Asset management, broadly defined, refers to any system that monitors and maintains things of value to an entity or group. It may apply to both tangible assets such as buildings and to intangible assets such as human capital, intellectual property, and goodwill and financial assets. Asset management is a systematic process of deploying, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets cost-effectively.
The term is most commonly used in the financial world to describe people and companies that manage investments on behalf of others. These include, for example, investment managers that manage the assets of a pension fund.
Alternative views of asset management in the engineering environment are: the practice of managing assets to achieve the greatest return (particularly useful for productive assets such as plant and equipment), and the process of monitoring and maintaining facilities systems, with the objective of providing the best possible service to users (appropriate for public infrastructure assets).
Asset management within the context of social housing in the UK is a relatively new specialism. It pertains to the function within a Housing Association, Arms Length Management Organisation or Local Authority housing department that is responsible for the long term management of social housing stock.
The aim of social housing is to provide housing that is affordable to people or tenants on low incomes. Asset management is a strategic planning tool driven by stock condition data to forecast future costs of maintaining housing stock. Often this includes the management of asbestos data.
There are two systems that play a vital role in the management of your housing stock. These are your housing management and asset management systems.
1) Housing Management; an operational management tool that deals with (among other things) rent collection, allocations, estates, repairs, tenant enquiries and contractors and is generally the core system used by a social landlord.