Physical Inventory and Asset Tracking Industry Focus – Introduction

Physical Inventory and Asset Tracking Industry Focus – Introduction

Verasset provides fixed asset inventory services and turn-key asset tracking solutions across nearly every industry. This blog series will highlight various industries in which we are providing these services and solutions.

While the nature of the various markets can clearly differ, their goals are often very similar, asset visibility. They want to know what they have and where it is. This single objective provides a wide variety of benefits, ranging from accurate financial reporting to improving asset utilization and allocation.

The driving factors certainly vary across different markets, but the same basic principles are again one and the same.

First, and foremost, an accurate baseline fixed asset inventory report must be established.

This means, either; reconciling existing fixed asset records to the installed physical asset base, or performing an initial baseline wall to wall physical inventory of fixed assets.

In either case, a comprehensive physical inventory must be performed.

Accuracy is key, as this data set reflects the core value of the solution, from both a financial as well as operational standpoint. Implementing the most cutting edge, automated tracking system is useless with inaccurate, outdated records of your fixed assets.

It is during this phase that automatic data capture (ADC) technologies are deployed, such as affixing barcode or RFID labels to your assets.

Once the issue of attaining a reliable database is resolved, the next goal is establish a means to effectively track and manage these assets ongoing. Without this, you will be back where you started before you know it.

Depending on the size, budget, and demands of the organization, this can vary from a basic barcode system, to a more complex system using various automatic data capture technologies (such as RFID, biometrics, GPS, etc.).

There are software systems designed for organizations of all sizes and industries. Some are fairly generic, one size fits all, and some are specific to certain markets.

The final step consists of establishing, documenting, and enforcing standard processes and procedures at various control points across the asset life cycle. Each process plays a role in effectively tracking and managing assets. Failure to follow a procedure along the chain can result in a snowball effect.

For example, failure to apply an asset tag at the appropriate time in the asset life cycle can result in difficulty identifying the item during an annual audit. This item could then be identified as missing in the asset tracking system, while it is in fact in use by the end user. Or worse, it is not in use but could be. The organization may then purchase a new asset to replace a perfectly functioning asset they don’t know they have.

Our next several blog entries will highlight different industries in which we serve to help address these complex issues.