September 23, 2021
Asset Inventory Tracking App: Manage Assets On The Go
If you’ve been considering an asset inventory tracking app, now is the time. Work is no longer limited to the confines of an office, a desk and a desktop computer. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic sent many of us home to work, our smartphones, tablets and laptops tethered us to work from anywhere in the world we happened to be – at an international conference across the ocean or from the stands of a child’s evening soccer practice.
What started as a trend may now be an indelible fact. Companies are continuing to get their arms around what their respective workplaces will look like in late 2021 and beyond and, in a significant percentage of cases, it’s going to look like a hybrid of old and new, combining office and “face time” with work from home. This hybrid format raises the stakes on the importance of technology. It’s imperative that companies know the IT assets they have, the condition those items are in, and where those items are located at any time of day. As we know well, the IT world doesn’t sleep. Decisions have to be made around the clock by IT departments about resource allocation, software updates, unexpected bugs and urgent fixes.
Whether for better or worse, work goes wherever we do now – and all thanks to mobile technology. On one side of the coin, smartphones and tablets mean we don’t have to ever have to turn work off if we don’t want to or, at the very least, we don’t have to wait to get back into the office the next morning to access records, check the status of a project or issue a work order, to name just a few examples. Boundaries are important for the sake of work/life balance – especially now that a significant percentage of us continue to work remotely. However, there are certain functions for which we can state without hesitation that mobile technology offers measurable improvements, saving companies time and money, boosting efficiency, productivity and accuracy, and ensuring that their employees are prepared for a workplace that likely will remain remote, at least in part.
A survey conducted by Owl Labs found the following:
Since 2020 people have been meeting by video calls 50 percent more than they did before COVID-19.
- During COVID-19 close to 70 percent of full-time workers are working from home.
- After COVID-19, 92 percent of people surveyed expect to work from home at least one day per week.
- Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they would be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote work compared to those who didn’t.
Our current remote landscape
At this very moment, your company’s work environment probably includes some remote employees and maybe a reduced number in the office on staggered schedules. This arrangement may be duplicated across multiple locations if you’re a larger entity. Perhaps you have international subsidiaries, each working in a similar arrangement. We’ve never been more dependent on technology; it’s our lifeline for collaboration and communication. You may have assigned company-issued IT assets to your employees. Depending on how your organization is structured, you may need to examine asset use by department, by location or across the company as a whole. Because your IT equipment represents a significant financial outlay, your objective is to take good care of those items and keep up with necessary software and equipment updates so you can steer clear of interruptions to productivity and stave off asset replacement as long as possible.
The Asset Inventory Management Process
Asset and inventory management aren’t the same things, but they can be performed using the same tool. Assets or fixed assets help organizations generate income but aren’t sold for a profit. Think IT equipment, office supplies, office furniture, company vehicles, office space, etc. Inventory refers to your source of income, whether that’s parts or products. Each fixed asset has a value that must be reported for accounting and compliance purposes. Its maintenance schedule provides insight into any recurring issues. Asset management enables administrators to plan ahead through such processes as auditing, so they always know what they have and where it’s located. They can plan ahead for projects and equip staff with the assets they need – assets that have been carefully maintained and won’t present teams with any unforeseen breakdowns or other IT issues.
So what is inventory management? Manufacturers strive to maintain a balance between carrying enough inventory to accommodate customer demand, including any seasonal fluctuations in buying patterns and/or economic headwinds or tailwinds. Inventory management provides complete visibility into inventory quantities, locations, values, the condition of those items, and other vitally important details. The objective is to make sure that customers have what they want when they want it – and use data and analysis to predict how much inventory is enough, so that items don’t sit on shelves and expire.
Asset Inventory Management is complicated and time-consuming for many reasons, including the fact that this data is changing all the time. You can assign an employee or employees to track and manage it, but even the best-intentioned employee is bound to miss something, enter a typo or commit some other kind of error or oversight. Manual tracking requires manual data entry as well as access to the lifecycle of each asset, including such details as maintenance history. The employee(s) responsible for asset inventory management must be able to pinpoint the expected location, condition and value of any asset, along with key details like insurance policies and warranties, check-in/check-out dates and more. IT managers have to keep up with critical software updates and routine preventive maintenance, be able to monitor asset use, create equipment refresh schedules, and determine when to retire an asset, for example.
The transparency that asset inventory tracking and inventory management provides can help organizations avoid ghost assets, shadow IT and other potentially wasteful and/or risky practices that could present security risks and add undue costs to the bottom line.
Accuracy really isn’t possible without 1) communication among all stakeholders involved in the lifecycle of your inventory and assets; and 2) the ability to track asset inventory management in real time 24 hours a day using an automated system that reduces manual human effort. The ideal scenario is being able to track and manage your assets and inventory from wherever you are, so you’re no longer tied to your desk, can make decisions on the go and keep your organization running efficiently around the clock. This is where an asset inventory tracking app comes in.
The Importance of an Asset Inventory Tracking App
An asset inventory tracking app takes all of this functionality and puts it into the palm of your hand – into the smartphones or tablets you and your employees already carry. Additionally, when it comes to technology, a streamlined approach is always better. First, if you’re going to invest in an asset inventory tracking app, you want it to be as intuitive as possible so all of your asset and inventory stakeholders will use it. The efficacy of your efforts is directly proportional to how many stakeholders you can get on board. Your objective is to keep all of them in the loop. The asset inventory tracking app you choose, then, should be user-friendly in its approach but customizable enough to meet your specific needs, and flexible enough to incorporate new technologies as they become available.
Asset Panda was built with those features in mind. It’s designed to give clients the ability to track and manage their assets and inventory any way they want, 24 hours a day, through an iOS/Android-compatible app that syncs with the cloud and includes a mobile barcode scanner, so there’s no need for any other software, software licenses or hardware to use it.
The Mobile Solution to Asset Tracking and Inventory Management
With Asset Panda, companies can establish best practices around their asset and inventory management efforts. For starters, they can add as many users to the app as they’d like, allowing for maximum stakeholder participation. They won’t need any special training to get up to speed, as the app has been designed to be easy to understand and use right from the start, although customer service is always a call away. They can conduct routine mobile audits so they always know what they have, where it’s located, and which assets may require servicing or repair. Those audits may also reveal the presence of any ghost assets or shadow IT so companies can curb waste and eliminate potential risk and liability. Administrators can set up custom reminders and alerts to flag key updates and ongoing preventive maintenance. Depreciation is also simple to calculate with the app, giving companies peace of mind that the numbers they’re providing their accounting teams come tax time are based on accurate, real-time data. Inventory tracking is not only easier to track, but more accurate with Asset Panda’s asset tracking and inventory management app. Companies ultimately can make more informed decisions about their IT asset management and inventory needs and maintain more responsible stewardship over their critical investments. Software asset management, or SAM, also is easier to track, and administrators also may use the tool for license optimization, ensuring they're using the correct licenses and not overspending.
Our world is more dependent on technology than it’s ever been, so whether you’re a small or large organization, you need a way to keep tabs on the systems that keep your business running smoothly. Asset Panda’s asset inventory tracking app puts that power into the palm of your hand and generates cost savings for your IT department. To learn more about our capabilities, get a demo today!