Companies make significant investments in solution offerings and then they need to ensure the solution they deploy not only meet the needs of their business stakeholders and end users, (specifically around collaboration and workflow), but also provides a return on investment (ROI).
CASM is a solution offering that connects people, processes, and technology, amplifying workplace productivity and increasing the value of your asset lifecycle, your brand, and your organisation.
The purpose of this paper is to provide you and your Project Team with guidelines to ensure a seamless implementation and the smooth and successful adoption of CASM and long-term ROI.
By this stage, you should have already evaluated your existing environment and have a clear and documented understanding of:
- Policies, procedures and constraints, specifically around assets and asset control;
- Workflows of the asset tracking processes per department or team;
- Relevant operating systems, backup procedures and security access details;
- All legacy data that must be integrated/ uploaded onto CASM ensure naming conventions and formatting is compatible.
To prevent unnecessary delays, downtime or ‘curve balls’ at installation phase, we recommend you make use of the CASM Support Team to assist in analysing and documenting these workflow processes and the organizational architecture. We also recommend you include in the initial planning phase a test run (POC) to ensure the type of data being entered isn’t corrupt or incorrectly formatted.
Implementing and deploying enterprise solutions is complex at both a strategic and technical level. It requires a well-planned, documented and clearly communicated roadmap with measurable goals and objectives that your Project Team can realistically achieve.
To scope out the project, you need to look at:
- Establishing executive sponsorship;
- Setting project goals, timelines and priorities and measurable indicators of successful implementation and usage;
- Setting up a project team;
- Designing strong processes that support your organization’s business objectives and corporate governance;
- Training and long-term considerations.
Secure an Executive Champion & Project Board
Successful projects require leadership buy-in and a clearly identified executive champion to elevate the profile of the project – which in turn will impact adoption and viability of the project in the short and long-term.
The project champion will be the top-management representative for your project, the ultimate decision maker and will be responsible for securing budget.
Having the support and active participation of an executive team is also recommended. Sometimes referred to as the Project Board, these are the management stakeholders from the Business. The Project Board will be responsible for key project decisions, approve scope changes, give guidance and help resolve interdepartmental issues.
Create a business design
A business design scopes out the goals, (measurable) deliverables, team responsibilities and timings around the project: it will ultimately justify the investment in the CASM system.
A good starting point is that you document and measure the way things are currently done around contract management and asset tracking and what this costs in terms of time, effort, and resources. Then against this benchmark, you can project and measure any cost-savings in time, effort, and resources achieved once the CASM system is deployed.
You also need to have a clearly documented outline of exactly what each department in the business is expecting and needing CASM to accomplish, and in turn, what the Project Team requires form them to ensure a successful rollout and adoption of the software. Bear in mind that CASM will fundamentally change the way these people work. Prevent unnecessary resistance and manage expectations by spending time and working closely with these Users at planning phase.
The project plan should document all the tasks, dependencies and timelines associated with the installation, on boarding, implementation and roll-out of CASM. Project components like risks and challenges, testing, training and customisation of the software should also be part of this project planning phase, with priorities and timelines clearly planned, set out and communicated to the relevant team members and stakeholders.
Build a Project Team
A common mistake when rolling out large software installation to a wide and/or diverse user base, particularly when the software is going to change business processes and workflow, is inadequate user involvement and training. An installation project rolled-out in isolation will be a failure – we recommend you get the users involved early by having representatives from these three main groups in your Project Team:
- Business managers (departments);
- IT managers and support staff;
- Key Users.
The Project Team is responsible for the planning and execution of the roll-out of CASM. They will be CASM champions and be in a position to workshop, train and inspire the entire organization to fully discover the productivity and quality improvements CASM offers.
Note: do not make this team too large if you want to achieve real business results in a realistic timeframe. Core decisions or difficulties need to be dealt with quickly and effectively and too large a group (especially if your organisation is geographically dispersed) can become too consultative and not robust enough to make clear headway.
Create a CASM Asset Manager role
During the initial stages of the implementation and rollout, someone should “own” the system and become the single point of contact for issues, training requirements or setting out best practice guidelines with regards to asset tagging and on boarding data into the CASM system. This role is critically important to the implementation and ongoing success of the project. As the initiator and spokesperson for CASM at the organization, this role probably belongs to you.
Build an Implementation Team
One of the many advantages of purchasing CASM is that it is locally developed and Paperserve’s commitment to our client base is that we’re continuously improving the software through customer feedback.
However, if CASM is to successfully and continuously streamline operations, reduce costs and optimize asset lifecycles within your constantly changing organization, you need a dedicated CASM implementation team.
This team would be responsible for identifying ways to automate processes, integrate and share data with other systems, and provide users with tools such as advanced search processes and browser capabilities. They would be responsible for continued training on the CASM tool as well as monitoring and managing future security, compliance, and reporting requirements and trends, in-line with the strategic growth and needs of your organization.
Implement in Stages
Paperserve has assisted in the deployment of CASM at a variety of (different sized) customers and industries, and have found that the best approach is a staged one, that allows for testing, training, user feedback and additional customisation of the CASM software where needed.
As previously mentioned, large-scale and geographically dispersed software implementation projects can be complex at a strategic and company level. In the case of CASM, not only are workflow processes and personnel roles being potentially challenged, but CASM also affects data models, product master data sets, naming conventions, and existing processes. A phased implementation allows you to mitigate technology and security risks, while still ensuring seamless integration and smooth adoption of this powerful new asset and contract management tool at all levels within the organization.
Quick wins and phased rollout
If your environment comprises numerous branches and departments, we recommend you identify the three or four departments that have a mix of simple and complex asset tracking requirements, and most importantly, include quick adopters who will probably be champions for CASM. This will allow you to establish some quick wins that you can then use as showcase examples for the rest of the organisation.
Establish Governance Policies
Constant intake of assets
For your implementation and rollout of CASM to be successful, you need to be confident that the fixed asset data that you are capturing in the system is accurate and validated. If your asset register data is in various formats or versions, distributed to one or more systems, and/or is received from external agencies and partners, we suggest establishing a well-thought out plan to streamline, verify and automate intake of data. Consider a manual validation process if all else fails.
The investment and thoroughness of the data capture will result in either the most accurate information possible being populated into the CASM system, or a case of “garbage in, garbage out”.
Tag assets with proper metadata
Metadata is the ‘data that provides information about other data’. It is the descriptive and administrative text that describes the assets being tagged in CASM.
The more meaningful the metadata details, the easier it is to find assets and reduce user frustration. We recommend you nominate a ‘power user’ whose responsibility it is to review incoming assets for consistency before the asset is released for consumption. This will ensure that the assets can be found quickly and accurately and the system’s naming conventions and descriptions are normalized and useful to the entire organization.
Implement benchmarks, auditability, metrics, and reporting
THE CASM dashboard gives a graphical overview and reports on the Assets, alerts and usage of the system. Particularly at this initial stage, the CASM Asset manager needs to monitor this dashboard closely to make sure that CASM is being optimally and thoroughly rolled out and used.
Some key metrics that would help in tracking user adoption are:
- Number of overdue tasks
- Progress of linked contracts and assets
- Number of assets falling into an alert status
- Data capture for correct presentation on dashboard
Train your users
To ensure the long-term success and operation of CASM, we recommend you put in place a quality program that is revisited and updated regularly.
This type of training should cover all the policies and workflow processes that have been changed or where corporate governance has stipulations in place to ensure the value of a well-managed asset management system. While CASM might not be accessed by everyone within your organisation, some level of understanding and communication will be needed to fully understand how workflows could influence the integrity of the asset tracking data.
NOTE: To ensure the continual adoption and effective use of CASM, do not fall behind with documenting your use cases, policies and procedures. These will form the basis of your training program and will be particularly useful when training new users or revisiting the training program.
Identify power users and empower them
Power users in different departments are the primary drivers of early adoption in their group. Giving them responsibilities such as metadata validation, security levels for their departments, and participation in internal meetings on the project gets them involved and connected so that feedback is heard and addressed quickly.
They can also provide valuable operational challenges related to assets within the organization.
Arrange periodic reviews with key users
In addition to identifying power users in various departments, management should hold periodic meetings with the key business users to hear their concerns and requirements. This maintains momentum for the initiative, allows issues to be identified and addressed early, and looks for creative ways to expand adoption within your organisation. In some cases, mandating adoption may be required.
A core strategic investment
As technology continues to move forward, keeping up with the latest changes is difficult. Be diligent and keep on top of your collaboration, planning and training within your organisation and you will reap great rewards from your investment with a successful CASM implementation.
The results of better asset management and automating an intensive audit and data collection process at an organisational level are significant. The Return on Investment (ROI) is greater than many would have believed possible, some examples:
- Reduction in disruptions in operations (“customer minutes lost”), in unplanned maintenance costs and improved upgrade planning;
- Reducing tariff charges and increasing the network/asset portfolios;
- Reducing total cost of ownership through a comprehensive and structured approach to the long-term management of assets – from valuation, purchase and operation, to reusing and re-purposing and even the sale of assets;
- Increased throughput and greater operational efficiency with improved visibility of assets and easy access and interaction with asset information;
- Meeting and maintaining compliance and legal standards with reliable and accurate audit trails and report;
- Year on year budget savings and improved financial planning leading to tax savings in depreciation deductions, reduced capex IT expenditures, aligned insurance premiums and optimal utilization of assets with no risk of expensive ghost assets;
- Increased output with proactive and aligned efforts and reduced risk, at no extra cost;
- No evergreen contracts.
No matter what industry or sector your organisation is in, asset management presents the same issues and challenges. However, don’t be mistaken into believing ‘technology’ will provide the ultimate solution. While it will soothe many of the general pain points, a one-fits-all solution will never be the answer.
As asset management technology matures, there is increasing evidence your organisation will experience real rewards with a solution that adapts and grows with your own processes and workflows. We at CASM are committed to understanding your business and adapting our solution to your operational objectives, ensuring you achieve maximum ROI on your investment. What you can measure, you can manage – which is why we believe the successful
implementation and adoption of CASM is dependent on us working alongside you. In this way, we can ensure our solution is matured to match your organisation’s growing and changing needs and your business design roadmap.
If you haven’t been able to implement all the suggestions in this document or need any additional insight or guidance into ensuring buy-in from the entire organisation and the longterm success of this project, please do not hesitate to contact us to further assist you with preparation, planning and goal-setting or establishing best practices and corporate governance policies.