eQuip!: an Assetworks solution

How These Companies Conquered Their Spreadsheet Problems with eQuip!

A young woman works at a laptop. Text overlay reads "How these companies conquered their spreadsheet problems with eQuip."
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Asset management is not easy. In fact, if you are using spreadsheets to manage your assets, it’s downright hard.

But if you’re struggling with managing property with spreadsheets, you’re not alone. Many of our customers tell us how relieved they feel after switching from spreadsheets.

Today, we’re going to talk about the top reasons they enjoy using software over spreadsheets. We’ll also cover the specific features in eQuip! they use to solve the problems they experienced using spreadsheets.

1. Tracking many assets in spreadsheets is a daunting task

If you are tracking hundreds (or even thousands) of assets in spreadsheets, it can feel like you are buried under a mountain of data. Tyco Integrated Security struggled with the thousands of technology assets they managed for a government customer. Chris Czarnowski said “[Managing the assets with spreadsheets] was a daunting task.”

The eQuip! app eased their burden with custom searches, reports, and key performance indicator tracking all in one place. Czarnowski says that after the switch, “…the technician has greater autonomy and control of the inventory on their iPhone app.” Just try achieving that with Excel.

2. Software enforces business rules; spreadsheets don’t

Business rules are important because otherwise assets could be created that are missing critical data. For instance, if you need asset prices in order to create important reports, it’s vital that each asset have a price. Otherwise your reports will be inaccurate.

Business rules can’t be enforced in spreadsheets, unless you’re a guru when it comes to using cryptic formulas or macros. There are forums and even classes to teach you to program spreadsheets, but learning all of that on top of everyday work is close to unmanageable.

Mark Brown of NCI Information Systems used to grapple with enforcing his business rules in his asset management process. When his company began using eQuip, Brown was excited by its capabilities. He said, “The level of customization that is available right out of the box far surpasses our expectations, and allows us to meet all of our organizational requirements.”

Rather than force you to learn workarounds to enforce business rules, eQuip! makes it easy to prevent business rules from being broken. For examples, it doesn’t allow individual assets to be saved until certain rules are met.

When it comes to asset data, prevention is better than cure.

3. They needed stronger data permission controls

One of the more frustrating aspects of spreadsheets our customers used to deal with is the lack of permission settings in spreadsheets.

Sure, you can lock spreadsheets from being altered, but that locks out everyone. What if you need to allow only certain people, like your boss, without allowing every property custodian to access it?

This is especially a problem if you work with government property, which sometimes requires you to enforce security clearance levels.

eQuip! facilitates these needs with its extensive permissions. You can drill down on exactly what type of assets can be accessed by a certain user, what assets can be viewed in what locations by certain users, and you can even hide certain data fields or assets from certain users.

The folks over at Boecore, Inc. like to use role permission in eQuip! to create group-specific roles. These are especially useful when adding a new user to the eQuip! system. The admins can assign the new user to a role based on their job function. This automatically limits what the new user can see and access, keeping their assets more secure.

4. Double-checking data for accuracy takes too much time (and money)

Who want to sit for hours calculating totals and confirming that their calculations have been setup correctly in their spreadsheets?

Data checking can be so overwhelming, Johnson Controls used to hire many temporary employees just to get their data under control. Once they started using eQuip, however, Jason Rockwell states they were able to “cut [their] temporary data entry operator staff from 20 employees last year, to 3 employees this year.”

That’s because testing your calculations in eQuip! is easy. With the use of the variety of reports available in eQuip, you can present accurate data without spending hours on cleanup or hiring extra staff to do it for you.

5. Tracking the movement history of assets is nearly impossible in spreadsheets

Managing asset movement with spreadsheets is largely manual. You have to change the location of an assets each time it’s moved. But how about tracking the history of the moves for a certain asset? Setting this up in spreadsheets and actually trying to track the moves is definitely a challenge.

eQuip! saves the history of each individual asset, and that history is saved on the individual asset. This history is vital for New Caney Independent School District. The district depends on asset movement history to keep track their assets as they move from room-to-room and even school-to-school.

Asset management software ensures that you not only know where an asset is, but where it was.

6. Accurate reporting often means consolidating data from different sources

Gathering data from multiple departments depends on multiple people tracking assets in multiple spreadsheets and tracking them accurately. The possibility of human error is great.

In addition, consolidating this data is a task in its own right. Unless every department shares a standard template, you will have to spend time changing column names, arranging data, and ensuring everyone entered standardized data.

eQuip! allows multiple people in multiple departments to track assets in a centralized location. Better yet, the rules for entering assets can be enforced before assets are even created in the system. This means all data is validated and standardized. No need to change each “Y” to “Yes” and fix date formats to get the reports you need.

eQuip! users at Rolls Royce particularly enjoy this standardization. eQuip! data validation and standardization allows them to consistently use similar data fields and reporting. Bonus: because Rolls Royce can enforce consistent business rules, it makes training new users much easier. They don’t even have to change their training slide deck!

Conclusion

If you’re still using spreadsheets for part (or all) of your asset management process, you may have found yourself facing the same frustrations our customers have. So, what do you do now?

Now is the time to start thinking about switching to asset management software.

You may be worried about asking permission to acquire software. If so, feel free to use the examples we gave above to make your case.

Or, just print out the mountain of spreadsheets you’re using to track assets and drop them on your boss’s desk…

…Alright, maybe don’t do that.

Since dumping your spreadsheets isn’t an option, you can always talk to eQuip! asset management experts. They can help you find the best way to proceed so your boss has a good bottom line, and you can finally recycle those sheets.

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