Getting Started with Asset Compliance Tracking
It is often daunting working with a new software application for the first time:
• What do I do first?
• How do I start in an ordered and coherent manner?
• How do I ensure that what I am doing now will be useful down the line?
In this short guide to getting started with ACT (brite-sparks asset compliance tracking
application) we outline some of the preparatory planning that need to be undertaken
before entering information into ACT.
1.1. Establishing Ground Rules
First scope the size and deployment of your asset base;
this is best recorded in a spreadsheet, which as it
develops will become your master spreadsheet for the
ACT application. This reference spreadsheet will
become a useful tool to assist you in managing the
introduction of new assets and new tests into the ACT
1.2. Start Small and Build Up
Aim to start with a small subset of your asset base that
is easily and effectively managed and once you have
this working well train a small group of people to use
and champion the system. Use this core group to
migrate the system to other locations and users.
1.3. Open a Spreadsheet and record the following:
• First scope out your requirements what assets do you want to track in
• List the assets you want to manage.
• The list should classify assets as belonging to asset classes (collections
of similar assets)
• Each asset class within ACT needs to be identified by a unique three
(or more) character asset class code. So identify your first asset class at
AAA and the next one as AAB etc. Keep these records updated as you
create more asset classes.
• Estimate the likely number of assets in each asset class. These numbers
will quantify the number of labels or RFID tags that are required to
identify assets within each asset class.
• The example below shows an extract from a spreadsheet, which lists
assets by asset classes and the likely number of barcode labels needed
to for each asset. Note only one unique RFID tag can be used per asset.
Asset Qty Asset Class Description Type AC Group Type Position Qty/Item Label Total
6 AAA Breathing Apparatus Sets (complete) sset
A BA Plastic 2 12
1 AAB B. A. Entry Control Board Asset BA 2 2
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• Where in the organisation do these assets belong? The answers to these questions
will identify organisational boundaries for assets and establish your organisations
asset categories Typical asset categories include:
o Operational Equipment
o ITC Equipment
o Land and Buildings
o Office furniture and equipment
• Next, determine which asset class groups you want within each asset category for
example within ITC equipment one could identify Computers Laptop and
• Within each Asset Class Group identify specific Asset Classes which can be used
to identify specific models of computer.
• Each Asset class can further contain a series of user definable fields,
so for example, for the Laptop asset class described above you could
record the software installed on each laptop its processor and memory
and any ancillary equipment supplied.
• Note, you are not expected to get this right from the outset you can
always change your mind and reassign asset class groups and asset
classes to other asset categories as your organisation changes.
However, it is worth giving some thought to how you want your assets
organised and what sort of views people will have on this information.
• Next, consider where these assets are to be held? Your answer to this question
will indicate what containers you will need to create within the ACT system to
house assets. Containers can be vehicles, rooms, floor areas or virtual locations
like an asset retirement home.
• Next, consider if any of these containers contain sub containers. A vehicle may
have a number of tool lockers or a store may have a number of racks. Make a list
of containers which will contain sub containers
• Where are these containers likely to be located? Many of these
containers will be physical entities like rooms and vehicles. The
answer to this question will provide a list of locations.
• Who manufactures supplies and insures your assets?
The answers to this question will provide a list of
suppliers and insurers.
• Who needs to use the system and what level of
access do they require, record their names and
• Who is responsible for each asset class? Who are
the budget holders responsible for replacing these assets? The
answer to these questions will provide a list of responsible people and the asset
classes for which they are accountable.
• Who is responsible for testing your assets and in which areas, record their names
and the areas they work.
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• First Reminder: who needs to be informed when an
opportunity to test or inspect assets has been missed?
Record name/s and email or ACT system addresses.
• Second reminder: who needs to know when a second
opportunity to test assets has been missed and these assets
are approaching an out of test condition? Record
name/names email or their ACT system address.
• Note when entering users without a brigade or
organisational email address the system will generate an
ACT system email address that can only be used within
the ACT application.
• Once you have recorded the above information you can
progress to setting up small pilot implementations
covering one or two locations. Extend these pilots to
cover progressively your whole organisation.
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2. Setting up ACT
2.1. Enter details of suppliers via menu item Assets>Suppliers>New Supplier, record
details of the suppliers name, address, fax, phone and contact details.
Where a large number of suppliers need to be entered, arrange with brite-
sparks staff for a file import.
2.2. Enter locations via Setup>Locations, record the locations name, address,
postcode, and whether this location is part of a group of locations.
Locations can be grouped into geographic or organisational clusters just
type a group descriptor into the entry box and use the same descriptor for
other location in the same cluster. The ACT system will provide reports
based on these clusters.
2.3. Location Access Codes: use the Access control tools to set up location
access code. Note the use of locations name @web_act.com to establish a location
code within the ACT system.
2.4. Location Passwords: enter location passwords via the password maintenance tools
see Setup >Access Control>. Passwords these need to
be established for locations that you will use within
2.5. Record staff via Setup>Access Control>Staff Login,
use this method to record small numbers of staff.
Where large numbers of staff need to be entered,
arrange with brite-sparks for a file import.
2.6. Note the auto generation of ACT system email
identities for staff without organisational or personal
email addresses where a location email address has
been established and personnel are identified with locations.
2.7. Establish which asset categories you wish to establish for the trial enter details via
Setup>Tools> Asset Category
2.8. Enter details of Asset Class Groups within a selected Asset Category. Enter a three
or 4-character code to identify each asset class group plus a description.
3. Asset Class Setup
3.1. Enter a new Asset Class via Setup>Asset Class Setup> Asset
Class. Clicking new will open an Asset Class entry pane where
you can enter details of the new asset class.
3.1.1.Select Staff. From the Pull down list, select the member
of staff responsible for this asset class.
3.1.2.Select the Asset category and asset class group to which
this asset class will belong
3.1.3.Enter a three or four character asset class code to identify
this new asset class.
3.1.4.Enter a descriptive description to portray this new asset
3.1.5.Indicate whether this asset class is to be a physical or
virtual asset class. Examples of virtual asset classes
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include off run containers (areas of floor marked with a barcode or RFID tag
into which assets are scanned, asset retirement homes and virtual stores.
These virtual entities are useful if you want to move assets from a physical
location en masse before physically moving them.
3.2. Assets in Limbo
3.2.1.The limbo day’s value sets the time limit an asset from within a class can be
missing before it is deemed lost. Assets are deemed missing if they have
been uploaded from a container and are subsequently not uploaded from the
same container or from any other container. Assets are deemed lost when
they exceed the limbo limit.
3.3. General Asset Defaults
This following section of the form is used to record asset life expectancy, inflation, and
storage rates specific to the asset class plus details of manufacturers, suppliers and
3.3.1.Asserting the activate asset class default flag populates all assets created
with the default information entered at this time. The subsequent editing of
an asset class description and asserting the asset class defaults flag will not
overwrite existing asset details within the class. See also related asset copy
and clone tools.
3.3.2.The Inflation escalator is a percentage value, which is used to project budget
forecasts for the replacement of assets. Entering five will increment the
replacement costs of assets within this class by 5% annually. However, it is
probably best to apply generic inflation values within the financial features
of ACT and only use this feature when you wish to record an unusually high
inflation rate for assets from this specific asset class.
3.3.3.Off line, storage charges are the daily costs of storing assets from this class.
For example, vaccines that require refrigeration will have a daily
incremental storage charge, this incrementing charge should be based on
some % of the value of the asset
3.3.4.Static testing cycle has been superseded and will be removed in a future
3.3.5.Total care applies is a way to record that assets from this class are hired via
a total care package.
3.3.6.Expected life, enter the anticipated working life of assets into this box.
Expected life is used for projecting replacement quantities and costs within
ACT’s financial reporting facilities.
3.3.7.Expected Life units are entered as years, months, or days.
3.3.8.Details of manufacturer, supplier and insurer are entered into the next three
panes via list box displays. Note the use of the shift and first letter of the
suppliers name will speed you to required area of the list.
3.3.9.The asset category pane will be moving to the top of the form so that users
can select to create an asset class within an Asset Category>Asset Class
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3.4. Financial Defaults
This panel is used to record financial defaults for all assets created within the asset class;
note you can vary specific assets costings by individually editing these fields within their
specific asset cards.
3.4.1.Purchase price. Enter the purchase price, the default purchase date, and
other relevant financial information for assets within this class into the
relevant fields. If you do not have, the information leave the field blank.
Note the copy and clone tools can be used to write the above information to
existing assets within an asset class. See copy and clone tool in Asset Card
3.4.2.Container storage costs, if the new asset class represents a container, like a
store or an incident unit, or if you are configuring a process asset class where
items are scanned into and out of a process. (An example would be to check
and recharge breathing Apparatus Canisters or to clean and lubricate
cutting equipment) then you should consider applying a container charge,
which will accrue to assets passing through or entering and exiting the
3.5. Container Asset classes
3.5.1.Select yes for the first entry pane if the asset class will represent a
3.5.2.Select the off run and repair option if you need to have scheduled testing
switched of for assets in this container.
3.5.3.Finally if the container is made up of a series of sub containers like the
locker on a fire appliance, enter the number of sub containers in this box.
3.6. User Definable Fields
3.6.1.This provides means for establishing fields to record discriminatory
information to distinguish assets. So for example, these fields can be used to
record serial numbers, processor types, software installed etc.
Select the location from the list box of locations where you wish to place this new
container. Next selects from the displayed asset classes the asset class within which you
wish to create this new container, finally enter the barcode or RFID tag number for this
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4.1. Place the barcode or tag on the container at the location and scan items into this
container this will ensures that items are physically present and recoded within the
container. Alternatively, use the batch move function to move assets and then
instruct staff to move the items. If items are not moved physically, their position will
revert to their current location when they are next scanned and uploaded.
4.2. Move container. This allows you to move a container with all its assets from one
location to another.
4.3. The remaining tools within this section enable users to set a required complement for
a container. This tool sets the quantity and types of assets required for a container.
The system will report discrepancies from this complement after an audit upload and
report which bar or RFID codes are missing.
5.1. Installation: install PC_ACT at each location you will be using for the trial or if
where you are using a Citrix based system arrange for the PC_ACT application to be
installed on a local Citrix server and map your Citrix terminal locations into the ACT
5.2. Local Settings: Where PC_ACT is installed locally, users will need to identify the
location via the system Parameters screen note upload user name and upload
password. These should match the location details entered into the Web application.
Once this is done uploads will be accepted and identified as coming from this
5.3. Tests and Testing
Test processes can be established for any asset class and can in addition contain
criteria fields for recording measurements. Users should first establish a list of
generic test requirements; these may include monthly, quarterly, annual, biannual and
five yearly tests. Tests are created by time interval and then applied to appropriate
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asset classes. Note specific test instructions and procedures should be created within a
test document and associated to the test type.
5.4. Test Documents
Once a set of generic tests have been created users need to draft test procedures
and upload these via the document upload tools. Documents can be associated
with an asset, an asset classes, a test type or a company via the document tools
5.5. Specific Tests
Specific tests can be created for asset classes where these are required remember the
more test processes you create the more work you will have to undertake to ensure these
are maintained and undertaken so try and cover as much ground as possible via the
application of generic tests.
5.6. Test Notifications, Implementation Issues and Politics
Often when new systems are introduced into large and geographically widespread
organisations, there will be elements within the organisation that will oppose the need to
undertake tests and other processes. These elements can frustrate the process by choosing
not to scan kit or only scanning some items. Where this happens stations can be informed
that they have pending tests on kit that they know has been relocated to location or
Station X but because Station X are not scanning their kit the system still sends
notification of overdue tests to them plus it reports up the command chain that they have
Where System administrators have the authority, they should instruct
Station/location X to scan all their kit, or move the kit to the offending station via
the move asset or batch process functions. A guide to which locations or stations
are under scanning kit is available in the reports section of ACT.
5.6.2.More System Tools
Where systems administrators do not have the authority to order remote
stations/locations to scan kit and do not have the authority to use their system
tools to move kit to offending stations/locations they can create a virtual container
in which testing is turned off and move kit to this virtual container. This action
turns off the notification of overdue tests at the complying stations and will
immediately reapply testing notification once the asset is scanned at any other
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6. Creating Tests
Use menu item: Setup>Test Setup> Create Tests to
generate a new test. The ACT application will display an
entry pane that provides fields for users to enter details of
the new test. A brief description of the test needs to be
entered within this text box,
6.1. Naming Tests
if users enter terms like monthly, quarterly, yearly,
environmental, operational etc. prior to the test description,
tests will be displayed grouped by these precursor
6.2. Test Intervals
Next, users should enter the number of days between
required tests within the frequency box. Then, decide if the
test is replicated by an after use inspection, if it is selecting
yes will reschedule the test for every after use visual inspection recoded by the system
and significantly reduce the duplication of tests within the organisation.
6.3. Apply Tests to PPE?
Next, determine if this test should be applied to PPE (personal protection equipment) or
6.4. Is a sample Analysis database required?
Finally, determine if a sample analysis database is required to record the outcome of
chemical, biological, tribological or metallurgical analysis? If the yes box is checked a
test database will be established where sample
recording and outcomes can be recorded.
To record samples users should scan the barcodes or
RFID tags linked with the test item and take the
appropriate sample. Next users should upload the
barcode/RFID codes to ACT. Within ACT the test
upload will be recognised and provide an option to
record that a sample has been taken. The time, date,
sample reference number and other details should be
recorded for the sample this information is stored
within the sample analysis database. When the sample
analysis has been conducted, the recipient of the
report should record the outcome of the analysis in
the same database.
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6.5. Test Criteria
Test criteria should be used to set the requirement to record measurements for the a new
test. With this tool, users can establish a range of measurements that need to be taken and
recorded whilst the test is undertaken. Thus, measurements of temperatures, pressures,
distances, times etc. can be specified and applied to a test. Multiple criteria can be
grouped and applied to a test so for example a vehicle user can be asked to record,
elapsed miles, fuel used, tyre tread depth etc.
The setup for test criteria is straightforward:
Test Criteria are specified and installed
when creating a test, the requested criteria
values can be modified when subsequently
editing a test.
• Users should select whether the
criteria to be measures is a numeric
value a date or a text input via the
select field type list box.
• Next users should select where the
notification of a criteria test
exception should be sent. Select a
user from the drop down list
• A title to describe the nature of the
criteria to be measured should be
entered into the criteria text box.
• Expected Max and Min values for the criteria should be entered into the next two
fields. Measurements outside these limits will trigger the generation of an
• Finally, a text description of the action to be taken if the measurement is outside
the Max and Min limits needs to be entered into the exception action notes pane.
Criteria can be grouped to provide a set of measurement tasks that are applied to a test.
ACT provides tools to edit, delete and disable the application of test criteria.
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6.6. Appling Tests
Select Setup>Test Setup> Associate Tests and select the asset classes to which you want
your newly created tests to apply.
6.7. Criteria and Sample database Reports
These will be displayed within the reports section of ACT
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