What Information Do We Need to Track Physical Assets?
When you are setting up your Asset Tracking System, you need to identify which information is needed to track the physical assets. The fields should be relevant to the assets and encompassing for all assets you track.
First, what type of asset do you track?
Different types of assets will need specific information about that asset. For example, if the asset is a vehicle, you may track the License Plate, type of vehicle (Bus, van or automobile), Make, Model, date purchased, and whether it is manual or auto transmission. These are a few of the many fields you can use to track a vehicle. In comparison, if the asset is a part, it may require completely different fields about it such as serial number, size, etc. It is reasonable that a certain field such as “manual or auto transmission” will apply to a vehicle but not to a computer. Not every asset will need every field that you create to track it.
Second, what are the regulatory requirements?
Certain state and federal regulations require you to record and track information about the asset such as Useful Life. This helps your organization determine when an asset needs to be retired.
Many times, an asset needs to be described by size, color, and other fields that may be needed to track the asset completely. For example, the asset may be a wire. You would want to know the type of wire, length, purpose, or even color.
Third, what information is needed for reports?
For example, your organization may want to produce a report that lists the asset values. If you capture price, you can provide your stakeholders the information you track about an asset can help to create informative reports that can help a company grow or identify gaps.
When your organization chooses what information to capture an asset, the fields need to be relevant and comprehensive. It is much better to have a more than necessary descriptive fields than not enough information tracked about the asset. It is far more difficult to add and fill in additional fields after you have created and populated your inventory database. Finally, when deciding what to track about assets, think about these concepts:
Plan for growth
Identify what YOU need to know about the asset
Identify how the descriptive fields will used