Last week, Canada’s ‘Daily Commercial News’ wrote about the need for asset recycling to be a core practice for public organizations. This followed the publication of a report by RCCAO about asset use in Ontario titled: ‘Building new infrastructure on the foundation of existing public assets‘.
“Asset recycling is a concept that basically speaks to leveraging the existing investments that taxpayers have in public assets. It tries to find a way to make them perform better and drive more value from that past investment,” explains Michael Fenn.
And that’s exactly what it is. Asset recycling is not just about protecting existing assets; it’s about leveraging existing assets. It offers numerous benefits, although all too often its supporters claim a single one. So we thought we would share the multiple benefits we see day-in, day-out from asset management best practices:
It’s sustainable, and adds to ‘green’ credentials. In the four decades that we’ve been advising and delivering furniture asset management best practices, the need for government organizations and commercial businesses to demonstrate sustainability and to share their green credentials has certainly grown. Asset management is an undeniably sustainable practice: it slashes carbon emissions, reduces landfill waste and decreases consumption of new resources.
It drives stakeholder value. As existing assets are leveraged through recycling, re-use or remanufacturing, more value is delivered to stakeholders. This includes shareholders, taxpayers, citizens, travelers or students.
Budgets are saved. Government organizations and higher education are under budget pressure. Hotels are constantly looking for ways to reduce spend while maintaining standards. Across the board businesses and institutions need to protect the bottom line. We repeatedly see up to eighty percent of budgets saved through furniture asset management best practices.
Budgets can be re-allocated. This applies to each industry that we work with, including government, education and hospitality. The stress of prioritizing tight budgets is a headache for any general, facility or resources manager. Being able to save budget and spend it in areas that deliver greater returns, competitive differentiators and benefits to citizens, users or customers, is a sound business decision.
Want to find out more about the returns your organization could reap from furniture asset management? Then please contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a recent post we discussed one of the cornerstones of furniture asset management; inventory management. At The Refinishing Touch we not only provide refinishing, remanufacturing and re-upholstery services, we also help our customers to manage and track those furnishings and fixtures as capital assets, using web-based asset management tools.
When TRT was founded back in 1977, we became known for providing environmentally-safe furniture refinishing services, but times have changed considerably. Today our business is about managing assets, helping our customers to manage expenditure and their business continuity needs.
What makes us different isn’t just the longevity of our materials and finishes. It’s our ability to work on-site, to ensure our customers stay open and productive. The industries in which we work: hospitality, education and government, have little tolerance for downtime and rooms cannot be out of use for days or weeks. Furniture is a vital part of these operations, and it needs refinishing, re-upholstery or remanufacturing because the organization is busy and successful. Creating downtime therefore has a direct calculable dollar cost. If a hotel, public sector organization, or educational facility has rooms of action it causes problems,so we work safely and responsibly onsite.
Our onsite approach is efficient in terms of both cost and carbon. We know that the alternative, transporting furniture offsite, is a waste of time, money and carbon dioxide. We are able to work onsite when many large refinishing companies cannot. This comes as a result of four decades of experience doing just that. We know better than anyone how to minimize disruption, move seamlessly from room to room, and how to ensure that those rooms are back in operation quickly.
Using non-toxic processes are also crucial in working onsite. We don’t use solvents in our processes and our non-toxic lacquers don’t contain dangerous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). They are hypoallergenic, safe and clean, because we understand how important it is to use safe, responsible products.
Our approach to furniture asset management certainly guarantees indoor air quality and safety. But in business terms, it means quicker processes, lower labor costs and a quicker turnaround on refinished rooms for everybody involved.
Contact us at email@example.com to discuss how onsite furniture asset management can save your organization time, money and downtime.
In previous posts we have shared our views on furniture asset management as environmental and fiscally responsible behavior. We discussed the need to maximize opportunities to reuse resources, minimize waste, and to take stock and understand the value of current furniture assets.
Which brings us to one of the cornerstones of furniture asset management; inventory management. We help our customers to gain visibility and to track furnishings, fixtures and equipment as capital assets with our Global Furniture Asset Management, or GFAM, web-based asset management tool. If you’d like to hear more about this, please contact our team.
Whichever system you use, it’s important to ensure that someone takes ownership of furniture inventory management. We typically find that this is managed by facilities management teams, but it’s important that the ownership is supported and encouraged by general management and also by finance. Furniture is a considerable investment for any college, hotel or government organization, and it’s important that it is tracked.
Establishing an inventory management system for furniture starts with an active database. Note the highlight on the word active. We talk to many organizations keen to discuss how much they can save through furniture asset management that have outdated or non-existent databases of existing furniture assets. They aren’t sure what furniture they have, where it is or what condition it is in. The old adage ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’ is certainly true in furniture asset management.
One obvious challenge of managing furniture is the ease with which pieces can be reconfigured and moved. This means it is important to track them and to have someone with an assigned responsibility to keep the database updated. Audits are essential. If your organization doesn’t have an updated database of its furniture, then you need to do a furniture audit. Map out, room-by-room and building-by-building, the furniture assets you have, where they are, what they are and their condition. Best practice involves associating the date and cost of acquisition, a practice which your finance team will appreciate. It shows how best furniture asset management practices such as refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing can save up to 80 percent of budgets.
When tracking furniture we consider location, condition and evaluation of existing assets as three key criteria that need to be consistently tracked. There’s no need to have a complicated system as this is about simple quality control measures that will determine where money has been spent, where it can be saved and how budgets can be protected.
Finally, it’s important to consider the furniture asset management best practice of buying high-quality furniture in the first place. Increasingly we find that clients turn to us before they make new purchasing decisions, to ask us for our opinions of which product they should buy; which materials, which finish. We understand the importance of helping our clients to make a best value decision at the moment of purchase, to give then long-term investment protection.
For more details of how we approach inventory management in the real world or to hear about our Global Furniture Asset Management (GFAM) tool, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government is a market we know very well. For over 37 years our government client base has comprised local and federal government and agencies – including the Executive Office of the President, U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Coastguard. We have applied the best practices of furniture asset management across these organizations including on-site refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing at administrative buildings, offices, barracks, and housing facilities.
The U.S. Government continues to demonstrate a commitment to green and sustainable activities. In the past week the President signed an Executive Order for federal government to cut greenhouse emissions by 40 percent over the next decade compared to 2008 levels, and to increase the use of renewable energy by 30 percent.
In the announcement the federal government emphasized the executive order’s dual benefits. First the financial benefits, with the press release stating that the new initiatives will save taxpayers up to $18 billion in energy costs. Then the green benefits, with the saving an estimated 26 million metric tons of greenhouse gases – equivalent to taking 5.5 million cars off the road for a year.
We know that whether we are working with government organizations, or with hotels or college campuses, that the dual returns of financial and green benefits is a winner. This is why furniture asset management is a winning strategy. As a General Services Administration (GSA)-certified contractor we have refinished, reupholstered and remanufactured tens of thousands furniture and fittings, and shown hundreds of government organizations how to save on budgets, protect assets and reduce environmental impact. This is why we are asked to share our views with the government press, are trusted by all levels of government, and why we were awarded the Evergreen Award by the GSA.
We’ve previously calculated that the federal government, with its 500,000 buildings, could save more than $714 million through the broad and well-structured application of furniture asset management best practices and cut carbon dioxide emissions by a factor of a hundred.
For the government this isn’t just about best financial practices and demonstrable sustainability – it’s also about public accountability, leadership and setting a good example.
If you want to understand all the benefits of furniture asset management, get in touch with us today.