Old Vs New – Ways to Track Inventory and Assets

It feels like every day there is a new way to “do” something. A new way of banking. A new way to buy a car. A new way to shop for groceries. The reliable mentality of “that’s how we always do things” isn’t really valid anymore. Organizations are looking for ways to do things quicker and more affordably -- a do more with less approach, if you will. And that includes the ways to track inventory and assets.

Whether you are a huge global empire or a mom-and-pop online small business, putting appropriate processes in place that ensure effective inventory management should be a priority. When it comes to inventory or assets, you should always know where it is, the quantity in stock (or how many of a particular asset you have) who has it (if referring to specific assets or tools), what condition it is in. By having this knowledge, you are on the right track when it comes to tracking!

Let’s take a look at a few ways, both old and new, for inventory and assets:

The Manual Method to Track Inventory and Assets

How many of you reading this manually counted inventory/assets? Meaning you counted each piece, one by one to determine the starting/ending inventory. Once you had that number, maybe you tried to categorize your inventory by name, style, pricing. Manually counting probably involved a handwritten ledger. Hopefully you can read the writing of the person who was recording the data! And definitely hope that he/she entered in the information correctly – didn’t miss a number or letter – and accurately described the asset/inventory item. And talk about time-consuming!

Using Online Spreadsheets to Track Inventory and Assets

One of the most common reasons people use an online spreadsheet like Excel is because they are easy to use. In today’s competitive business environment however, where budgets and limited spending dictate daily operations, knowing as much detail about your assets/inventory is key. An asset spreadsheet can only provide so much data. Users can’t upload photos or video to a spreadsheet. Users can’t create alerts about an asset that might be due for maintenance or an upgrade.

Just like the manual method, entering data into an online spreadsheet is very time-consuming. Employees have to key in every single letter/number for every item that is to be tracked. Every time something is used, sold or checked in/checked out, data has to be entered.

Companies need a reliable way to record and upload data that can be viewed anytime, from anywhere – error-free. And that is one of the biggest issues with an online spreadsheet … the errors. It’s easy to miss a keystroke or transpose a number. Or an employee makes a duplicate copy of a spreadsheet and continues to use it, not realizing that another version is floating out there among other employees. Now there are multiple versions all containing different data and no one knows which is most up to date.

Making An Impact -- Inventory and Asset Tracking Software

There simply is no more room for guesswork in today’s competitive business environment. That’s where today’s inventory and asset tracking software platforms thrive when it comes to ways to track inventory and assets. There is no one-size-fits-all approach anymore, which is why manually counting/entering data or using an online spreadsheet are outdated and unreliable. Each company has its own unique needs and challenges, so why not utilize a method and product that’s flexible enough to adapt to your company today and long into the future.

With today’s inventory and asset tracking software offerings, companies now have the ability to examine the entire lifecycle of an asset/item in inventory -- from its initial acquisition to its periodic maintenance, movement inside and/or outside your business, to its retirement from use.

Many platforms come with built-in barcode scanners that can be used right from employees’ own smartphones and tablets. This mobile capability has changed the game when it comes to asset and inventory tracking. With one simple scan of a barcode, the scanner sends data to the affiliated asset tracking software and allows all eligible users to access and maintain the data anytime and from anywhere. From where an asset is and who has it, the check in/check out status, and a complete maintenance history, it’s all in the palm of your hand whenever you need it. And it’s up-to-date and stored in one central location.

The fact is that when it comes to ways to track inventory and assets, companies need to bring all of their stakeholders into the communication loop. Asset Panda is the tool capable of doing just that. Making the transition from manually tracking or using spreadsheets to a cloud-based software and mobile app asset tracking system such as Asset Panda saves both time and money. Our goal is to help you increase accountability and accuracy throughout your entire organization. Working the way you do, on devices your team is already using, Asset Panda has created a completely customizable tool that enables clients to select the features meaningful to their specific business use.

Sound interesting? Learn more and get a free 14-day trial by visiting www.assetpanda.com. There are so many ways to track inventory and assets … isn’t it time you did it the easy way? Asset Panda will show you how.

Audra London

Audra London, founder of Conceptual Communications, LLC, has over 10 years of writing, public relations and marketing experience and serves as an expert on press releases, media relations, feature writing, web content and marketing copy.

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