative for organizations striving to excel in asset management.

In this article, we explain how a digital-first approach can significantly enhance the implementation of ISO 55001 Asset Management Standard, with a particular focus on the built environment.

Understanding ISO 55001 and its Importance

About ISO 55001 Asset Management Standard

ISO 55001 is an international standard that outlines best practices in asset management. ISO 55001 specifies the requirements to establish, implement, manage, and continually improve an asset management system. It helps organizations manage their assets systematically, aligning asset management with broader organizational objectives to improve efficiency, reduce risk, and enhance profitability. 

ISO 55001 Compliance Benefits: Cost Savings and Lifecycle Management

Compliance with ISO 55001 helps organizations achieve considerable cost savings by optimizing asset utilization, reducing downtime, and extending asset lifespans. It also supports sustainable development by encouraging efficient resource usage and minimizing environmental impact.

ISO 55001 in the Built Environment

For the built environment, which includes infrastructure, real estate, and facilities, the ISO 55001 Asset Management Standard offers a blueprint for managing physical assets more effectively. This is critical for ensuring the safety, reliability, and longevity of structures and systems, from buildings to transportation networks.

A Digital-First Approach to ISO 55001 Asset Management

Integrating a digital-first approach with ISO 55001 can unlock unprecedented efficiency, accuracy, and sustainability for organizations in the built environment. This transformation is particularly critical when dissecting traditional steps for ISO 55001 compliance. 

1. Asset Management Planning:

This stage involves strategic asset planning and setting objectives aligned with organizational goals and stakeholder expectations. Currently, most processes at this stage exist in a semi-digital or physical state (on paper), or are stored in shared platforms but not directly integrated into workflows. A digitally native approach ensures a smoother transition by transforming these processes into dynamic, interconnected workflows. By doing so, organizations can leverage real-time data, promoting agility and informed decision-making.

2. Leadership and Culture:

Top management buy-in and a culture of continuous improvement are vital components of successful asset management. Traditionally, leadership and teams rely on lagging indicators, leading to reactive responses. A digital-first strategy introduces decision support systems and tools that enable the examination of leading indicators, fostering a proactive culture and allowing teams to respond swiftly to potential challenges, ultimately enhancing overall operational resilience.

3. Risk and Opportunity Management:

Traditionally, identifying and managing risk associated with assets has depended on ad-hoc or periodic assessments, combined with manual data entries and poor data quality checks. A digitally native approach integrates advanced analytics tools, facilitating real-time risk assessment and proactive management. This not only enhances risk mitigation but also contributes to improved overall asset performance and longevity.

4. Resource Allocation:

Efficient allocation of resources is pivotal for optimal asset management. The digital-first paradigm addresses this challenge by connecting the dots between overall Operations and Maintenance (O&M) processes and the various systems used in asset management. This holistic integration ensures a streamlined flow of information, minimizing bottlenecks, and enhancing resource utilization.

5. Performance Evaluation:

Regularly evaluating asset performance against benchmarks is essential for continuous improvement. Integrating with systems such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), the Internet of Things (IoT), and other operational data sources provides a comprehensive view of asset performance. This integration, coupled with Functional Design Specifications, not only ensures accurate evaluations but also empowers organizations to implement targeted improvements based on data-driven insights.

Navigating the Digital Transition in Asset Management

The journey towards a digital-first approach in asset management is laden with challenges. As industries transition towards more advanced and interconnected systems, the built environment, and Facility Management (FM) companies, in particular, find themselves at the forefront of this digital transformation.

Challenges in Digital Adoption

  1. Technological Integration:

The adoption of new technologies brings the challenge of integrating them with existing systems. This often raises concerns about the potential phase-out of current systems or the need for significant improvements to the existing technology stack. Organizations must strategize to either integrate new technologies without disrupting current operations or consider a phased transition that ensures continuity while embracing innovation.

  1. Workforce Adaptation:

The success of any digital transition relies heavily on the readiness and adaptability of the workforce. Training staff to use new digital tools and understand evolving processes is paramount. Organizations need comprehensive training programs that not only bridge the knowledge gap but also cultivate a culture of continuous learning. 

Essential Technology Stack Components

Let's look at three key components and evaluate their level of availability / deployment by FM organizations:

  1. Asset Management Software: Available

Asset Management Software forms the backbone of digital asset management, providing tools for asset tracking, maintenance scheduling, and lifecycle management. The readiness of this component is high, with solutions being widely deployed by FM companies.

  1. IoT Sensors and Devices: Probably Available

The integration of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices for real-time monitoring and data collection presents a transformative opportunity. While the readiness of this component may vary, the potential benefits in terms of enhanced visibility into asset performance and condition make it a compelling addition to the technology stack.

  1. Data Analytics Platforms: Largely Unavailable

Harnessing the power of data analytics is crucial for extracting actionable insights from large volumes of data. However, Data Analytics Platforms within the traditional technology stack are largely unavailable. Organizations must invest in robust analytics solutions to unlock the full potential of data-driven asset performance management.

Five ways the right technology can elevate a digitally native Asset Management Strategy

  1. Unlocking more value from your existing stack

By integrating with systems like CMMS, CAFM, BMS, and IoT sensors, data-driven analytics tools and systems can help you drive better outcomes and create new opportunities. This integration not only optimizes the current technology stack but offers a more comprehensive view of asset performance and conditions.

  1. Increasing Workforce Productivity

The most effective tools for asset management teams are the ones that introduce little to no change in the way the workforce operates and in their workflows, yet help them transition to a better way of work. Without changing or adding on extra digital interfaces, these solutions in turn enhance technology adoption and workforce productivity.

  1. Leadership Empowerment

Decision support tools play a crucial role in empowering leadership by offering insights into asset lifecycle management and maintenance regimes. These tools provide valuable suggestions based on data-driven analysis, enabling leaders to make informed decisions that align with organizational goals. The result is a more proactive and strategic approach to asset management, optimizing resource allocation and operational efficiency.

  1. Enhancing Data Quality

Xempla using its labelling framework 

Compliance processes often involve ad hoc and periodic assessments that require a high level of data quality. Innovative frameworks can help assess data quality by assigning scores to submissions. These assessments can then undergo an approval process, ensuring that data quality is maintained at the source (where it matters most), ultimately enhancing the reliability of decision-making processes.

  1. Performance Evaluation & Continuous Improvement

Technology-driven KPI reports provide a comprehensive and real-time view of asset performance, enabling teams to identify areas for improvement. With a focus on continuous improvement, organizations can refine their strategies, reduce operational inefficiencies, and enhance overall asset performance.

Over to you

In conclusion, the digital-first approach brings a paradigm shift to traditional asset management practices. It fosters enhanced accuracy, improved decision-making capabilities, cost-effectiveness, and scalability, positioning organizations to not just meet ISO 55001 compliance but to proactively navigate the challenges of the modern asset management landscape.

While the transition poses challenges, the long-term benefits for organizations in the built environment and beyond are substantial. Embracing this digital transformation is not just a step forward; it's a leap toward a more resilient, sustainable, and future-ready asset management ecosystem.

At Xempla, we’re building and constantly upgrading the tools that provide all the support FM O&M teams need to digitally augment their Asset Management processes and deliver efficiency and sustainability outcomes faster, better, and more cost-effectively.

Interested to learn more about Xempla? Book your personalized tour or start a conversation.