Asset budgets are often the third largest line item (after personnel and information technology) for many organizations. Because of this, asset managers in both the public and private sectors need to present compelling arguments and demonstrate strategic value to core missions in framing asset decisions. With this in mind, ASTM International Committee E53 on Property Management Systems has more recently begun to add to their practice standards defining methodologies that can be used by property management professionals in dealing with assets.
Committee E53’s first standard to address this issue was E 2452, Practice for Equipment Management Process Maturity (EMPM) Model, which was approved in 2005. A new standard, E 2495, Practice for Asset Utility, continues the committee’s work in this area. Practice E 2495 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E53.05 on Property Management Maturity.
Practice E 2495 establishes a quantitative process for asset utility, an asset priority index to provide managers with a method to prioritize assets based on predefined criteria.
“The idea of using an asset priority index has been well received because, being based on Thomas Saaty’s analytical hierarchy process, which is a well-established mathematical model, the methodology can be applied to many property management scenarios,” says Susan Avsec, an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton’s Economic Business and Analysis group.
According to Avsec, Practice E 2495 is an expansion of the U.S. Navy’s concept of a mission dependency index, which is used to score the relative importance of assets and facilities with respect to their criticality to the Navy’s mission. Practice E 2495 uses broad decision criteria that will serve the wider property management community in strategies such as aligning assets with missions, developing capital investment plans, allocating dollars for critical asset security upgrades, performing benefit-cost analyses, making acquisition/disposition decisions, and engaging in any task where creating a rank or priority is useful.
“Practice E 2495 can have a wide application to many decision making processes with respect to property management,” says Avsec. “For instance, it can be used at a high-level strategic planning stage by capital asset managers and planners who command a significant budget or at the subject matter expert level where everyday processes and procedures are implemented.”
“Committee E53 is a relatively young ASTM committee and our ongoing goal has been to engage more professionals and enjoy a broader participation,” notes Avsec. “The standards are dynamic documents that can only mature and improve with more input and discussion from various points of view.”
Avsec says that the committee would like to see participation in its standards developing activities from people involved in all aspects of property management, including healthcare, state and local governments, universities and other educational institutions, information technology asset managers, and property managers tasked with environmental concerns.
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For further technical information, contact Susan Avsec, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cleveland, Ohio (phone: 216/696-1900; firstname.lastname@example.org). Committee E53 meets May 31-June 7, 2007, in conjunction with the NPMA National Education Seminar in Seattle, Wash. For membership or meeting information, contact Christi Sierk, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9728; email@example.com).