Tech and Trends:- It’s becoming more and more common nowadays for businesses to lend out their computers and other office equipment to employees. But, with more and more employees taking their electronics home with them, what’s happening to all that business equipment? Here’s how to keep tabs on your tablets.
Why Inventory Tracking Is Important
Businesses are becoming more aware of the idea of asset tracking and its importance, but many still don’t understand its necessity. Asset tracking is important because business equipment is becoming more expensive. Electronic devices are replacing manual ones, and those electronics are sophisticated and not easily replaced.
More and more employees are demanding access to these high-tech items as well, and businesses are requiring employees to use them. It’s a potential liability waiting to happen. Finally, IT departments are growing, and IT is becoming an integral part of any business operation. So, damaged equipment could put a company temporarily out of business, meaning that IT tracking is becoming part of “core services” for internal operations.
Keep an Inventory List
The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is to create an inventory of everything your business owns. This is usually accomplished using asset tracking software that can determine what you own, where it currently is, and how long it’s been out of the company’s offices.
The software is set up on devices like computers and laptops and is able to monitor location using Wi-fi and cellular data networks. A special inventory number can be assigned to the equipment, and employees can be required to log hours on the device so that management knows when it’s being used and when it’s not.
The inventory list may also include items that are non-electronic. For these items, a notation is made in a central database, and the item is logged whenever it’s taken out. The person who is in possession of the item must digitally sign for it, so that the company knows where it is at all times.
Automate “Lending” Of Equipment
When employees take equipment out of the offices, it’s a good idea to have a system in place that doesn’t rely on the employee to sign the equipment out. At least, you should solely rely on employees. A third-party inventory manager should be keeping track of everything and witnessing signatures and equipment “loans.”
Improve Fault-Finding Protocols
When equipment is damaged, an asset tracking application will be able to assign fault so that you can monitor trends over time. This helps you reduce and eliminate problems before they become catastrophic.
For example, if you notice a particular employee is always signing out the same equipment, and 40 percent of the time that equipment is returned damaged in some way, you may need to restrict access to that equipment for the employee so that you can prevent excessive long-term repair costs.
Employees that are constantly damaging equipment may need to be retrained on how to use what they’re borrowing, or they may need to be terminated. Either way, your IT tracking software will let you know before all of your company’s mission-critical equipment is permanently damaged.
Ray Tompkins is an inventory control and supply manager. He likes to share what he has learned over the years. His posts can be found on a number of business and logistics websites and blogs.