Are you new to the asset management world? Is your business getting too big to use Excel sheets and paper tracking methods? If the answer is yes to either question, it is time to implement an asset management operating system. This article will walk you through the steps of implementing an asset management system.
Why Asset Management?
Tracking and maintaining company assets is crucial to efficient and cost-effective business operations. Effectively managing your assets allows you to keep track of your business’ valuable resources, extend the lifespan of assets, reduce downtime, and save your company money. Beginning to use an effective asset tracking and maintenance system involves small steps that build toward full implementation.
Step 1: Goals
Like many business processes, you must begin with determining your organization’s specific asset tracking and maintenance goals. Clear-defined objectives and requirements will be your guide to successful implementation. Start by identifying your key performance indicators (KPIs) and how you would like to see improvement in each of these areas.
Step 2: Resource Allocation
Allocating the necessary budget, personnel, and technology resources for implementing your new system will be crucial as you determine which software option will best fit your needs. Research and select asset tracking software or a dedicated asset management system that meets your organization’s needs and budget. The software you choose needs to have basic features of a successful asset management system, including barcode/RFID scanning, reporting, and integration capabilities with other systems you already have or need. Reach out to end users, read reviews, and know your objectives before making a final decision.
Step 3: Software Configuration
Once you have chosen asset management software, you must configure it. Asset identification and labeling are your first priorities. Assign unique identifiers (e.g., barcodes, RFID tags, or QR codes) to each asset your business holds. Make sure to clearly label the assets for easy identification. This step can take some time depending on how many assets your company has. Batching can help with this step. For example: consider labeling a box of ten items or even 100 items instead of each item individually. Do not forget to tag larger assets like pallet jacks or other major tools or machinery, as well.
Step 4: Data Migration
Most systems require data migrations, in which you input existing asset data into the asset tracking software. It can be done manually or through existing spreadsheets or databases.
Step 5: Asset Categorization
Categorize the assets based on the type, value, and criticality. Establish maintenance schedules and priorities accordingly. One of the best features of asset management software is that it allows you to keep all this critical information in one place, helping you ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Step 6: Standardized Data Entry Procedure
Now you must establish data entry procedures. Develop a standardized procedure for adding new assets to the system, including data entry, asset labeling, and documentation. Document this step-by-step process to ensure consistency. Train your asset-tracking and maintenance employees to use the asset management system effectively and to enter data according to your standardized procedure.
Step 7: Monitoring and Reporting
Use the asset tracking software to monitor asset performance and generate reports and analytics. These tools can help you make decisions, control inventory costs, and evaluate your KPIs.
Step 8: System Maintenance
Regular maintenance for both the asset and the tracking system is critical for long-term efficiency. Ensure the asset tracking system is integrated with your procurement process to capture new asset acquisitions, and the disposal process for retiring assets. Security measures must be put in place to protect the physical and data assets. These measures usually include access controls, surveillance, and cybersecurity. Regular audits and reconciliation should also take place. Conduct periodic asset audits to verify that physical assets match the records in the system. If they do not, investigate and resolve the discrepancies.
Putting It All Together
Remember that asset tracking and maintenance is an ongoing process requiring your commitment to continuous improvement. You must also consider asset compliance. Different industries have different regulations and standards for compliance, so do your research. Regularly assess the system’s performance and make the necessary adjustments to achieve your company’s objectives. With the right asset management tool in place, your business is sure to succeed.