Think location to improve asset management

Three ways to get more value from your assets using location analysis

What if your existing workforce could complete twice the amount of work in a week?  What if you knew exactly where to locate your next store or customer service to maximise profitability?  And what if you could easily identify and remove “bad” assets to halve your exposure to risk?

It would make a real difference to your business, wouldn’t it?

Organisations can make substantial gains by using location analysis to improve the management of their assets.  Whether these assets are people, equipment, infrastructure or property, they all have a physical location (fixed or mobile). Some organisations have hundreds of mobile employees, multiple business locations and thousands, if not millions, of assets from refuse bins and pipes to company cars and warehouses.  By gaining a detailed and accurate understanding of the locations of all these assets, organisations can operate more efficiently, save money and reduce risk. 

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Specifically, there are three ways in which location analysis can improve asset management:

  1. Direct employees to the locations where and when they can be most effective
  2. Businesses can use location analysis to align the activities of their workforce with their customer locations and then equip their employees with mobile solutions to enable them to work more efficiently.  A housing association empowered its staff to complete inspection reports while visiting properties, and this use of location-based technology led to a 50% time saving.  In the public sector, police forces use location analysis to direct police officers to precisely those areas where crime and anti-social behaviour is most prevalent, at the time most incidents occur.  They can then be highly effective in reducing crime with limited numbers of officers. 
  3. Optimise the locations of services and operations
  4. Location analysis is a critical tool for retailers, helping them find the best locations for new stores, based on an in-depth analysis of customer demand, demographics, competitor activity and transport links in specific localities.  However, it can also be used to help health authorities make decisions about where to open new health clinics to make them accessible to at-risk communities.  In the energy industry, location analysis plays a vital role in helping companies consider possible sites for wind turbines, taking into account thousands of factors from average wind speed to bird migratory routes, the proximity of residential housing and natural habitats.
  5. Identify assets that pose a potential risk to business profitability
  6. Water companies use location analysis to help them manage tens of thousands of miles of underground pipework.  They identify assets that are getting old or have a tendency to fail and use this information to inform maintenance and replacement work.  By acting proactively, they can minimise leaks, reduce the need for more costly emergency repairs and improve customer satisfaction.  Equally, multinational businesses use location analysis to see which of their global manufacturing plants, transportation hubs and warehouses are at risk from factors such as flooding, extreme weather and political unrest.  They can then relocate critical operations to reduce the risk, or plan contingencies that will enable them to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster.   

Asset management is a challenge faced by organisations across a wide range of industries, from airports and utilities to housing, insurance and retail.  Companies including Wales and West Utilities, Homes in Havering, the Cooperative, Willis, The Forestry Commission and Strathclyde Police are leading the way in using location analysis to manage assets more intelligently.  Whether their assets are police officers, underground pipes, property, trees or supermarkets, these enlightened businesses are maximising the value they gain. 

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