College Inventory Management Has Never Been More Vital


College inventory management – especially with regard to IT fixed assets – has perhaps never been more important. In the wake of the coronavirus, several U.S. colleges have decided to shut down temporarily in favor of online classes. Transitioning to an online class format invites an entire host of challenges for educational institutions, professors, students and parents alike. If schools are going to keep classes running as smoothly as possible with minimal interruptions, they will need an accurate, reliable college inventory management system to monitor their IT equipment and assets, including their servers, software and school-issued laptops, to name but a few examples. Assuming that these colleges already have an infrastructure in place for online education, the implementing solid college inventory management procedures can help minimize or eliminate disruptions to classes and communication – among institutions, faculty and their students.

IT Asset Management Never Goes Out of Style

Even before this recent potential global health crisis, colleges were challenged with how to track and manage a very large volume of inventory. Within any institute of higher learning are IT fixed assets including laptops, desktops and/or tablets to projectors, software and software licenses, and, often, online libraries and online textbooks as well. Keeping that inventory in tip-top shape is imperative – not only to ensure that classes run smoothly, but also due to budgetary constraints and grant qualification criteria.

A good college inventory management program can also help reduce security vulnerabilities. By having access to up-to-the-minute fixed asset data, colleges are much more likely to stay on top of preventive maintenance and key updates that help lower the risk of hacking. They can also more easily track and service IT assets that are student-issued for the academic year(s) or loaned to students on a short-term basis. Any college that tracks IT fixed asset maintenance on an Excel spreadsheet will find it nearly impossible to keep up with the maintenance schedules of every asset. Outsourcing that function allows users to set up customized alerts and other reminders so they never miss preventive maintenance. IT assets that are properly serviced on schedule last longer and run faster and more securely.

IT fixed assets, like all fixed assets, have value and must be reported for accounting and compliance purposes. A college inventory management system usually is able to track depreciation accurately and easily, therefore eliminating guesswork and the potential for mistakes, fines and other penalties.

Virus or No Virus, Technology Asset Use Expected to Rise

Setting the coronavirus aside momentarily, IT fixed asset management only promises to become a more critical function at colleges with each passing year. According to a report issued by the Institute of Education Sciences/National Center for Education Statistics, total enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions is expected to increase 3 percent between fall 2016 and fall 2027. The use of technology has a fundamental learning tool is here to stay and will only expand – and it must if colleges hope to prepare their students for the demands of the modern workplace.

Asset Panda's All-One-Solution for College Inventory Management

Mobile technology makes it easier than ever for colleges to centralize in one convenient location the entire lifecycle of each of their IT assets. Asset Panda’s free mobile app includes a barcode scanner and eliminates the need for additional hardware, software or expensive software licenses. A completely customizable approach to college inventory management is as near as your smartphone or tablet.


Courtney Roush

Courtney Roush is a freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist with 25 years of experience. Her favorite discipline is crisis communications – and it’s a highly relevant one in our present times.

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