What is an asset naming convention?

An asset naming convention also referred to as an asset numbering system, defines how your assets will be referenced in a system. In other words, it’s a way to name your assets in your database so they can be quickly identified. Asset naming conventions are important in asset management because they remove any vagueness and ambiguity when communicating about maintenance assets. By looking at the name alone, anyone should be able to tell what an asset is and where it belongs.

Components of an asset numbering system

Good asset naming conventions have a certain level of logic so that anyone can easily find what they’re looking for, especially within a CMMS. Keep in mind that numbers can get confusing and have very little meaning to the uninformed person, so minimize their use and maximize the use of characters instead.

Below are examples of common components included in an asset numbering system:

  1. Location: Country, site, building, floor, room, department etc.
  2. Usage type: Production, development, testing, research, parts cannibalization etc.
  3. Equipment type: Engine, generator, pump, air conditioning unit etc.
  4. Make/Manufacturer
  5. Model/Rev

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Benefits of an asset naming convention in maintenance management

Here are a few ways asset naming conventions can improve maintenance management:

  • Quicker employee onboarding: New employees will need to get up to speed on how to locate assets in order to do their job. By having a standardized asset numbering system in place, they will have an easier time figuring out where everything is and less time asking around where to find an asset.
  • Easy to understand: Maintenance software limits the number of characters that can be used to describe an asset, which means that names will be concise and straight to the point for the technician reading it.
  • Consistent: A standardized naming convention makes it easy for technicians to name new assets in the system.
  • Efficient: Standardized asset naming allows technicians to locate assets within the system quickly. Additionally, finding and sorting assets becomes easier because data is grouped together in a more logical manner.

Example of asset naming convention

Here’s an example of what an asset naming convention could look like within a system. Imagine there are four facilities across four geographical locations. Each facility is made up of multiple buildings. In each building, we have several XLA lasers. A potential asset naming convention could look like the following:

country code, building number, equipment type, equipment code

This tells us that XLA laser 001 is in building 1 at the US plant. This nomenclature also comes in handy when doing a search in the CMMS for previous maintenance issues on XLA lasers. All the technician needs to do is type XLA into the closed work orders search box to find the past issues and fixes for XLA lasers.

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