You’ve determined that it’s time to bring in a professional to conduct an inventory of your fixed assets. The search for a reliable company begins. As you vet the various service providers, you need to make sure you are getting maximum ROI. But how?

First off, consider all of the available benefits available to you, beyond the basics. Most of the expense related to the service is associated in having a team of qualified experts travel to your facilities and their time spent performing the inventory service.

Maybe you have engaged the vendor to take inventory of capitalized equipment to help with audit. Consider what additional value you can attain from the service at little or possibly no additional cost to you.

Let’s say the base service you have paid for entails inventory, asset tagging, and reconciliation of your fixed asset register. What other benefits can you harvest from this?

Here are 5 considerations;

  1.  Update/reconcile your Help Desk system for improved IT support

You are already paying your inventory service provider to take inventory of your IT assets. Ensure that they are recording relevant asset and user data that can be used by your IT support team.

  1.  Update/reconcile your asset tracking system. If you do not have one in place, this is the time to get one!

Many of our financial reconciliation projects include reconciliation of asset tracking system records and at no additional cost to our clients. As is the case with reconciling most corporate fixed asset registers, we find outdated records are kept within asset management/tracking systems.

  1.  Improve the utilization of your Fixed Assets

Without fail, physical inventory will identify idle assets. These are often locked in a closet, storage room, basement, or otherwise out of sight and out of mind. Have your vendor code these assets as idle. Once the inventory database is produced, you can create a report of idle assets and work with each custodian to determine how these assets are best used.

  1.  Properly decommission/dispose/recycle end of life and retired assets.

Just as physical inventory will identify idle equipment, it will also locate end of life assets. These can pose real problems depending on the nature of the asset and business. We find stacks of old laptops and desktop computers sitting in storage, servers that function as door stops, and carcasses of old machines with missing internal components. The problem, these machines have not been properly decommissioned in line with corporate policy and potentially sensitive information stored on those devices is no longer secured.

  1.  Improve Asset Lifecycle Management Policies and Procedures

The physical inventory and reconciliation process often requires participation from resources across various business functions that may not typically interact with one another. These roles range from finance to IT, operations, facilities, and beyond. Working with these crucial stakeholders and gatekeepers across the asset lifecycle, your inventory service provider, in particular the Project Manager, is in a pivotal position to review your asset management procedures. This enables them to identify gaps, problems, and areas for improvement. Again, identification of problems and recommendations can be made for little or no additional cost at this time.