Facilities management is a challenging task, and museums present unique conditions that make these buildings high-stake environments. Asset Panda’s asset management system can help museum facility managers stay on top of moving parts, keep all equipment and systems in good working order, and save money while they maintain the best possible experience for visitors.
Smithsonian Illustrates Facilities Management Challenges
Writers Angela Person and Judie Cooper described the challenges and responsibilities of facilities managers at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. in an article published on fmjonline.com, the online complement to industry publication Facilities Management Journal.
Within the campus’ South Mall Zone is an area called the Quadrangle, which is 96 percent underground. The Quadrangle houses the National Museum of African Art, Ripley International Center, and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Among the challenges navigated by facilities managers, Person and Cooper say, are the difficulty of regulating indoor air quality three stories underground, the inherent difficulty of expanding underground facilities and the presence of a rooftop garden. When the Quadrangle’s roof had to be replaced, the garden had to be completely removed.
Additionally, when a new exhibition for the Smithsonian’s nearby Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was installed, facilities managers considered how to incorporate the exhibition’s interactive water feature near priceless displays of modern and contemporary art. Humidity from the water feature could potentially compromise the artwork and even create a liability for the museum from a visitor safety standpoint.
How Asset Management Helps
So what does an asset management system have to do with scenarios like those described at the Smithsonian? Without a formalized system in place, any effort to track and manage equipment and other fixed assets is going to be confusing at best. Mistakes will happen, and museums don’t have the luxury of making mistakes.
Asset management software provides a centralized, easy-to-access location for all equipment and other fixed asset data. Facilities managers can conduct audits and get an accurate picture of the assets they have, where they’re located, and what kind of condition the assets are in.
Based on that information, they’re able to factor all of their assets into any decision and avoid being caught off guard, for example, by a malfunctioning piece of equipment for which they hadn’t previously accounted. If an asset is missing, they can quickly pinpoint its location and the identity of the person who has it. An asset management system makes special event preparation easier, as facilities managers can plan for these occasions based on real-time information versus guesswork.
Because asset management software provides a hub for asset data, facilities managers also may wish to attach to asset records documents, videos, and/or photos that serve as training materials. In the event of staff turnover, or the temporary absence of a facilities team member, this information can help ensure that operations run smoothly.
With these systems in place, equipment maintenance becomes far easier to track. Asset Panda’s tracking software offers the ability to set up custom reminders so facilities managers don’t overlook key preventive maintenance and other routine updates. When equipment needs repair, managers may also create work orders and check status. They can review warranty terms and expiration dates and check insurance policies. In the long run, museums save money by maximizing the lifespan of those assets and avoiding wasteful energy use.
Asset Panda: a Powerful Mobile Solution
Asset Panda’s asset management system delivers an intuitive, powerful and completely customizable solution to your needs. Our facilities management configuration helps close the loop among departments, accurate document equipment movements, and saves you significant time and money. To learn more, visit assetpanda.com.