Asset Management Software Leads to Efficient Government Spending

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$3.9 trillion dollars.  That’s how much money the federal government is projected to spend in 2015; with $70 to $80 billion of those dollars allocated for IT and cybersecurity.  A new report published by the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM) looked at federal IT spending and found at least half of that money is wasted – conservatively, that’s $35 billion dollars.  What’s the primary reason behind the waste?  The lack of asset management.

At the root of much of what ails the federal government bloat in IT spending and related woes is a lack of meaningful IT asset management.  Legislation should address the areas of procurement, disposal, inventory management to the component level of IT assets (such as hard drives), data security and other mandated policies which would mitigate the risk to the United States.

Automating Asset Management

Assets, as opposed to consumable inventory, include objects used internally like computers, tools, vehicles and educational materials.  An effective asset management process allows for the tracking of all asset details like current location and employee assignment, as well as, the recording of maintenance performed and the depreciation of property over time; ensuring items can be serviced or replaced when needed. Because of this more permanent nature of assets, upfront purchase costs can be considerable – meaning the unnecessary replacement of misplaced or stolen equipment can be incredibly burdensome. Therefore, an automated asset tracking system can be the secret weapon to keeping costs down in the public sector.


The City of Dallas relies on Wasp Barcode
 
Leading the revolution from manual, decentralized tracking systems to an automated, centralized software is the City of Dallas, which upgraded from a disparate and difficult to manage tracking process to Wasp’s MobileAsset. The Urban Search and Rescue Logistics Lieutenant, Ray Thomason, pioneered the use of Wasp’s tracking

system for his unit years ago, and the city’s Department of Intergovernmental Services (DIS) followed suit.

Advantages of Automation

iStock_000035701858The Department of Intergovernmental Services manages the assets of numerous operating divisions that are critical to keeping Dallas safe, secure and moving, from the Bomb Squad to the Water Department. By moving to Wasp’s system, the DIS now enjoys three huge advantages over their previous methods, not to mention over departments in other cities that have not adopted a system like theirs:

  • All assets, including mission-critical equipment, are maintained and accounted for. Considering that there are over 4,500 assets across all units, accounting for all equipment — some of which was purchased using federal grant money — was no simple task. Now that every grant-funded asset has a barcode, it’s easy to check, across a variety of devices, on the current location and use of any one asset throughout the Dallas DIS system.
  • Significant time is saved during audit season. According to Dina Colarossi, Fund Analyst for Dallas’ Department of Intergovernmental Services, the time savings created by the switch to Wasp’s tracking system have been enormous. “Before MobileAsset, producing a complete asset report for an audit would have taken two weeks, now it takes between one or two days. Since we are also able to attach documents to the items in Wasp, we now have any records the auditors might ask for at our fingertips.”
  • There is continuity regardless of other factors. If someone at Dallas DIS is promoted, or out sick, there’s no longer a need to hunt down their asset lists or purchasing records. Everything is centralized; everyone is connected. With this continuity, employees are able to move on to other projects or otherwise better utilize their time, rather than wasting it on menial tasks like closing gaps in asset reports.

Decreased Cost & Increased Efficiency

When a governmental department is able to better track its assets, save hours of time, reduce inventory discrepancies and maintain continuity, the end result is reduced costs. According to Colarossi, Dallas has saved both “time and money” since making the switch to Wasp’s MobileAsset and those savings should multiply as other departments throughout the city adopt similar systems. After years of deferred costs, spending on general government operations is expected to increase over the next four years.If you think your department, in either the public or private sector is getting bogged down by decentralized tracking of assets or other inefficiencies, visit the City Government Asset Software Case Study: Hays County to read about how one equipment and data coordinator revolutionized how his county counted votes on Election Day.

“Before MobileAsset, producing a complete asset report for an audit would have taken two weeks, now it takes between one or two days.”


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Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter
  • George

    This has got me thinking, what kinds of “assets” do you recommend tracking? Is there a minimum monetary value that makes the effort worthwhile?

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    • Brian Sutter

      Great question, George. While everyone’s policy is different, we have seen many government agencies start by tracking assets valued at $100 or more. The most common assets we see tracked are IT assets, such as desktop and laptop computers, servers, monitors, and tablets. The Wasp asset management system can be personalized to fit your terminology, and we have seen agencies track everything from documents to tools, rental equipment, and even cadavers.

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  • Thomas

    Great article on some of the reasons why any company could benefit from having a system like this in place. I would like to know what my city uses to track their assets and my money

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