Most people will assume that “asset managers” means people who oversee a pool of accumulated wealth. But there is a whole other hidden use for the phrase that means the professionals who keep track of the “personal property” that belongs to large institutions.

Enterprise asset management

Think about when you were in college or maybe in the hospital or at a public library. In most cases, every computer and printer and, in some cases, every stick of furniture has a small label affixed to it with the institution’s name and a unique number. This is all the passive observer will ever see of what is a billion dollar, worldwide industry.

Business to business players

The general public will likely never hear of the companies that provide the hardware and software to every major corporation, government agency, military contractor, hospital system or university. These companies provide a much needed service designed to help large institutions keep tabs on all the stuff they own, borrow or lend.

Defense contractors

If you are a large defense contractor and you are managing property that belongs to a U.S. Department of Defense, you are entering a highly specialized area that requires that employees be trained and certified to a higher standard. When we are talking about millions of unique items spread thin across global institutions, advanced education is necessary.

The National Property Management Association

NPMA professional asset managers receive advanced certification to better perform their duties. And March is a special month where members take the time to toot their own horns and let the world know what they’re about: “an association for professionals who are responsible for the effective and efficient management of equipment, materials, and other movable and durable assets for their organization.”

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