Sometimes you get what you pay for. Whether at home or in business, sadly many people learn that the cheapest way isn’t always the best way. This is especially true when it comes to tracking assets or inventory. There are many inexpensive ways to try to keep up with the products used or sold that make a company tick. But just because they aren’t racking up a huge bill doesn’t mean they are the best for your business. Cheap inventory and asset tracking methods can actually hurt a company more than help.
There are many methods to tracking inventory that are cost effective on the bottom line, but in the end, they are more likely to cost a company money. These cheaper forms of tracking have caused companies to lose track of their equipment, fail to maintain it because they don’t keep up with its maintenance history, have to replace it sooner than they would have with a more efficient tracking system in place due to loss, theft, equipment failure, etc. In the worst-case scenarios, many organizations simply do not know what kind of assets they own, how much inventory they have in stock/going out the door, or how much money or time they are losing annually because of these inefficiencies. Businesses really can be at risk.
Have you ever been to the doctor’s office and tried to decipher his handwriting when he gives you a prescription or makes notes on your chart? It can be like trying to read a foreign language! Just imagine if you had to read handwriting from multiple sources on a ledger that tracks a company’s assets or inventory. There are so many possibilities for error it’s scary. One person’s “1” looks like a “7”. Or another’s “S” looks like a “5.” What if “Jim” wasn’t wearing his glasses and jotted down the SKU number for an item incorrectly into the ledger and then it went missing and you were using the SKU Jim wrote down but it wasn’t written correctly, to begin with, and you have no way of getting the right SKU now because the item is nowhere to be found. The list goes on and on! And in today’s era of email and electronic communication, who wants to spend the time writing down long series of numbers and hand-written details about an item every time it’s in use, who it’s used by or it goes in for repair? Yet shockingly, some still use this antiquated method of keeping up with assets and inventory in lieu of a quicker, accurate and flexible asset or inventory tracking system.
Shared Electronic Spreadsheets
So thankfully some companies gave up the handwritten ledgers – too many cups of coffee spilled and smeared the ink making them really illegible! – and decided to catch up with technology and started using electronic spreadsheets (ie Excel documents). These were great for awhile. A much easier and quicker way to enter information into an electronic form that could be shared with others in the company so they could also have access to the status/location/history of an asset or the current stock of inventory. Unfortunately, many of the same errors seen from handwritten ledgers made their way to spreadsheets. “Brad” was in such a rush to enter in his long list of inventory that he was speeding through his list and not paying attention and mistyped all sorts of letters and numbers. So when “John” went to pull up the shared excel sheet that all team members could access to find out where the video camera was for this huge national commercial he was working on with the SKU number associated with it, the camera couldn’t be found because the number was incorrect and the correct version was never entered. Was it lost or stolen or broken? He might never know. So he has to go out and buy a brand new camera, hitting the company with a $10,000 bill! And let’s not leave out the potential issue of “accidentally” erasing lines or columns of data and hitting “save” before you realized it. Hundreds or even thousands of cells of data gone with one push of a button.
Thankfully there is a solution to bypassing the cheap inventory and asset tracking methods. Today’s asset tracking technology is easy to use and companies can migrate their excel spreadsheets to these new platforms and won’t lose data. Many programs are cloud-based systems that sync with mobile apps and come with a mobile barcode scanner that can be used with an employee’s own smartphone or tablet. Employees now have round-the-clock access to the entire lifecycle of each of their company’s assets or inventory – from where it is, the check in/check out status, maintenance reports and even financial data.
Companies are benefitting from cost savings afforded to them in that they keep better tabs on all their assets and inventory. Employees are better able to use their time instead of looking for misplaced assets or trying to track down an inventory numbers. Businesses have been able to reduce the number of duplicate purchases by confirming what has already been purchased through real-time data that can be fully customized for a company’s individual reporting needs.
Asset Panda offers the most powerful and user-friendly asset tracking system on the market. With Asset Panda, organizations have complete control over the management of their assets and inventory – entirely from the mobile devices their employees already carry. This integrated system combines free mobile apps for Android and iOS devices that sync with the cloud, along with a built-in mobile scanner, eliminating the need to purchase other costly hardware and software. Clients can add as many users as they wish, and customize fields to reflect their specific needs. From the palm of your hand or on the web, Asset Panda gives you real-time information on the check- in/check-out status of equipment, what condition those items are in, their repair histories and maintenance schedules. Asset Panda’s built-in barcode scanner enables users to locate specific items that have been logged into the Asset Panda tool in a matter of seconds.
Asset Panda is flexible and incredibly easy to use while at the same time extremely affordable because we don’t have hardware or software licenses to pay for upgrades, and our customers don’t have to purchase separate barcode scanners.
Try Asset Panda for free with a 14-day trial, and you’ll say goodbye to those scary cheap tracking methods forever! Visit assetpanda.com to get started today.