A relationship is symbiotic. It must benefit all parties involved and create a safe and trusting space where communication and knowledge-sharing is paramount. This is certainly the case with the relationship between Broadspectrum and the Asset Management Council. The former is a partnering organisation and a founding member to the AM Council. Broadspectrum is on the journey with us to achieve our vision of enabling value from effective asset management.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Stephen Densmore, Regional Asset Manager, Defence Base Services (DBS) at Broadspectrum, based in the Northern Territory. We chatted about all things asset management, its current trends, its fluidity and relevance to every business looking to build value.
Under the DBS contract, Broadspectrum looks after everything on defence bases and remote sites that does not deploy from the site. For Stephen, that includes five major bases: Defence Establishment Berrimah, Larrakeyah Defence Precinct, Robertson Barracks, RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal, as well as a series of training ranges and remote sites. These parcels of land stretch across the Northern Territory, east to Arnhem Land, almost to its western border, south to Alice Springs and north into the Tiwi Islands. Broadspectrum’s role is to manage the asset management portfolio across those sites, the land management, hard structures and electrical, support and sewerage infrastructure.
’If the asset doesn’t deploy from the base, if it doesn’t fly, sail or drive away, it’s managed by Broadspectrum under the asset management portfolio,’ says Stephen, which makes for a rather large and fascinating remit.
It is no surprise then, that Stephen’s experience with such a vast range of assets gives particular insight to the current trends in asset management. Stephen notes a swing towards the whole-of-lifecycle costing and analysis of assets to build value for the client. This trend relates to maintenance and reliability, and energy sustainability. For Broadspectrum, it means choosing the right asset, the one that will perform its role in a fit-for-purpose manner, not necessarily the cheapest asset. Stephen works to ensure that his team delivers this to the client, making sure that Broadspectrum and the client is ‘hand-in-glove’.
Additionally, Stephen notes a trend in data granularity.
‘Data is already in abundance. What asset owners need is a way to harness it into intelligent insights that can contribute to the optimisation of assets and their lifecycle,’ he says. At Broadspectrum they do this by connecting useful data with good analytics to turn it into reliable information.
It’s such a complex issue, with many businesses facing multiple challenges on how to leverage, store and collate the data into an effective value-adding pathway.
Stephen’s team use the data at their disposal and make it relatable for different target audiences. He goes on to inform me that the data is layered according to who receives it. A commanding officer at a base will undoubtedly require access to high-level data visuals, but that same data is broken down into alternative visuals for technical staff on site. Broadspectrum works hard to ensure data granularity and use that to achieve the accurate information via visuals needed for the client.
Maintenance of assets plays a large role in any asset management portfolio, and it is here where Stephen notes a third trend: shaping fluidity in maintenance activities. The focus is on holistic service when it comes to maintenance of assets. Broadspectrum ensures that the client’s assets entrusted to it through the contract are not just a serviced with a break/fix mentality, but an integrated appraisal plan that provides greater value, significantly reducing the downtime of an asset.
Broadspectrum’s work on defence bases is not just about facilities maintenance. The integrated appraisal program for maintenance activities is created through communication with the client and sourcing the right staff for the job. It considers stages such as prioritising critical assets, asset condition appraisal, how the asset performs against its targets, and quality asset data. Underpinning all this is, of course, communication. Feedback and questions posed to the client is a major way that Stephen and his team ensure they get the job right.
With any asset, there comes a time when it is considered obsolete and its lifecycle ends. In the harsh climate of the Northern Territory, an asset may sometimes look degraded but its capability remains unaffected. Stephen tells me that the decision to render an asset obsolete at Broadspectrum comes down again to accurate data, ensuring it is fit-for-purpose and the ability to sustain the asset, through a good maintenance regime and keeping clear communication with staff, the client and the manufacturer of the asset.
Stephen’s passion for asset management is not limited to him and his team alone. Broadspectrum is in the enviable position of having its staff and senior leadership wholly on board with asset management practices. The company views the ISO55000 suite not as an academic document that gathers dust as it sits on the shelf, but as an ever-evolving and live organism that is tried and tested, suited specifically to Broadspectrum’s clients. It is by using language explicit to each client—whether the portfolio is defence, social infrastructure, utilities, transport, or any other of the many industries Broadspectrum works alongside—that the dry nature of asset management gives way to something alive and active, and importantly, valuable for the client.
Stephen finishes our conversation with his thoughts on his recent attendance at the Asset Management Council’s Asset Management Fundamentals (AMF) course, advising me that it was a well-paced and structured course, with a knowledgeable lecturer. Stephen would recommend it for others who have some experience working in asset management. Check out the AM Council’s website for future AMF course dates here.
Linda Kemp wishes to thank Stephen Densmore for his availability and willingness to be involved in the interview.
Broadspectrum logo and image used with permission.