4 Critical Features High Education Institutions Should Look for in an Inventory Management System
While working with high education institutions, we have learned a lot about their unique inventory management challenges. Key challenges include:
- They buy equipment, in large quantities and frequently.
- Equipment are funded by different funding sources.
- Equipment are loaned to faculty members and faculty members are decentralized.
- They are required to do a Wall to Wall inventory audit every year.
Given these challenges, we believe that high education institutions should be looking for these 4 critical features in an inventory management system:
- Connecting the inventory management system to the purchasing system, to streamline the data entry. The inventory management system should be able to itemize serialized assets when they are purchased in one line-item on the purchase order, so each asset in the same PO line item will have its own barcode and be assigned to its own location.
- Setting up inventory assets by funding codes. This will make it easy to generate reports for a specific funding source on the use of equipment. This can be automated by connecting the inventory management system to the purchasing system.
- Tracking equipment on loan with minimum paperwork. With teaching faculty distributed geographically, tracking the equipment on loan can be time consuming. The inventory management system should be able to generate automatic reminders before the equipment is due for return, also allow easy extension of the loan period for the equipment. What’s better, if the approval can be accomplished in an email transaction on smartphones, this will make it so much easier, and better customer service to faculty members.
- Completing annual inventory audit efficiently. With distributed campuses and year-round use for classrooms, it’s no longer a given that summer time is the best time for inventory audits. You need an inventory scanning tool, such as mobile phones, that is highly accessible and easy to use, so you can ask an administrator in that building, or a student intern, to go through different rooms quickly to help scan the inventory.
We have recently completed the implementation of eQuip! inventory system in the System Office of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, which is consisted of more than 10 colleges. If you would like to discuss how we can help you to improve your inventory management system, please let us know by calling 1-866-845-2416.