Asset management for business – main elements and features
Asset management is a fancy word which essentially just means knowing where all of your assets are and ensuring all employees have the equipment they need – on time and in top shape! In pursuit of this seemingly massive feat, studying asset management trends and implementing the right processes is extremely critical.
Regulating asset usage is a major part of a firm’s asset management structure. Assets require careful attention as they go through the various stages of procurement (or production), usage, maintenance, upgrades, and eventually, disposal.
A robust management scheme covers both tangible and intangible assets and helps minimize cost and achieve higher ROI. It facilitates companies with recording accurate information about asset location and utilization. Software solutions offer great value in this respect; they automate processes for firms so that they can reap the benefits of accurate and real-time data and grow their operations.
With many locations, employees, activities, and assets in the mix, asset management can be tricky. Failure to monitor daily progress can pull down performance and profit which is why it is important to correctly deal with the following challenges:
- Inadequate stock levels: Picking the right time to replenish stock can be difficult if you aren’t tracking usage history. Optimal stock levels are key as understocking halts workflows and overstocking increase overhead costs.
- Low Uptime: Lack of maintenance prolongs downtime and eventually reduces the useful life of assets. Unscheduled repairs are costly and lead to low productivity.
- Insufficient data for ownership costs: Documenting asset ownership costs is very crucial. Most firms are unable to record costs incurred starting from procurement to disposal and resale.
Watch asset management trends to develop better strategies
To successfully carry out daily tasks, it is critical for a company to evolve in tandem with market trends. As the year comes to an end, here are the asset management trends to look out for in 2019:
1. Investing in a cloud-based system:
Cloud-based programs have become a popular choice amongst business organizations. By taking asset management to the next level, these allow you to instantly update records and that too, with a flexible payment structure.
A centralized database in cloud-based systems improves collaboration across departments and updates employees on all asset-related activities. Furthermore, with secure backups, you don’t have to worry about losing important information. Always have quick access to in-depth analytics for informed decision-making and scale up without having to change between control systems.
2. Making use of smartphones
Can you believe that you can now switch from bulky scanner devices to smartphones for a quick and easy scan? The possibilities are endless with smartphones these days. With a single click, you can download applications into a tablet or a phone. This is especially handy when working on off-site projects. In addition to convenience, save money by not spending a fortune on scanners for your employees.
Using mobile phones to aid asset tracking can make daily tasks significantly easier. For instance, doctors in hospitals need surgical tools and instruments all day round. In order to encourage better asset tracking, implement mobile checkouts. This way, medical staff can quickly scan items from their phones, record them into the system, and always know where tools are in cases of emergencies!
3. Universal barcode support
An efficient tracking system starts from the right labels, and barcodes are a lifesaver. Universal product code (UPC) is a barcode symbology that is widely used in the US and Canada. With UPC, you can add barcode labels to all your assets to store important product characteristics.
So how does the UPC work? It consists of a 12-digit code that is generated for and assigned to each item. You can store critical information like manufacturer’s ID, purchase or maintenance dates on the tag. Having the added advantage of being a universal symbol, barcodes save you time which otherwise would’ve been spent on converting data manually.
The best part is that these can be scanned with a designated barcode scanner or a mobile app scanner both!
4. BYOD policies
With mobile phones so big in this day and age, organizations have started to implement the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) system. To carry out this practice, employees are required to bring their personal smartphones or tablets to work.
But the interesting thing to note is that BYOD can do wonders for inventory and asset management under a cloud service solution. Instead of company-owned devices, employees can now install the application on their own mobiles and use it to checkout items.
With multiple tasks assigned to an employee, using their own phone speeds up processes. They don’t have to go through the hassle of looking for the official scanner or carrying a bulky device to different locations. Additionally, you won’t have to deal with incompatibility issues and can focus on improving data quality.
5. Configurable workflows
Companies with configurable workflows can standardize the processes associated with each particular transaction. Adopting this for asset management has a positive impact on overall productivity and performance. Let’s see how:
- Universal workflow: Bid farewell to chaotic processes with consistent workflows. Everything goes in a single repository and the whole company stays connected on this platform. Staff members carry out their designated duties after the system alerts the relevant department about the agenda.
- Lower training time: Following the same standard in all work activities saves time spent in training department representatives about the schedule. With streamlined workflows, learning the system becomes considerably easy.
- No need for custom development: Sometimes, organizations have unique assets which need to be utilized in a specific manner. For instance, if you own a 3D printer, you have to lay out certain operating and handling rules. A configurable software lets you tailor templates as per your requirements so you don’t have to opt for custom development.
Implement asset management trends and evaluate the impact
Stepping into the new year gives companies leeway to improve on previous drawbacks and pull up their socks with a better management strategy. In this pursuit, studying and implementing asset management trends is important but so is evaluating their impact.
Whatever organizational changes you make this year, a neat way to assess their impact is by conducting regular self-audits. These help companies meet compliance regulations and flag any warning signs before they cause serious damage.
But audits too require careful consideration; you definitely can’t rush through one. In order to carry them out the right way, prioritize your vendors based on individual profiles. Once this is done, you need to decide your strategy and the scope of the audit.
Always maintain an audit-friendly environment. This curtails gathering asset information only through reliable sources so you can generate accurate progress reports. Most importantly, foster the need for better documentation in your employees. This will not only help optimize asset usage but will allow you to grow sustainably.
Adopting current practices enables you to optimize asset performance and boost productivity levels. So always be on the lookout for changing asset management trends!
Here’s an asset management software that does everything for you. Want to track all your assets in real-time? We’ve got you covered. Want to schedule maintenance, book equipment in advance, and conduct audits? It’s all easy with EZOfficeInventory.
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