The Financial Benefits of Surplus Software for Universities

Moving to an automated solution to manage your surplus assets can result in a slew of fantastic benefits. Ones not just for your warehouse but your whole university. Surplus management software can save you time, encourage other departments to become more involved, and, of course,  make sure your university’s assets are disposed of responsibly.

Best of all, a surplus software solution can impact your university’s pocketbook — in a very positive way. It not only helps the university understand what available assets it already has and avoid incurring new costs, but it helps you get the most out of every surplus sale. And that translates to more revenue.

Put simply, invest in a surplus software solution and it could result in more money for your institution and your surplus operation. No matter how your surplus department is funded, this is one case where we can say confidently that more money will not lead to more problems.

Cost Avoidance

To curb university spending, your surplus operation has the unique power to limit new institutional purchases. How? By encouraging and ramping-up the reuse of existing surplus property. Those efforts (hopefully combined with a university-wide policy for managing surplus assets) likely already save your institution money. So let’s take a look at a couple of ways that surplus software can bolster those efforts.

Maximize Your Resources

We’ve noticed that, for many university surplus operations, it can be difficult to get buy-in from the administration on the resources you need to operate at full-efficiency. For example, with so many competing priorities, your institution may not be able to fund the number of warehouse staff members you truly need. As a result, staff may be few and spread too thin.

Now think of surplus management software as a brand-new staff member — one that really knows their stuff. It should come equipped with automation to help you streamline those everyday processes. And that’s the way we built the AssetWorks Surplus Management Software (SMS). We designed it to support your university surplus operations with all the modules you need to empower:

  • Counter sales
  • Web surplus
  • Live auctions
  • Third-party online auctions
  • Lotting
  • Accounting documentation
  • Point-of-sale NEW

With surplus management software handling the tasks that were formerly done manually, you and your staff can spend more time on things that even the most advanced automation can’t do… Like developing new relationships with university departments. And that can help your surplus operation grow, both in size and revenue.

Extra Help, Same Staff

One large university in the Midwest told us that by automating surplus management processes with AssetWorks, their warehouse was able to triple their surplus volume, without adding a single staff member!

Extend Useful Life

At AssetWorks, we’re big believers in taking the proactive approach to asset management.

Once you facilitate things like resale and redistribution, your surplus warehouse not only becomes responsible for extending the life of university assets, you ensure every penny is well-spent.

Pair the approach with a robust surplus software solution and, suddenly, you’re armed with a recorded history of every asset sold. This data then allows you to calculate a dollar value of all the potential costs that the university avoided. It can even give you detailed information on what’s been redistributed back on campus.

When it comes to making a name for your surplus warehouse on campus and around town, being able to tell the administration, “We helped the university avoid spending this much money” can go a long way. And who knows? Quantifying the value of your surplus operation might just award you a new (human) staff member or two, as well.

Revenue Generation

At AssetWorks, we’ve seen firsthand the large role surplus operations can play in university revenue generation — with or without surplus software. But automating things like workflow processes, reporting, and sales can strengthen your money-making endeavors in an exciting and effective way.

More Time for Strategic Initiatives

As discussed earlier, manually-performing surplus management work processes means you spend a lot of time on administrative tasks. Tasks like data entry, organizing documents, etc. So by the time one task ends, another begins. And that doesn’t leave much time for other duties.

As a result, you might feel like your warehouse is just scratching the surface on sales-related activities. These include things like hosting live auctions, listing items on online auction platforms, and advertising available items. When do you find time for those?

By streamlining everyday operations, automated surplus systems give your institution the chance to focus on the tasks that help you make money. You’ll also be able to invest more time in strategic decision-making and planning. You’ll know which efforts paid-off and which were less effective. And it’s that kind of knowledge that helps your surplus warehouse (and sales) grow.

Surplus Asset Management Software Pricing Guide

No matter where you are in the software shopping process, let us help! Check out this blog post, where we fill you in on the pricing structure for our Surplus Management Software (SMS), and talk a little bit about what you can expect from the implementation process.


Regardless of the method used, reselling university surplus assets can do great things for your university’s bottom line. The right surplus software solution should support these efforts, whether it’s through online auction, live auction, or retail sales.

Online Auction

Many of our university partners leverage the power of auctions to sell surplus assets. If you aren’t doing so already, consider using online auction platforms like GovDeals and Public Surplus to get your best items in front of bidders. For small colleges or universities with limited resources, they can be the perfect place to start.

AssetWorks’ SMS was developed specifically to interface with leading online auction platforms. (We include GovDeals, AssetNation and many more.) One time-saver is how you can create auctions directly within the surplus system, eliminating the need for double data entry. All pictures, descriptions, and sales information follow the asset, as it’s listed for auction and sold.

Live Auction

Automation can also be excellent for live auctions, by providing lotting capabilities, bidder registration, sales processing, and even invoice production.

Retail Sale

For universities with storefronts, surplus management software does the sales and invoicing mentioned above, but you can also manage accounts and individual buyers. Track payments against sales, payment history, and more. Plus, with easy access to your surplus sales history, you can see what sold well, how, when and where, then use that data to shape future auction decisions.

Quick Tip: Snap a Photo!

Whether you sell through a virtual warehouse or an online auction, clear photographs of your assets can help prospective buyers make quicker, more informed decisions.

A mobile application for adding photos to asset records — a feature available with automated surplus software — can save time and effort with this task.

Yes, a picture’s worth a thousand words… and more revenue for your university!

In the years we’ve spent getting to know university surplus managers, we’ve seen plenty of programs exceed financial expectations, get serious attention from administration, and spur even more growth. And when they add a surplus software tool like AssetWorks’ SMS to their extensive expertise? It becomes a great way to discover new efficiency, avoid unnecessary costs and unearth exciting new sources of revenue generation.

Whether you’re tracking one facility or multiple distribution centers, AssetWorks Surplus Management Software (SMS) is a scalable solution, designed to help your surplus warehouse automate and streamline processes, making it easier to achieve both environmental and fiscal sustainability goals.


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