Time… Whether it’s dust in the wind, saved in a bottle or ticking into the future, musicians have long-lamented time’s frustrating, fleeting nature. And if you’re in asset and inventory management, no doubt you can sing a mournful (though perhaps less radio-ready) song of lost hours, AWOL assets and endless to-do lists. For many of us, the refrain will be familiar. How do you:
- Manage perpetually-changing asset data and keep it current?
- Ensure your inventory is accurate in time for regular auditing?
- And quickly and efficiently produce the asset reports needed for accounting compliance?
When you’re doing all of that manually — even with the aid of spreadsheets — it can be cumbersome, inconsistent and, frankly, not much of a beat you can dance to.
Fortunately, there are software systems that can help you turn the beat around on many common asset management challenges — improving your efficiency, increasing accuracy and, all the while, saving you time and money. So to start you off on the right note, here are seven ways an effective automated asset and inventory management system can help you get time on your side.
1.) Inventory scanning technology puts more time within your reach.
Today’s RFID and barcode scanners are a great way to increase your efficiency while doing inventory. With a push of a button, your scanner can capture the information on an item’s asset tag, allowing you to make updates to the asset record right on the mobile device, and then upload the new, accurate asset info straight into your asset management database. No more spreadsheets. No more handwritten updates. No more manual entry, delays in accessing the most current data, or manual verifications. It’s all there, in real-time.
2. ) Enjoy robust reporting at the click of a mouse.
With the right automated asset and inventory management system, reporting may take virtually no time at all! Use canned reports or, depending on your system’s capabilities, create ad hoc reports customized to your needs. Because the report functionality is a part of your asset and inventory management system, the information you report on is always easily accessed and always current. So whether you’re looking for a standard inventory report, or a more specialized one on discrepancies, missing or new items, correct items or inventory progress, it can be generated in a snap.
3.) Apply the time you once spent troubleshooting spreadsheet errors to other, more productive tasks.
Whenever you do inventory by hand, even with the best of intentions, very human mistakes are bound to creep in. What’s worse, sometimes those innocent errors get grandfathered in to spreadsheets, become normalized and spread to other calculations. Tracking down the source of the problem can take time and sometimes even require fresh eyes. But a computerized inventory and asset accounting system can help keep your asset information organized and accurate through every step of its lifecycle. It can reduce the chance of human error and free up time that’s better spent elsewhere. (Like spending less time managing data and more time making decisions!)
4.) Spend less time playing detective, tracking down the mystery of missing assets.
With an automated asset and inventory management system, asset information is always at your fingertips. The right system will contain a history of every asset, where it’s being used, whether it’s checked in or out, who is using it, whether it’s been disposed of, and when, how, and by whom. An efficient asset management software system should give you the asset’s full lifecycle at a glance. Automated asset management takes the mystery out of the process. You can finally put away your Sherlock Holmes hat. (Which is good, because you probably wear enough different hats at your organization as it is.)
5.) Less-cumbersome inventory means fewer staff need to even be involved.
With computer automation powering your inventory management process, you can get more inventory done, more quickly and with fewer people. Which means more of your staff is freed up to accomplish other things in the same timeframe. Some of our customers have told us it’s like having an extra employee at your side. Just think: no more backlog of projects stalling out on your to-do list during inventory season while everybody’s attention is on inventorying your assets. The productivity is a beautiful thing.
6.) Transferring assets becomes a breeze.
With an automated asset management and inventory management system, transferring assets no longer means filling out transfer PDFs, printing them out and faxing them (or—ugh! — snail-mailing them!) to various administrators for endless approvals. Instead, transfers between departments, owners, funds, locations — and more! — are electronic and automated. Email notifications and online approvals mean you never have to print transfers or make a trip to the mailbox. Plus, the system records a history of every transfer transaction, so as memories fade and inventory rolls around again, you’ll always know just where that asset ended up. Say good-bye to those transfer hassles!
7.) No need to take time out of your day to make unnecessary purchases.
By knowing what you have in your asset inventory at all times, this means you can spend less time (and money) purchasing “replacement” items. When somebody makes a purchase request, you can quickly see what you already have on hand — and seize the opportunity to make the most of your existing assets.
Asset and inventory management no longer has to be a daily struggle between time and accuracy. And anyone from property managers to the accounting team can benefit from the time savings and precision of automation. With the powerful asset and inventory management technology available in today’s market you can see that the times, they are a-changin’.
For more information on one trusted software solution for asset and inventory management, click here.