Businesses acquire a number of assets to augment their income. Tracking their assets must top the priority of organizations. In many cases, teams get so involved in other activities that asset tracking takes a back seat, often resulting in substantial losses. When it comes to asset tracking, you must be in the driver’s seat at all times. To ensure all your business assets are accounted for, you must design and implement an asset tracking plan. If you think one fine day there will be a divine intervention and a brilliant idea will flash into your mind that will help you set up your asset racking plan, let us tell you Rome was not built in a day. Best asset tracking plans include a number of checklists and in-built controls that help concerned teams learn everything they want to know about a particular asset. Asset tracking is an ongoing exercise, rather than a one-day ritual. To get your house in order, you need to follow the best asset tracking practices. To help, we, in this post, have compiled a list of some such practices. Take a look.
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1.Use a simple barcode format
In most cases, a unique identifying barcode is all that companies need to track their assets. Teams tracking asset movement use handheld scanners that identify barcodes to pull up necessary asset info. To avoid confusion, keep the barcode format simple. In most cases, assigning a unique numeric identifier would be enough. Avoid including any text info in the barcodes as usually it does not result in any substantial benefits and is not worth the effort.
2.Don’t confuse fixed asset tracking with inventory tracking
As similar as they may seem, asset and inventory tracking are two entirely different concepts. While assets are tangible and intangible goods that your business owns, inventory is items that you sell. Asset tracking involves monitoring depreciation, reviewing warranty contracts and tracking items that your business lends. Inventory tracking, on the other hand, entails managing the sales and distribution of products that you sell. Using the same methods to analyze these distinct processes can result in wastages and high costs.
3.Assign a unique tracking number to assets
Using asset serial numbers as identifiers can result in confusion as many assets can have the same serial number. Relying overly on asset serial numbers can result in data integrity issues and impact rental income and customer satisfaction. To ensure effective and swift tracking, assign unique tracking numbers to your assets. Even if the tracking number is lost, your teams can use the asset’s serial number to track it.
4.Review your assets performance regularly
The need for reviewing the performance of assets throughout the different stages of their life cycle cannot be emphasized enough. Compare the costs associated with holding an asset with the desired performance. Dispose of assets that no longer fit into your scheme of things. Adopt analytical approaches to manage assets over the different phases of their life cycle.
5.Choose appropriate handheld connectivity
If your field technicians need to sync data several times during their shift or if you have an overwhelming number of assets in your database, you may benefit from a wireless connection. For businesses that require their field technicians to provide real-time updates, online can be the ideal connectivity option. If your team uses scanners or smartphones, you may opt for any of these connectivity modes.
6. Get rid of ghost assets
Ghost assets are assets that are either stolen or your business no longer uses, however, these assets appear in the list of active assets. Failure to account for ghost assets can hit businesses where it hurts the most, often eroding their bottom line.Performing thorough physical audits regularly will help you identify ghost assets. Once you know the assets that are no longer performing, dispose of them.
7.Determine critical assets and assign owners to manage them
Even for established businesses, tracking every asset can be an uphill task . To keep a tab on their costs, many organizations determine their critical assets and assign owners who are responsible for establishing and maintaining safeguards required to protect those assets. When determining whether an asset is critical, businesses consider a number of factors such as the compliance requirements placed upon the asset, its criticality value, and sensitivity.
8.Ensure regulatory compliance
Effective asset tracking will not just boost your bottom line, but can also help comply with regulations. Many regulatory bodies require that the CEOs and CFOs of businesses personally certify the integrity of financial reports and the methods adopted to create them. Instruct your teams to record complete history of your assets. Make sure the financial statements are prepared according to the latest standards. Establish internal controls. Check the fixed asset column of your balance sheet regularly and make sure it provides an accurate picture regarding the assets that you hold.
9.Look for mobile solutions
Tracking assets on a day-to-day basis can be an uphill task, especially if your teams are constantly on the move. The task becomes even more difficult, if you expect your teams to track mobile assets such as vehicles. One way you can help your employees save time is by embracing mobile solutions. Look for a software that can help your team members integrate asset tracking into their workday. When choosing a mobile solution, make sure all the functionalities are included. If you are planning to opt for several mobile devices, consider using a mobile device management solution.
10.Steer clear of mistakes when using RFID
Many businesses use RFID for asset tracking. While there are many benefits of using RFID, businesses often fail to understand how the technology works and the best practices they need to adopt. To steer clear of common RFID issues, determine your pain points and create a road map of how the technology can help you address these issues. Make sure to involve your IT department. Look for an application software that can help your teams manage data more effectively. Be careful when choosing the frequency RFID. Make sure your integrator has experience of handling multiple, diverse projects.