While there is no official definition of “asset management software,” this document refers to applications designed to help you collect, manage, store, visualise and/or analyze your asset-related data. Options range significantly in price and functionality from inexpensive applications like programmed excel spreadsheets, to more costly and integrated software suites that can incorporate any mix of inventory, financial, maintenance, and asset life-cycle functions.
- Do we need it?
Asset management is a business practice, not a software solution. Many communities find that a spreadsheet is all they need to get started.
- Are we ready for it?
Software is only useful when it is populated with good data and supports sound business practices. Before buying software, collect and organize your data and put your asset management processes in place. It is also critical to allocate budget for keeping data current and maintaining the software system.
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- Make software a team decision
Asset management is cross-functional. The purchase of asset management software should include the same group of professionals from across your organization.
- Know the outputs you want to get from your software
What analysis do you want the software to do? What business processes will it feed? How do you want the information to be displayed or reported?
- Hint: Try mapping your requirements using a spreadsheet first!
- Training and implementation support are essential to success
Have a plan for training staff and a succession plan in case key staff leave. It takes time and energy to adopt a new software system – budget for training and implementation support for staff across your organization.
Questions to ask suppliers
This content was developed by the Technical Working Group of FCM's Municipal Asset Management Program. The Technical Working Group is comprised of an exceptional group of municipal practitioners and experts from across Canada.