Top Signs You Need to Automate Your Asset Tracking Process

Manual inventory systems are prone to errors that cost time and money.

Fixed assets represent a significant investment of your organization’s budget. Tracking them is critical for both internal and external compliance as well as simply maximizing your return on this investment.

Have you ever wondered how to optimize your asset tracking?

Several common problems asset managers face are rooted in one thing: a manual inventory system.

Here are a few signs that your manual asset management solution is ineffective. We’ll also address how automating can fix them.

1) The whole process takes too much time

Performing inventory manually can be time-consuming, regardless of your company’s size. Manual entry demands hours of company time. On top of that, it may also require the help of many employees.

We all know that time is money. So when your system uses up significant time, you know it’s using up a significant amount of money as well.

With an automated system you can get more done in less time. Using handheld readers, your team can scan each asset’s barcode or RFID tag. Then verify, update, and reconcile asset records while in the field. When it comes time for an audit, your records are accessible and up-to-date.

2) You’ve dealt with at least one major error

If your organization is managing its inventory by hand, it’s likely that mistakes are made occasionally, like typos, accidental omissions, or mathematical errors. No big deal, right?

It’s actually a big deal. Mistakenly adding an extra ‘0’ to an asset’s acquisition cost can lead to serious accounting issues. It can also result in countless hours trying to locate and reconcile the mistake.

Errors are inevitable when it comes to a manual system. As Alexander Pope said, “To err is human…” When humans manage your system, they will err.

An automated system reduces these errors significantly. There are simply less opportunities for employees to mess up the data. Some automated asset management systems even have mechanisms in place to catch mistakes.

3) You’re buying extra without realizing

Manual inventory systems depend on everyone in the system in order to be reliable and accurate. But as we discussed in above, errors are all too common in these systems.

If you don’t fix a mistake (or worse, don’t even realize there is a mistake) then you make business decisions based on inaccurate data. This is most commonly seen in managers who buy more of an asset than they need because their system indicates a shortage.

With an automated system, you can be more confident that the data in your asset management database is accurate. Automating asset tracking (including a process for transfer management), can prevent costly purchases on misplaced assets.

BONUS: Knowing which assets you have and where they are, not only saves you from buying assets you may not really need, but by making it easy to locate assets, it’s just one more way you can recognize time savings.

4) A valuable asset was “misplaced”

And by misplaced, I mean stolen.

Everyone hopes that their employees wouldn’t steal, but it’s always a risk. And the effects are obvious: you’re missing important equipment or supplies which takes extra time and money to replace.

With a manual inventory system, it’s difficult to catch theft. That’s because the records may be out-of-date, just plain inaccurate, or difficult to analyze

Manual systems also aren’t able to enforce rules. I mean, have you ever seen a spreadsheet scold an employee for improper asset management? I didn’t think so.

Automating asset management deters theft and misuse. Most automated systems track chain of custody to make sure the database has records on who had custody of an asset, and when they had custody. Many of these systems can alert managers when an asset is moved or altered.

By automating your asset management process, you create a system of checks and balances that improves accountability and encourages proper custodianship.

Conclusion:

Automation may be a simple solution to the serious problems outlined above. An automated asset tracking system increases efficiency, reduces mistakes, and encourages proper asset management.

When your business faces inefficiencies and lost revenue, you must address it. If you don’t, these problems will continue to damage all aspects of the company.

If you’ve dealt with any of the issues we talked about here, it’s time to take a serious look at automating your asset management system.

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