There is no doubt that schools, colleges, and universities have a large amount of equipment to manage. Due to the introduction of digital technology in the classroom and the increased use of remote learning, educational institutions deal with a high volume of electronic devices and the hardware and infrastructure needed to support them.
These assets include onsite assets, such as office IT equipment, audio visual equipment, and teaching tools that staff and faculty use every day to ensure the smooth operation of the school and enhance learning. Schools also have off-site assets that are checked out to students such as tablets, library books, instruments, and sports equipment.
Managing these assets is an essential part of a school’s obligation. Using equipment management software makes managing these assets easier and more efficient. Below are five major benefits that you get by using equipment management software to manage your equipment inventory.
Five Major Benefits to Using Asset Tracking Software
1. Streamline your checkout process
Without asset tracking software, the process to check out an item to a student or staff member usually requires a lot of manual data entry and labor. For example, many schools and universities check out tablets and computers to students and staff by using forms that are filled out and then input into their system by a designated employee.
With asset tracking software, checking out a tablet or a computer to a student literally takes seconds. With Assetbots, you have the option to collect the recipient's signature as part of the checkout process. The software also allows you to store information about the student or staff member in your system so their information will auto-populate the next time you need to check out something to them.
Because you can add users to your software and control their permissions, you can enable students and staff to check the availability of items and complete check outs on their own. This frees up the time of other staff members who were previously in charge of the manual check out process.
Finally, checkouts can be done from any device at any time because most asset tracking software is cloud-based and can be used on mobile devices. For example, teachers can complete check outs and check ins from a computer in their classrooms without having to rely on the main office to assist them.
2. Reduce your spending and create accountability
Each school has a finite budget. For this reason, it is important to ensure the school is operating within the confines of that budget. Many schools, colleges, and educational institutions rely on public funding, grants, and donors to supply needed equipment, supplies, and electronic items for their faculty’s and students’ use. For example, federal, state, and local governments in the United States budget $584.9 billion or $14,418 per pupil to fund K-12 public education. Public postsecondary schools in the United States spend an average of $21,039 per pupil.
Consequently, it is essential that schools are tracking their spending and eliminating any unnecessary purchases. Asset tracking software helps schools know the exact amount of assets they have and where each asset is so that they can avoid purchasing unneeded items. For example, a teacher may request the purchase of more iPads for students. However, an accurate asset inventory log will reveal whether the school already has tablets in storage, and whether the purchase is necessary.
IT equipment is expensive to replace. Asset management software helps schools and universities track who has possession of the equipment. The person who has possession of the equipment can be held responsible and personally accountable for any loss or damage to it. This encourages users to protect the equipment in their possession and keep it safe and secure. Requiring recipients to sign acknowledging their receipt of the equipment as part of the checkout process also helps create accountability.
Asset management software can help reduce theft and fraud because it tracks real-time use of equipment and maintains a history of usage for each asset. Yale University recently lost $40 million dollars because a former administrator fraudulently authorized and ordered more than 8,000 tablets for the university over the course of ten years. After Yale paid for and received the equipment, she turned around and sold it. She then pocketed the money and used it to buy luxury cars and homes. Asset tracking software would have uncovered this fraudulent scheme very quickly.
3. Decrease the risk of human error
Some schools have outdated systems that involve using spreadsheets or binders to track their asset records. Because of the amount of assets involved, manually tracking them this way is inefficient and can result in inaccurate data.
Manually inputting data is tedious and often results in errors, such as typos and duplicate entries. Tracking assets involves inputting detailed data such as serial numbers, barcodes, and make and model information. If errors occur when this data is inputted, it can make assets difficult to locate and jeopardize the efficiency and accuracy of the asset management system.
Because asset tracking software automates the data entry process, data entry errors are less likely. For example, asset tracking software like Assetbots allows you to scan barcodes to add assets to your system or to checkout or check in assets. This eliminates the need to type in any serial numbers or barcodes.
Additionally, asset tracking software offers robust search and filter options. This allows you to easily locate an asset even if a typo has occurred.
4. Create centrally accessible information
Asset tracking software is like a spreadsheet with superpowers. It is a digital, centralized system that allows you to track important details about your assets in real-time. With asset tracking software, you can easily and quickly:
- Store all the information that you need about your assets throughout their lifecycle in one centralized asset register, from their procurement to their disposition.
- Maximize and track the usability of school equipment.
- Ensure the availability of assets such as tablets and other equipment for students and staff.
- Make sure the equipment needed to operate the school is always in good working order.
- Maintain an accurate and up-to-date equipment inventory log.
- Checkout equipment to students and faculty.
- Reallocate under-used assets to other school departments.
- Keep an audit trail for each asset, showing every time it has moved to a new person or location.
- Track the depreciation of your assets.
All this data is stored in a cloud-based application, which eliminates the need to maintain paper records that can be easily lost or misplaced.
Most asset tracking software offers a mobile app option so that your data can be accessed at any time, from any device.
You can also have multiple people using the software and control the access that each user has and track the changes that each user has made. More eyes on the data helps ensure its accuracy. Having the ability to control permissions ensures the safety of your data.
5. Simplify your annual inventory audits
Most schools and universities complete annual inventory checks or equipment audits each year. It is a recommended best practice. Sometimes these inventory checks are required to comply with grant or funding requirements.
Inventory checks and audits are time-consuming. They require the physical verification of the quantities and condition of assets that the organization owns.
Asset tracking software simplifies this process by providing an accurate history of usage for each asset so that you can easily locate the item and verify its custody and condition. If the asset tracking software has scanning abilities, you can also scan barcodes and QR codes to quickly locate items.
There are many important benefits asset tracking software can provide schools and universities. Above all, asset tracking software helps simplify the asset tracking process and improves the accuracy of your data by eliminating data-entry errors and keeping real-time audit trails for each asset.
Assetbots is easy-to-use, cloud-based asset tracking software. Assetbots’ built-in scanner allows you to add assets, check out assets, and check in assets by simply scanning their barcode or QR code. Our scanner works on any device that has a camera; no purchase of a separate scanner is needed.
Assetbots offers affordable plans as well as discounts for educational institutions. Try Assetbots for free. No sign-up forms or account necessary.