Maintenance and Management is a complex component of integrated infrastructure asset management, which is key to improved municipal service delivery. By integrating maintenance management in the asset management life-cycle, South African municipalities are able to provide a better service to their clients.
The discipline of Infrastructure Asset Management in South Africa
The need for more effective management of infrastructure has been emphasised over the last 20 years in response to a series of catastrophes across the globe that have affected both public and private sectors. The International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM), for example, has been regularly updated. Although Infrastructure Asset Management (IAM) as a discipline may still be fairly young, key characteristics of successful responses have already been identified.
In 2006, the South African Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) published its Guidelines for Infrastructure Asset Management in Local Government 2006 – 2009.1 The document acts as a guide for South African municipal authorities to maintain and manage public infrastructure in accordance with international best practices and in relation to government legislation.
According to COGTA, the management of public infrastructure is essential in the context of development. It represents “the cornerstone of social upliftment, public health and safety” and is “essential to achieve the increased levels of economic growth” that will “promote sustainable quality of life to all citizens” in South Africa.
Integration is Key
The goal of an asset management service should be to maximize service delivery potential and benefits, while minimising related risks and costs over an asset’s entire life.
The concept of integration is important when thinking on responses in terms of effective management practices. Whether the focus is on short- or long-term goals, a compartmentalised view of asset management separates disciplines such as asset accounting, financing, maintenance, performance management, risk management, resource strategies, user consultation, capital planning, prioritization and project implementation or monitoring.
The real value of IAM is gained through coordination of all these multi-disciplinary activities in a structured and systematic fashion.
As the IAM ecosystem is complex, robust management practices are required that facilitate data capture, the generation of information and the diffusion thereof to relevant stakeholders. In order to successfully manage assets, the following information is required:
The location of the asset
The characteristics of the asset
The estimated life of each asset
The asset’s capacity
IMQS’ integrated approach to Maintenance Management
IMQS’ holistic, software-based, IAM approach is consolidated into four integral components of an assets life-cycle:
From the IMQS perspective, the enablement of holistic asset operations and maintenance management is achieved through integrating, automating and unifying all maintenance-related data sources, processes, and reporting. Such a systematic approach to life-cycle asset management provides early warning signs of asset failure and potential material shortages based on available stock-levels.
Maintenance Management systems are a natural extension of the applications built at IMQS. Up until now, due to the complexity of these systems, they have been seen as external to our focus. In IMQS’ commitment to bring innovative software solutions to the IAM market, the integration of a Maintenance Management Module into our current product suite has been effortless.
The Maintenance Management Module acts as an integrated and spatially-enabled solution for Incident Reporting and facilitates the proper planning of scheduled or unscheduled maintenance. It enables the notification of responsible teams to what the problem is and where the issue was discovered.
The module builds on the IBIS task manager system that manages tasks originating from complaints, public requests and as a matter of creating some work order to be performed on existing or new assets. It is an analytical tool that enables planning, maintenance and reporting in relation to instances of malfunction that occur on a range of municipal assets. From a holistic perspective, the Maintenance Management module offers better managed operational and capital expenditure as information from the asset register, finance and maintenance are all managed in unison.