Input and Output – A Techie Term for Property Management
When a company begins the process to track their assets, their future goals are not the only objectives worth exploring.
In general, all databases are about what you put in, “input” and what you take out, “output”. Input represents all the data that you want to store in your system. You input data into your system using forms or mass importing tools. Output is what information you want to get out of your system. You get those facts/statistics out of your system using reports. Reports are not just data being spit back out. You can use queries in your reports to analyze your data.
In the world of asset management, the input/output methodology is a vital tool in overseeing assets. It is the basis for the administration of tasks such as purchasing, transferring, assigning, maintaining, and disposing for the assets.
As we set up our systems to gather information about our assets, we must ask ourselves several questions. What information do we CURRENTLY capture about assets? That may lead to WHY we capture that data. If an organization has a long history, they may find that there is information that was gathered 20 years ago that was relevant to the running of that business that today doesn’t matter. Likewise, new technologies may require that record additional data about our assets. Changing government regulations can also have a causal affect on the status of our assets and may require organizations to capture additional information about the acquisition and depreciation of managed materials and equipment.
The number 1 rule of putting information into an asset management system SHOULD be, capture the information you need to pull out. The information you store on your assets doesn’t help you achieve your goals as an organization unless you can synthesize and analyze it. In an asset management system, how you set up your reports can provide you with historical and forecasting information. There several key performance indicators that you can get about your assets:
Financial Information – A very useful function of the asset management system is the financial data that you can gather about the present and future value of your assets.
Depreciation – When you capture depreciation, you can define the useful life of your assets. This information can help you create budget projections for replacement or upgrade of assets. This can also keep in compliance with regulations regarding assets purchased with government funds.
Asset History/ Audit Trails – Chain of custody information can help you track the use and location of your assets.