Equipment Management Should Rank Among Schools’ Priorities, Here’s Why
Equipment management probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you consider the needs of an educational institution. However, schools depend on a variety of equipment and tools in order to function smoothly. The most obvious example is technology. Laptops, desktops, tablets, and monitors are all common finds in our classrooms today. Projectors, copiers, printers and scanners are standard in administrative offices. All of those fixed assets require periodic service and updates, and some like tablets for example, are targets for theft.
The Issue of Funding
Equipment management is an urgent matter for reasons beyond just minimizing disruption in the classroom. Public and private schools, as well as institutes of higher education, receive various grants and endowments. To keep qualifying for those funds, these institutions must demonstrate compliance with regulations established by the Government Accounting Standards Board and Office of Management and Budget. Educators are challenged to squeeze more from less. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that many states with deep K-12 funding cuts since the 2008 recession boosted funding last year. However, some states remain far below pre-recession funding levels.
A Direct Impact on the Bottom Line
The best way to ensure compliance with those regulations is through a formal system of equipment management. An asset tracking and management platform for educational institutions allows them to outsource this time-consuming function. Best of all, administrators can rest easy knowing that their data is both accurate and up to date. Equipment management systems also help educators and IT staff keep up with routine maintenance. That’s key for several reasons:
- First, those assets will begin to slow down if they’re not properly serviced and updated.
- Secondly, IT equipment that isn’t updated could compromise your security.
- Finally, poorly serviced equipment breaks down, causes disruption to your workflow, and requires costly rush-order repairs.
In the worst-case scenario, your students may be without the tools they need, and you may have to replace an expensive piece of equipment prematurely. The last thing any school wants to do is front the expense of a replacement item when every dollar counts.
An easy-to-use, yet robust and powerful equipment management system can help educational institutions steer clear of all of these mismanagement pitfalls. Such systems allow asset managers to determine at a moment’s notice the expected location of any item along with its condition, warranty information, insurance policy, maintenance schedule and history, depreciation, and more.
Schools are best served by a streamlined approach that consolidates all of their asset data in one centralized location. IT managers should be able to create work orders, check asset quantities and locations, and set up custom notifications and alerts to remind them of key service dates. From the accounting and compliance side, schools can use an equipment management system to pull real-time depreciation figures and eliminate guesswork and errors. Equipment theft and loss can be greatly reduced or even eliminated with the right system in place. Administrators can get a better view of what assets they have and where they should be located. All of that leads to informed decisions about equipment purchases, reduced waste and the ability to focus limited resources where they’re most needed.