The ideal scenario is to maintain a single shared database (asset database) whereby assets are tracked and managed. This data source would also serve to align (or link) information related to each asset with other information sources, such as purchasing, shipping and financial records.
Therefore, it is important that an asset is recorded into the asset database when it arrives at the shipping dock. In order to insure that each asset can be distinguished from one another, a unique asset tracking number must be assigned to each asset as it arrives.
This number must be physically attached to each new asset as well. This is where the use of automatic data capture enters. The most common method is use is to generate and affix a bar coded asset label.
Later in the asset life cycle, the bar code label can be scanned, saving time and improving accuracy for tracking the asset. As a new asset arrives, the shipping gatekeeper needs to not only reconcile the incoming asset to the respective line item on a purchase order, but must also assign and affix an asset number label to the physical asset and make a new entry into the asset database.
Other gatekeepers throughout the asset life cycle would then apply updates to this asset database for each asset as warranted (such as movement between locations).
Before going any further, it is important to address potential roadblocks to this concept. One might be reluctant to opening boxes in order to affix an asset label directly onto an asset at the shipping dock. This can be due to time constraints related to material handling at the dock.
Or, it could be that the asset owner (custodian) objects to anyone but themselves to doing so. Another problem could be that an asset might require multiple components (shipped in separate boxes) be configured together in order to create one functional (complete) asset.
Lastly, determining which assets require this effort (capital versus expensed), what information to capture, and how to identify an asset all require some level of knowledge and synchronization. This is where a formal set of “standards and conventions” come into play.
To learn more about how you can optimize your asset lifecycle, please contact Verasset by calling us toll-free at (877) 220-0315.