July 16, 2020
For Education, the Time for a Barcode System for Inventory is Now
A barcode system for inventory makes great sense for the education sector. This is a busy time for educational institutions. Right now, primary and secondary schools, along with institutes of higher education, are cataloging their IT equipment and other educational fixed assets. Graduating students are returning their school-issued IT assets, library books and textbooks, while others may be checking new ones out for the summer months. Teachers and administrative staff are likely going through the same process. While the vast majority of schools aren’t yet sure of their plans for reopening, IT assets will almost certainly be coming and going from school premises. Many school districts were already issuing laptop computers to their students before the Coronavirus outbreak. Now, with the pandemic in full swing and given talks of a second outbreak on the horizon, school-issued technology is likely to become even more common.
Tracking Assets and Inventory: a Herculean Task
Schools must have a way to track all of these fixed assets. A barcode system for inventory, paired with a fixed asset tracking platform, provides schools with an efficient, straightforward and accurate approach to their inventory and asset tracking needs. An ideal system applies a unique barcode to each item that, when scanned, is capable of providing data that covers the entire lifecycle of that asset or piece of inventory.
That’s significant for several reasons – most notably that it eliminates the traditional time-consuming way of tracking assets, usually with the aid of an Excel spreadsheet. Manually typing barcode numbers into Excel is a sure-fire way to make mistakes, and there's no history attached to each item in a row. Additionally, manual tracking requires the user to gather information from multiple locations. For example, a school may house its IT asset records in a file cabinet, an email inbox or a storage room. Each department may have its own system for tracking assets. Not only can records become lost in such circumstances; schools have no way of examining asset use across the board among all departments. It’s then more difficult to make decisions about the school’s needs as a whole. Equipment refresh schedules may be based on guesswork versus real-time facts. Items may be lost or stolen and not recorded as such, resulting in costly ghost assets. This kind of inefficiency eats away at the bottom line and diverts critical funds away from other priorities.
How Barcodes Improve Educational Efficiency
In a post for TechnologyAdvice.com, blogger Momina Sohail (“How Barcoding Technology Makes Education More Efficient,” Aug. 16, 2018) describes how barcodes improve educational efficiency, from cutting down administrative work for teachers to keeping educational workflows moving without interruption. Citing a statistic from McKinsey & Company that the education industry in the United States is worth $1.5 trillion and growing at a rate of 5 percent annually, Sohail states that “the rapid growth of the industry is presenting new challenges that need to be tackled effectively. This includes everything from shrinking school budgets to the increase in teacher duties, all of which puts a great deal of pressure on the administrative landscape of the education sector.”
Asset Panda’s barcode system for inventory gives educational institutions of every size the means to track and manage their inventory and fixed assets using a free mobile app that includes a built-in barcode scanner. With the right system, can quickly check in and check out educational assets, track and schedule routine IT updates and maintenance, and eliminate theft and loss.