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Dealing with the asset inventory of an organization is often time-consuming and labour-intensive. This article will explore some of the complexities involved in asset management, particularly with information technology (IT) asset inventory, and how an asset inventory system can offer benefits.
Asset inventory is the way an organization lists and provides details of the assets it owns. This can cover a range of different types of assets, from tangible fixed assets such as property and equipment, intangible assets such as intellectual property. Asset inventory management is the way the organization monitors the assets it owns to track and analyze issues such as physical location, maintenance requirements, depreciation, performance, and eventual disposal of the asset.
Implementing a robust way of managing your asset inventory is a critical part of your company’s accounting processes. It also helps to ensure that the business has a clear understanding of the assets it owns and that said assets are being utilized in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
The terms inventory management and asset inventory management are often used interchangeably, but in practice, there are a few key differences.
|Inventory Management||Asset Inventory Management|
|This deals with items that are either sold or consumed by the organization.||This deals with what the organization owns.|
|Inventory management usually refers to stock that is held by the business for a short period of time, before being used or sold.||Inventory asset management generally relates to items that are owned, or intended to be owned, by the business for a minimum of twelve months.|
|The purpose of inventory management is to track the location, time period held, and value of a stock before it is sold or used.||The purpose of inventory asset management is the same as for inventory management, but also includes analyzing other areas such as depreciation, performance, and asset maintenance.|
There are plenty of asset inventory management softwares out there on the market. You should take some time to make sure that you choose one with the features that your business will value.
However, there are some key features that you should expect at a minimum:
First, look for a system that has a good maintenance scheduling component. Choose one that will allow you to plan and arrange both routine and emergency repairs to equipment and your IT asset inventory to ensure that any issues disrupt business operations as little as possible.
Another important consideration is a system that provides good reporting functionality for your inventory assets. This will help you analyze different aspects of your asset inventory, from depreciation rates and asset values to tracking and comparing performance.
Finally, there are several functionalities that are important to look for in your asset inventory system. For example, a system that is easily configurable and customizable means you will be able to adjust workflows, template documents, and forms to suit the intricacies of your organization’s processes and policies. A system that is mobile compatible and cloud-based will also offer your teams maximum flexibility and ease of use.
Now that we know more about how an asset inventory system works, let’s take a closer look at the benefits it can offer a business.
One of the most significant advantages that it has over a manual inventory asset system is the ability to store all documents relating to each asset in one place. Such documents could be warranties, receipts, user manuals, etc., and keeping them together is a great way to improve organization and effectiveness in your asset inventory process.
Users of asset inventory software also value the ability to schedule maintenance automatically, as well as potentially perform remote updates and inspections to IT asset inventory such as laptops or tablets. This saves the IT staff valuable time and resources.
Another key benefit is the ability to reduce loss through theft of valuable assets via physical verification and tagging of fixed assets. It means that the asset inventory software can produce the most accurate asset inventory possible that can be compared to physical assets. Discrepancies are identified and resolved much more promptly than via manual methods.
If your organization owns, purchases, and manages fixed and other assets with a high value, it is worth taking the time to consider how an asset inventory management system can help you make your existing processes more efficient. With so many types of asset inventory systems out there, take advantage of the numerous free demos available so that you can ensure you are investing in a system that meets your organization’s specific needs and offers you real value for money.