MRO Magazine

Book Review – Physical Asset Management

March 1, 2017 | By Rehana Begg

Physical Asset Management: An Organizational Challenge, by Dharmen Dhaliah.

Reading Dharmen Dhaliah’s book, Physical Asset Management: An Organizational Challenge, can alleviate some of the drudgery associated with figuring out what needs to be done and who needs to be involved in an asset management plan. The book explores how organizations realize value when they analyze synergies among functional areas that affect the entire lifecycle of their assets.

The first-time author advocates for a higher-level, strategic approach to managing physical assets. “When you ask many in the industry, they’ll say that they practice asset management, but when you dig deeper, you’ll realize there are many gaps. For example, how many of us care about the assets that we don’t use anymore? As an organization, do they dispose of it correctly?”

Dhaliah argues that asset management is a strategic approach but that organizations tend to practise it piecemeal, and often with either a bottom-up or top-down approach. “What we’ve been doing so far is address pieces of the puzzle, by applying good practices at the tactical level. We need a higher-level approach, a strategic approach, to bring everything together to make sure we are covering all aspects of the asset lifecycle.

Dhaliah, an asset manager with the City of Toronto and a member of the Technical Committee 251 for the ISO 55000 standards, draws from firsthand knowledge and industry observations to construct case studies that replicate real-life challenges and to reinforce his insider’s dissection of why organizations lack at making good decisions.


He points out that condition-based asset management strategies are common and are a good way to get a start on the asset, but it is not enough to build a business case to make good decisions. “You need historical maintenance and failure data to develop lifecycle costs, to understand performance standards and to implement asset design when you start to put new equipment in place. These all come from the bottom-up support, where you will find the maintenance data in the CMMS or work management systems…”

A host of credentials as a registered professional mechanical engineer, Certified Asset Management Assessor and Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional, allow Dhaliah to pay it forward. Not only does Dhaliah teach online courses in maintenance management and asset management, but he also relies on his network to provide a veritable list of sources that help maintenance professionals uncover gaps in their processes and expose fault lines that hinder harmonization as they grapple with mapping out holistic asset lifecycle management systems.

Physical Asset Management: An Organizational Challenge, by Dharmen Dhaliah is available from the FriesenPress Bookstore and Amazon, as well Dhaliah’s website:

This review was published in the January/February 2017 issue of Machinery and Equipment MRO.


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