From Acquisition to Archive: How To Track An Asset’s Lifecycle


An asset lifecycle is the sequence of stages that an asset goes through while they’re owned or leased by your organization. Managing that lifecycle helps maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of those assets.

In other words, the better you keep track of your assets, the better the ROI you’ll get out of them. So what exactly does the lifecycle of a generic asset look like?

7 Steps To Successful Asset Lifecycle Management

While an asset’s lifecycle looks different when you categorize it by industry and type, there is a very general sequence that all assets follow.

  1. Acquisition - This is when you acquire a new asset through your procurement process, through means like:

    • Purchase
    • Lease
    • Donation

  2. Intake - This is the first step in tracking your new asset. A unique barcode is assigned to the asset so that you can identify and track the asset while in your organization’s possession. The initial data collected should include:

    • Cost
    • Vendor
    • Purchase order number
    • Warranty expiration date
    • Method of procurement

  3. Deployment - After initial checks are performed to ensure the asset functions as intended, it’s assigned to a specific person or location. During this stage, the asset data is updated to include:

    • Who has it
    • Where it’s located
    • When it’s due back
    • The intended use of the asset

  4. Utilization - The asset is finally put to work. This is the longest stage in the lifecycle of an asset and where the return on investment is finally seen. Utilization can be either:

    • General (like a laptop that is used for multiple functions)
    • Specific (like a chainsaw which is only used for one reason)

  5. Maintenance - Whether the asset is broken or malfunctioning or has been brought in for preventative maintenance and calibration driven by previously established critical dates, maintenance checks provide the baseline for the asset’s place in its lifecycle. By tracking the wear and tear, you can also better predict when you’ll need to start planning to replace it.
  6. Disposal - This is the end of usefulness for the asset. Some assets need to be disposed of in specific ways based on grant requirements, and all assets should be disposed or recycled in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines. Knowing which assets have been disposed also helps your bottom line by keeping ghost assets off your books.
  7. Archive - After an asset has been removed from your organization’s inventory, all the data regarding it should be removed from your primary database and archived so you have this historical information if you ever need it.

Excel Without Excel: Level Up Your Asset Lifecycle Management Solution

While tracking each asset through its lifecycle might seem like an exercise in data entry, the truth is there are many benefits to using an asset management solution like Asset Panda.

This is far superior to a generic spreadsheet solution, which can’t keep a full asset lifecycle history and is prone to errors and dirty data.

Forecasting Future Asset Purchases with Asset Tracking

Asset Panda can help you plan for your future by empowering you to forecast asset lifecycles so you know when you’ll need to buy replacements. With full visibility and transparency into your asset inventory, you can:

By tracking your assets, you can also predict the budgetary impact of replacing assets that are in the final stages of their lifecycle.

Practice Makes Perfect: Best Practices for Asset Tracking

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your asset management program, there are some best practices we strongly recommend.

  • Barcoding - As soon as you acquire a new asset, label it with a unique identifier so you can easily and quickly reference the asset with a simple barcode scan.
  • Proper documentation - Documenting the chain of custody and maintenance history of an asset gives you a proper audit trail to follow in the event of an incident.
  • Open access - For maintenance management and tracking, don’t limit access to one person. Allow everyone involved with the asset’s maintenance and repairs to log information on the asset and what’s been done to it.

No matter what industry you work in or what assets make your organization successful, tracking and managing your assets’ lifecycles will make your operations more efficient, productive and profitable.

See the power of the panda to learn more about Asset Panda and how we can help your organization.

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