Canberra      Sydney      Brisbane

Asset Systems – Consolidation to Modernisation

Clear to me during research for this article, is that many Councils are still determining asset management strategies that best suits their needs.  Councils have no shortage of software options to choose from once they determine their actual software needs.

"Our research and experience also demonstrated many Councils who only have information in Financial Asset Registers generally employ a manual process using Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets to maintain assets information. This is an unsustainable and high-risk management practice. ”

For the purposes of this article, one asset software vendor has been ascribed for each Council (primarily based on dominant asset classes), but it should be mentioned that there are many Councils who utilise multiple asset vendors depending on asset classes.  In short, there are several Councils utilising multiple asset solutions within their organisation than indicated in our graph.

 

 

Referring to the data, it’s clear the major change is many one-off solutions where in play 10 years ago. It seems numerous councils are consolidating across a smaller number of solutions and that several who have manual solutions are looking to purchase operational asset solutions. There is also a tradeoff between the options of “best of breed” solutions and the asset solutions that are purchased as part of an ERP suite.

 

Our experience is that there is a growing backlog of asset maintenance actions within Council generally, and increasingly the pressure is building on organisations to implement an asset solution that provides excellent asset information capability.

 

Councils depend highly on this asset information and the condition of their assets in order to plan and determine how they optimise the limited funds available for asset renewals and replacements. They also rely on these systems to help align the asset planning with the community plans of the region the Council services.

 

I don’t intend to deeply focus on any particular vendor in an article of this length, but there are a number of vendor movements to mention.

  • Assetic have significantly grown their market share. Much of this movement is based on their move to the cloud, and their Strategic Asset Management solution that can help determine the spend of each Council. They also have good partnerships with ERP solution providers. They are now owned by Dude Solutions out of the United States. Dude also bought the Confirm product and both solutions are utilised within the Australian market.
  • Asset Finda has grown in prominence. They are a cloud solution with very solid credentials who have developed strong partnerships, especially with IT Vision. They have Strategic Asset Management functionality as well.
  • Even though we have included the name Infor in our data, it has now been sold to a Swedish company called Hexagon. This was only announced in July, so we are unaware of how the company will operate in Australia at this point.
  • TechnologyOne have been updating their Asset Management solution over time and made a significant acquisition of JRA to bolster the Strategic Asset Management capabilities. This solution integrates well to the rest of the TechnologyOne Enterprise Suite.
  • Conquest remains a strong competitor with some long-standing customers utilising this solution.

Asset Management is a specialised and important part of Council IT software requirements. The areas we believe need specific focus when examining Asset Management Solutions are:

  • Mobility – Staff want to be able to perform work orders, inspections, and gather relevant asset information in the field. Due to the remote locations’ assets are sometimes located, this may mean connectivity challenges may be present, so being able to access information in a connected or disconnected state is very beneficial.
  • Strategic Asset Management (SAM) – The ability to make informed decisions based on asset condition, degradation details, and funds available. This will ensure that Councils asset portfolio asset value is protected.
  • GIS Integration – Most Council asset staff do a lot of asset work within their GIS solutions. Connectivity to these solutions is essential.
  • ERP Integration – The asset solution will need to integrate to Customer Relationship Management, Purchasing, Inventory, Financial asset register, and costing information in addition to other areas. This should either be part of a suite or integrated through APIs. Councils should not go down a route that requires duplicate entry.

It is clear that an investment in an Asset Management solution is important to the overall operations of a Council but extending functionality to mobility and Strategic Asset Management is a great step forward for many Councils.

 

Speak to our Specialist Advisor