The National Property Management Association (NPMA) held its Annual NES Conference in Phoenix earlier this month. I was honored to host two different seminars during the conference. The first session discussed Barcode and RFID technology implementation and the other focused on the deadlines of the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (or FIAR) Mandate and the impact that it is having on the defense community.

The NPMA conference was a great success on many levels. The real value of this event is the fact that it is the National Education Seminar and brings together the entire property management community and NPMA members. Asset Management and Property Management continues to become a significant strategic imperative for government and industry partners. The professionals that attended are preparing and educating themselves for a future with increased regulation and new technologies.

Here are my four major takeaways from NPMA NES Conference:

1. The Impact of the FIAR Directorate

Property professionals are uncertain about how the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) directorate is going to impact their business. This doubt causes a great deal of concern in the property management community. It became apparent during the conference that DCMA wasn’t the organization initiating pre-audits of GFP and GFE managers. This role was taken on by program management offices who want assurance that property accountability is going to meet the requirements outlined in the FIAR guidelines. To brush up on the latest FIAR plan status report from May 2017, read more here.

2. Full Compliance to the IUID Policy

Although IUID is being embraced in some areas of industry, there is confusion on how to implement it to 100% compliance. It’s important to note that marking assets with IUID (defined by MIL STD 130) is not 100% compliance. Electronic reporting IUIDs and asset pedigree to the IUID Registry is also not 100% compliance. Marking and reporting assets is only part of the obligation. Performing both functions is a good start; however, the future of managing GFP, GFE and materiel includes electronic reporting of custody transfers, lifecycle events and non-serialized items. This requires direct integration to iRAPT and the IUID Registry while managing physical inventories. This can be done by leveraging the benefits of barcode scanning and mobile technologies.

3. Accuracy of Asset Data

Being an accountable custodian is going to take on greater significance than it does today. Data “fidelity”, or accuracy and granularity of asset data will become a central requirement for the asset manager. The expectations for the accuracy of that asset data are increasing and will continue to increase. Ensuring real-time visibility of assets means being able to answer these critical questions:

-What exactly do I have?
-Where is it now?
-Does it meet all compliance obligations for record keeping?
-Does it meet all compliance obligations for IUID marking and reporting?

4. The NPMA Community

The NPMA community is more critical for property professionals than ever. There are many changes underway! These changes include evolving policies, regulations, and technologies that are significant to performing day to day operations for property and asset managers. For instance, performing physical inventories with the use of a Smartphone to capture transactions such as cycle counts or lifecycle events is very real and many organizations are finding huge benefits with increased mobility. But furthermore, an engaged community of practitioners who can learn and evolve together at events like this annual NPMA NES conference is powerful and beneficial to everyone.