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In our last article Will Qatar Be An Asset Management Model For Sports Stadiums, I mentioned some of the reasons an asset can be considered temporary. Whether or not an asset is considered temporary or permanent, proper maintenance using a CMMS should still be performed.

An accountant will describe a temporary asset in terms of capitalization, balance sheets or intended life span. However, there are other considerations for labeling an asset as temporary or permanent. Some of the factors that determine whether an asset is temporary or permanent are how they are being used like the sports stadiums in Qatar or portable classrooms at schools and universities and their level of maintenance care.

Schools and Universities Portable Maintenance

Great maintenance practices can lengthen the useful life of an asset virtually transforming it into a permanent asset. A good example of this is the use of portables by schools and universities. As a result of growing student populations and/or class size statutes, many schools have had portable or temporary classrooms built.

Generic modern empty unoccupied office building

In many cases the portables were designed to provide extra classroom space on a temporary basis while new schools or permanent additions were added. However, many schools have had to use these buildings longer than expected due to budget cut backs.

Extending the Life of Temporary School Assets

Portable classrooms are notorious for poor quality, higher energy costs, electrical issues and rapid deterioration. For schools using good CMMS asset maintenance programs, the useful life cycle of the portable can be extended by:

  • Inspection of portables for:
    • roof leaks
    • cracked windows or windows that do not close properly
    • doors that do not close properly
    • insulation
    • ramp conditions
    • electrical checks
    • weather stripping
    • paint
  • Scheduling timely preventive maintenance on inspection results
  • Faster response to work requests and repair work orders

Effect of Poor Maintenance for Temporary School Assets

In contrast, schools and universities that treat portables as disposable assets by not providing regular maintenance often discover that:

  • Portables need repairs more often
  • Repairs are more expensive than a little preventive maintenance would have cost
  • The portables become unusable faster and require replacement. This now adds to the capital budget woes for schools and universities
  • Energy costs such as electric and gas for HVAC skyrocket
  • Liability increases as a result of neglect

When it comes to extending a temporary assets useful life cycle using a CMMS can have long-term costs advantages for schools and universities. The advantages of a school CMMS do not stop there. Implementing a CMMS solution also lowers TCO of all school and university assets by:

  • Automating the work order life cycle
  • Tracking the location, condition and maintenance history of all equipment
  • Lowering overtime costs due to unplanned repairs
  • Enabling maintenance teams to do more work with the same amount of resources
  • Lowering energy costs
Reducing School Capital Expenditures

Temporary assets does not always mean that they are inexpensive. Portable classrooms are not cheap. Extending their useful life cycle reduces the need for capital expenditures. This money can then be allocated for major repair and replacements such as roofing, electrical upgrades, sport facilities and/or the reinstatement of club activities. When used wisely a CMMS can stop our nation’s schools and universities from looking like an abandoned building complex.

Some assets are truly temporary in that it is known they will not last long, are cheap and it is more cost effective to use them to failure with minimal maintenance. Regardless of their designation, assets that have regular scheduled preventive maintenance last longer, have greater energy efficiencies and a lower TCO. For budget restricted schools a CMMS solution is the answer to the question to how they can squeeze more out of assets.