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[How-to] Improve Asset Tracking with Custom Substates in AssetSonar


Enterprises own multiple assets that move through various stages in their operational workflows. IT managers can create custom substates to define these stages according to their specific requirements.

A custom substate is defined as a more specific state of the parent state of an asset. The parent state is a general state also known as an asset’s primary state.  

Here are some examples of parent states and their substates for understanding:

Parent StateSubstate
AvailableDefault, In Transit to User, In Transit to Origin 
Checked OutDefault, Under Evaluation 
Under MaintenanceDefault, Undergoing Repair, Quality Inspection, Routine Service 

Custom substates are only applicable to Assets and Asset stocks. 

1. Benefits of Custom Substates

Here’s how a user can benefit from custom substates:

  • Enhanced communication: All business stakeholders remain on the same page regarding the asset status and status updates. This way, users know where and in what state an asset is located. 
  • Improved collaboration: By identifying the stage of an asset, departments can better communicate and streamline operations. Users can resolve bottlenecks and inefficiencies if an asset remains in a particular state for prolonged periods. For example, the operations team can take corrective action if an asset is in the ‘In transit’ state for too long. 
  • Increased visibility: Substates provide clarity to users regarding the stage of an asset. For instance, if an Operations Manager needs to check out an asset, they could see if it is available and whether it is in transit and make decisions accordingly. 

Let’s walk you through the custom substates workflow to understand how to use the feature.

2. Custom Substates for IT Assets

2.1. Enable Custom Substates Add On 

Go to Company Settings → Add-ons → ‘Enable Custom Substates’ and contact the support team to enable it. 

Enable Custom Substates Add On 

2.2. Creating Custom Substates

You can access and create Custom Substates from the Navigation Menu → More → Customize → Custom Substates. 

Creating Custom Substates

You will now be directed to the Custom Substates main page. Go to the Asset tab and then click on ‘Add Custom Substate’.  

Creating Custom Substates1

Choose Parent State from the dropdown menu on the Create Sub State page.

Creating Custom Substates2

Then, define the name of the substate and explain the substate in the description field. For example, the ‘In transit’ substate is when the asset is being moved from one location to another. 

Creating Custom Substates3

Click ‘Done’ after defining your Custom Substate. You can view this substate on the Custom Substates listing page as shown below. 

Creating Custom Substates4

3. Editing a Custom Substate

Click on the Substate → Edit. The page below will appear to change the substate name and description. For instance, the description has changed in the example below.

Editing a Custom Substate

4. Deactivating a Custom Substate 

Click on the Substate → Deactivate. An overlay will appear to confirm the deactivation of the substate. 

Deactivating a Custom Substate

Once the substate is successfully deactivated, it will appear grey on the custom substate listing page and you will not be able to set this substate as a ‘Default’ substate. 

Deactivating a Custom Substate1

Alternatively, you can also activate an already deactivated substate. On the listings page, click the substate and then click ‘Activate’ from the Substate Details page. 

Deactivating a Custom Substate2

5. Setting default state for all Assets

You can move all assets to the default substate. This is the substate that an IT Asset will fall in once you move it to the Parent state. To do this, click on ‘Move Available Assets to [state name]’ and all assets will move to the default state. 

Setting default state for all Assets

An overlay will appear to highlight the total number of available assets that will be moved to the default state. It also highlights that this is an irreversible action once performed.

Setting default state for all Assets1

You can also change the asset substate from the Asset Details Page. Go to More → Change Substate to. You can change the substate to any substate within the defined Primary state – for example, ‘Available: Delivery in Progress’ as shown below. 

Setting default state for all Assets2

6. Viewing Substate history 

You can view history details of an asset’s transition from one substate to another. To view, go to More → History from the Asset Details Page.  

Viewing Substate history

An overlay will appear stating all substate transitions performed on the asset. 

Viewing Substate history1

7. Custom Substate for Asset stock 

7.1. Creating Custom Substates

Create Custom Substates for Asset stocks from the Navigation Menu → More → Customize → Custom Substates. Go to the Asset Stock tab and click ‘Add Custom Substate’. You can choose Parent States such as Available, Checked out, Retired, and Verification Pending. Then add a custom substate name and its description.

Custom Substate for Asset stock

Note: The action to move Asset Stock to a substate cannot be reversed. 

7.2. For Asset stocks added before enabling Custom Substates

If you already have Asset Stock items in your account prior to creating Custom Substates, you can also assign substates to them. Go to the Custom Substates page and click ‘Move Available Asset Stock Quantity’. The selected substate for this action is always the default state. For example, ‘In transit’ is the default state shown below. 

For Asset stocks added before enabling Custom Substates

7.3. For Asset stocks added after enabling Custom Substates 

When you have added new Asset stock, go to More→ Add Stock on the Asset stock Details page. You can specify the quantity and location for this stock. 

For Asset stocks added after enabling Custom Substates

The new stock quantities are automatically assigned the default substate. 

For Asset stocks added after enabling Custom Substates1

7.4. Adding Asset Stock to Carts

Asset Stock quantities in different substates can also be added to Cart(s). For this purpose, go to the Asset Stock Details page → More → Add to Cart. An overlay will appear asking you to enter Location, Quantity, and State of the required Asset Stock. 

Adding Asset Stock to Carts

Once you select the relevant fields, Asset Stock will be transferred to a Cart.

Adding Asset Stock to Carts1

8. Custom Substates for Bundles and Packages

If you assign a Custom Substate to an IT Asset that is part of a Package, the remaining contents of that entire Package will be assigned to that substate. 

Let’s say, a Package labeled ‘Laptop and Accessories — HP Mini 110’ has an HP Mini 110 as one of its components. Since the Package is in the ‘Available: In shipping’ substate, its laptop is also in the same substate.

Custom Substates for Bundles and Packages
Custom Substates for Bundles and Packages1

In the case of Bundles, individual items can exist in any substate regardless of the substate of their bundle. However, if a Bundle is checked out via a Cart, the current state of the Cart will apply to all the items within the bundle.

9. Filter reports by Custom Substates

AssetSonar also gives you the ability to filter Asset and Asset Stock reports by Custom Substates. Go to Reports, pick an Asset or Asset Stock report of your choice, apply the Custom Substate filter as shown, and click ‘Update’ to get specific information.

Filter reports by Custom Substates

By following these simple steps, you are all set to create Custom Substates and utilize them to improve the visibility of your Assets and their respective states. 

Read more: [How-to] Configure Custom Roles in AssetSonar

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