Shopping For an Effective Asset Management System

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Many business owners start out with a pen and paper system or an Excel based spreadsheet to track their assets and inventory. Poor inventory management practices, like these, are listed as one of the top 8 reasons that small businesses fail. When the time comes to utilize these inefficient systems to find an asset, conduct an audit, track inventory or forecast future needs the discovery that your company needs a better system often leads to a new challenge…what is the right system for your company?

With many options available it is hard to find a solution that is affordable, flexible enough to grow with your company, is easy to implement and utilizes barcode for increased accuracy and efficiency.  While some websites provide basic advice on how to improve your system and others can tell you how different asset management or inventory management systems compare to each other, there are few out there that help you determine what the best asset management system is for you.

It becomes clear that when looking for an effective asset management system there are some common elements to look for and questions to ask. Learn from those who have already done the search with tips and experiences from actual business owners and asset managers.

1. What information do you need to track and how effectively can the system track it?

iStock_000008248010MediumWhen considering potential asset management solutions it is critical to consider what kind of information you need to keep track of, how effectively the system will track it as well as how accessible the information is. These will be particularly important for considering the reduction of potential human error, the ease with which reports can be created and audits done, as well as how quickly the system can find assets when you need to find them.

When Paladin Private Security was looking for an effective asset management system they were focused on finding a system that was quicker and more immediate than the Excel spreadsheet they had been using. “We were using an Excel spreadsheet to track our assets,” said Matt Carroll, a vice president and co-founder for Paladin. “This was far too difficult to manage our growing operation. Besides, the spreadsheet didn’t provide the immediate insight and reports we needed to rapidly take action.”

For Truxton Radiology Medical Group, the objective was two-fold: find an automatic asset management system to track basic computer equipment, and more importantly, a method to inventory and monitor the high-value diagnostic equipment used to deliver care. Chris Freels, the IT manager, found the traditional spreadsheet method to be not only time consuming but inaccurate. “When dealing with equipment of this nature it is important to have precise data when it comes to location, but even more importantly accurate data on maintenance and repair,” states Freels.

At Lone Star College, the priority was standardization and audit preparation, as Nishae Brooks, a System Administrator for the college, explains, “Tracking assets and equipment age across numerous campuses was arduous. We needed a standardized process that was simple to implement and would decrease the complexity of asset tracking and audits.”

2. What organizational benefits does an asset management system provide?

Asset Tracking with Asset Tags – Fire Station

When looking for organizational solutions one of the first things to look for are organizational benefits. Does the asset management system you are looking at help your company run more efficiently? Does it reduce dependence on one or two employees and streamline operations? Can it provide work mobility and function at multiple locations?

The City of Dallas’ Department of Intergovernmental Services, has been using Wasp MobileAsset for a little under three years. “Since deploying Wasp’s solution, there has been a huge change in the way we track our assets,” stated Colarossi. “Having a centralized database with all our assets means we no longer have to compare inventory lists to purchasing records to make sure we are catching every item. It also helps to ensure there is continuity as people are promoted or move on to other assignments.”

For the Lipscomb Volunteer Fire and Rescue Team, “Tracking the equipment by hand was very time consuming,” says Jamie Pugh, liaison officer for Lipscomb Fire & Rescue. “Since we’re 100% volunteer, it is important for us to be efficient. And for safety purposes, it’s vital our equipment tracking be very accurate. If our tracking isn’t accurate, we aren’t able to provide the public safety services we are committed to provide.”


“Since we’re 100% volunteer, it is important for us to be efficient. And for safety purposes, it’s vital our equipment tracking be very accurate. If our tracking isn’t accurate, we aren’t able to provide the public safety services we are committed to provide.”

At the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals, the production team is responsible for up to 100-200 events on and off site as well as the 10+ Cardinals games. Nick Heller, Production Manager, University of Phoenix Stadium explained that with multiple events in a single day, his team desperately needed the ability to forecast where equipment was needed each day. With some items being limited to availability, planning ahead and potentially renting additional equipment would improve their ability to plan and produce all events in their scope of work.

3. How easy is it to transition to the new system? Can it integrate with existing systems?

Whenever thinking about a change a major concern is how difficult the change will be. Business leaders need to take account of the time and resources that will be required for system changes as well as whether they can still utilize their existing system as they transition and even after.


Related Article: Four Reasons to Beware the Fixed Asset Spreadsheet

Jason Garrison, IT Coordinator at Miami Public Schools, chose Wasp MobileAsset thanks to the availability of useful product information, free training and support services. “We were pleased with the information available about Wasp and the pride they take in their solutions. After browsing case studies, videos and online forums, I felt confident that MobileAsset could do everything we needed it to do

At Truxton Radiology Medical Group, when Chris Freels, the IT Manager, was looking for an asset management solution, Freels began his search for a solution only to find many products were just too difficult to install and customize to meet the special needs of TRMG. “Implementation was not easy and the data collection process did not allow portability or compatibility with bar coding that already was on the equipment,” stated Freels.

4. Is the system in your budget?

Last but certainly not least, budget must be considered. Even the best solution is no solution at all if you can’t afford it. Many who have searched have found Was Barcode Technologies to provide an affordable solution and more importantly, one that pays for itself.

When Lone Star College was searching for a more efficient way to manage valuable IT assets, the college tried a competing software package before adopting the MobileAsset solution. “The other software cost twice as much as the Wasp system and was not the best match for our needs,” Brooks said.

For Paladin Private Security, “MobileAsset costs about the same as the lost laptop we had to replace,” Carroll said. “If the solution could head off just one similar loss, I knew it would more than pay for itself in no time. Convincing my partners was a no brainer, given the affordability and quick payback of purchasing MobileAsset.”


“If the solution could head off just one similar loss, I knew it would more than pay for itself in no time. Convincing my partners was a no brainer, given the affordability and quick payback of purchasing MobileAsset.”

What problem is your company trying to solve with an asset management system?  What is most important to your organization when considering a potential asset management system?

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Paul Trujillo

Paul Trujillo

Paul Trujillo is a Product Marketing Manager at Informatics specializing in Inventory Warehouse Management and Supply Chain product lines. His nearly 15 years of experience has put him at the forefront of industry technology and developing trends.