Industry: Government organization, police department
Location: Lebanon, Tennessee, United States
Asset Panda Solutions:
- general asset tracking and management
- computer maintenance, repair, and trouble-shooting records
- agency contract management
- employee contracts management
Customer Since: 2013
Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Ensures They’re Using Taxpayer Money Effectively
The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office manages 270 deputies to keep the peace within their county. When Chris Andrews, Technical Services Unit Director, signed on, he immediately saw the problems that came from using spreadsheets to track assets for all of those deputies.
After years of searching for a comprehensive asset management solution, Andrews chose Asset Panda because of its customization. Once implemented, the asset tracking software provided the following solutions:
- Created a holistic solution to track several processes, including asset management, contract management, IT help desk, and employee policies.
- Provided insight into equipment failure and how to prevent it
- Offered advanced fleet management measures
- Improved understanding of how and where assets were used
- And more!
“Asset Panda has made our lives so much easier. I can’t remember back before it. We would still be fighting with spreadsheets, probably hundreds of spreadsheets, unorganized data and not really having a handle on what assets we have or who has them.”
– Chris Andrews, Technical Services Unit Director
Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for keeping the peace within their Tennessee community. Along with enforcing the law, the office runs the jail and manages the inmates and hundreds of employees throughout the county. The officers are also responsible for the security of court proceedings and serving warrants, while the county jail houses prisoners that are serving time for misdemeanors and felonies and oversees inmate activities and security.
Officers serve several programs, including special response teams, school resource officers, lake patrol, and even senior citizen awareness. They work to protect and serve the 115,000 citizens of Wilson County.
One of the biggest issues when it comes to asset tracking is that the Sheriff’s Office is funded completely with taxpayers money. They need to show the county government, as well as the taxpayers themselves, what they are doing with that money.
Before they started using Asset Panda, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office relied solely on spreadsheets. While that helped them with one aspect of asset tracking, there were many other features that were severely lacking.
“A spreadsheet does one thing well and that is having a place where your assets are,” said Andrews. “You know what you have, you know how much it costs, you know where it came from, but you can’t easily track who you gave it to or who gave it back to you — and when things happened with that asset — without getting more complicated.”
Relying on spreadsheets made it difficult for the Sheriff’s Office to track their many-faceted assets. Officers rely on hundreds of assets to help them do their job. These items include radios, weapons, badges, vehicles, and more. As such, they needed to track their weapons arsenal, uniform components, technology assets, and disposable items.
When you break it down, there’s a lot of little pieces. Radios require batteries, phones need chargers, and weapons have ammo and holsters. Trying to track these things separately would lead to tracking hundreds of items in an inefficient spreadsheet system.
“The spreadsheet works for knowing what we had but it didn’t really help us know where it was, who had it, who had it last and to be able to track individual things that happened in the life cycle,” noted Andrews.
The Sheriff’s Office needed an asset tracking solution that not only showed them what assets they had on hand, but also where it is and who lasted used it. Andrews spent a decade trying to find something that tracked every aspect of asset usage.
Before coming to Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Andrews spent years evaluating asset tracking software. During that time, he found that many of the available solutions had similar strengths and weaknesses. They all provided a place to record asset information, but didn’t have a way of tracking who was using which asset in real time.
When Andrews signed on, there was no IT department. He had to start from nothing and create a solution that tracked all of the office’s assets. After using spreadsheets when he first became director of IT services, he decided they needed a change.
Andrews looked at several solutions he had used in his previous IT experience. While they were certainly better than nothing, they didn’t provide solutions for all of the unique asset tracking issues presented in this environment. His experience told him they needed to track their assets, investments, and properties better than those solutions could provide. That’s when he decided to purchase Asset Panda.
Andrews was heavily involved in the set-up process because of his position at the Sheriff’s Office.
“We built most of the database ourselves, by choice,” he explained. “I wanted to understand how it works so we chose the self-guided route and built the solution ourselves.”
However, if he encountered any problems with the set-up process, the Asset Panda customer service team was there to support him with anything he needed. A big part of the reason Andrews decided on this solution was the level of customer service he received while setting up the database.
Andrews was impressed with the level of customization they delivered, both in the software and in their account support. He called in frequently to understand the nature of the software and how to use it to solve their specific issues with asset tracking.
“What impressed me was their level of guiding their software to fit in the law enforcement industry,” he said. “They were very interested in making the product enterprise grade and they were willing to work with us, adding features and thorough training.”
Along with tracking physical assets, Asset Panda makes it easy for all departments under the Sheriff’s Office to track contracts and agreements.
Additionally, Asset Panda’s flexible platform makes it easy for the office to track contracts and agreements. It also sends notifications for when those contracts expire, so they can take action to renew ones they rely on and retire those that aren’t serving them anymore. This includes employee records, hardware service plans, agency agreements, asset financials, and more.
This is especially helpful for long-term contracts, such as those required for jail phone systems. Since these contracts tend to last for several years, the IT department needs notifications when something is about to expire.
“When I need help, Asset Panda is a phone call away and I get someone who knows my name and helps me immediately,” Andrews said.
Asset Panda has helped the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office save on costs. When they understand what types of hardware or equipment they’ve purchased, it helps them cut down on unnecessary spending. Comparing that to how many assets are being used helps them use taxpayer money efficiently and effectively.
Perhaps the most notable solution Asset Panda provided was creating a holistic enterprise-grade solution to track all aspects of the office. “I’m not having to go to three different places to find information and they all link together,” Andrews explained.
Andrews also hosts his IT help desk in the platform. If anyone is having an issue with technology assets, his team can go into the database and get a lot of information right away that helps them address the issue.
As far as asset management is concerned, the Sheriff’s Office has more insight into what equipment fails more often and what stands up to wear and tear. That information helps guide purchasing decisions to avoid wasting money on assets that don’t work.
They’ve also started using the fleet management aspect of the software to ensure officers can count on their vehicles at all times of the day. From tracking mileage to maintenance issues, their team has a better idea of when vehicles need to be replaced and can plan accordingly.
Without Asset Panda, the entire IT department would be spending countless hours trying to manage their assets with cumbersome spreadsheets.
Overall, Asset Panda has made it possible for Wilson County Sheriff’s Office to track exactly how taxpayers’ money is being used, while saving the department hours of time each week. The holistic solution has made it possible for them to put all that information in one place, leading to more transparency and efficiency for the community at large. Their office isn’t wasting money. Every dollar goes towards further the safety and well-being of the community.
Andrews loves how integrated this solution has become to his organization. “The biggest thing I can say to that is the flexibility. When I mentioned the different types of assets we track, we track the physical assets, but we also track others in the same solution, which is where I think I was most impressed,” he explained.
“We track contracts and agreements so it keeps up with whether or not we’ve signed this contract, have we got an invoice for it, when does it expire, and we get notifications when those things expire,” Andrews said. “I think the best part is we can customize it for anything. I’ve got my IT help desk in Asset Panda, I track contracts and agreements, I track employee records so in one solution I can do most of my job.”
Many organizations like Wilson County Sheriff’s Office use Asset Panda as a holistic tracking solution to help manage several aspects of their operations. One company in the entertainment industry, Block Party Suites, has a unique business model and provides party suites built in shipping containers for parties surrounding major events. Asset Panda helps them track the items and investments tied to each shipping container to ensure everything is where it should be before sending the suite out for use.
Sound like something your company could use? You can try Asset Panda completely free for two weeks, or call us at 855-909-6058 for a custom quote!
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