Reviewing use of a business’ assets can generate new ideas, deliver cost savings or inspire best practice.  Staffordshire County Council has recently backed plans to share facilities with other publicly-funded organisations.  About 100 possible buildings have already been identified.

This plan to share properties with the district’s emergency services could save £20m over five years. Mark Winnington, cabinet member for environment and assets, said the plan was to improve efficiency, save taxpayers money and release assets for sale.  (BBC, 18th April 2012)

In a different use of assets, the mobile phone operator Vodafone is re-purposing a low-frequency network which it owns.  Vodafone is basing its bid for a UK government contract to provide data connection between customers’ smart meters and utility companies on the network Paknet.  Paknet was launched in 1990 to speed up electronic till payments but is currently used to link remote lighthouses and buoys to the main telecoms network.  (The Times newspaper, 9th April 2012)

Anglo American, one of the world’s largest mining companies, has a vast portfolio of mining businesses and natural resources, so to ensure the whole company operates as efficiently as possible, it has established its Asset Optimisation (AO) programme.

The AO programme aims to add value to the business by looking at three interlinked components – Business Improvement, Change Management and Performance Analysis.  Each operation is reviewed in a structured way to find potential improvement or reduce cost where possible, whilst ensuring safety is at the highest level.

The company’s positive focus on improvement ensures the resulting changes are implemented.  By monitoring and reporting back on changes, Anglo American also ensures they become embedded in best practice, reinforcing the improvement culture of the organisation.

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