An innovative way to capture asset condition data during lockdown

The global pandemic continues to impact us, with lockdowns enforced across regions of Australia and New Zealand. In these affected regions, on-site property inspections and condition surveys cannot be undertaken.

To help our Customers move forward during this time, we’ve applied innovative thinking to develop a method of producing an asset register with approximate condition data. This method utilises some of the less well-known Tools and functionality within the SPM software, such as the templating capability and service of "virtual data modelling".

An excellent example of this is our support to the Aged Care sector in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The challenge for NSW based Aged Care Retirement Village Operators is to meet the new Aged Care Village Guidelines. The requirement is for a compliant Asset Register, Asset Management Plan (AMP) and a 3 Year works programme which must be developed and made available for review and approval by the relevant Aged Care residents before March 2022.

The Guidelines require a greater level of asset data than most have previously used in their asset management planning processes. Therefore, each village Operator must develop an Asset Register incorporating all components with a replacement cost of $1000 or greater or, for any smaller items, such as multiple light fittings within a room with an aggregated value of $1000 or more. No fees or charges can be levied for any asset or component not listed in the Asset Register. This would typically require a property survey, including a condition assessment to create the asset register and identify the lifecycle requirements, any defects or compliance issues to drive the specified AMP requirements and the necessary three-year works forecast.

Given the vulnerability of Aged Care sites generally during the Pandemic, and the current lockdowns in NSW, it is not possible for surveyors to conduct on-site surveys. Accordingly, utilising the template functionality, it is possible to develop a virtual data model for each room type across Villa configurations.

Working initially with the Village Facilities management Team, then subsequently with staff permitted on-site to take relevant photos, the virtual Models are improved and refined to represent the components found in each room or common area space across the village. This approach allows for:

  • Creation of a surrogate condition profile for Villas refurbished at different points in time.
  • Production of a good platform for developing the required Asset Register and a draft AMP.

The process described above leverages the interaction between the people with the intermit knowledge of the facilities,  the skeleton staff on-site to capture photos and video to build the knowledge base required. This knowledge capture and Zoom meetings can confirm and refine the Asset Register and affirm or amend the assumed condition of the relevant components within each space optimising the virtual model. We also leverage templated data from our asset reference library, including useful life ranges; unit rates of replacement/renewal; minimum condition grades; and criticality of service delivery, adding additional value.

This approach can provide a valuable surrogate for the survey data enabling the development of a relevant Asset Register, AMP and Works programme pending the ability to have surveyors attend and undertake an on-site verification audit.

The verification audit will be a much faster process than the standard survey. While it is early in the process, we anticipate it will produce the required outcome at the same level of investment as the traditional approach.

While the Pandemic continues to complicate our working lives, by working together, using an innovative and consultative approach we can continue to move forward.

Contact us to learn if this approach could help you.