Few businesses of any kind operate without equipment. For many organizations—hospitals, service companies, and communications firms, to name just a few—equipment is a chief investment essential to almost every employee's role. And with applications of IT and other technology now supporting productivity in every industry, more and more expensive equipment is in use everywhere.
For business owners and managers, this raises several pressing issues:
The answer to these questions is asset management software for an efficient, automated inventory of who checks out equipment, for how long, for what uses, and when it is returned. Notifii calls its latest, state-of-the-art asset-management software simply "Checkout" because if you know who took the equipment, when, and for what, then you are on top of your physical assets.
To take one example, an article in Comparesoft observed that hospitals and medical facilities "may often be spread across multiple sites, which can prove challenging when manually managing assets. Having accurate and up-to-date visibility of assets and inventory can help facilities in different ways, such as calculating accurate asset depreciation figures and facilitating bulk procurement. Both of which can offer significant cost savings."
One development driving the creation and use of asset management software has been the virtual revolution in mobile devices such as phones, notebooks, and tablets (plus all kinds of more specialized mobile equipment for service companies and others) that are owned by companies and used by employees in the field. Tracking this equipment became a necessity not only because of the high cost per unit but became increasingly frequent employee turnover risks not just loss of equipment but sometimes proprietary data and systems on that equipment.
These assets often became the responsibility of the IT help desk and had a role in inspiring innovative software solutions that have kept evolving, improving, and differentiating. But asset management software quickly found uses beyond IT—or only IT—in settings such as hospitals where equipment must be located quickly, regularly inventoried, and protected from being misplaced or stolen. And service companies such as those engineering and maintaining the national fiber-optic network were sending out thousands of vans packed with special equipment.
The typical makeshift, for decades, of course, was the sign-out sheet. At some point, the pen was replaced by the spreadsheet—and, frankly, that is where a large segment of firms still are. It means each employee logs into the spreadsheet to register or someone at a desk enters the data for each equipment use.
With the latest asset management software like Notifii's Checkout, the equipment's passed by a scanner, the user enters an ID, and there is a record of who checked out what piece of equipment, when, and the intended return date. The checkout station also can be set up to take a photograph to document the condition of the equipment and record notes or even an e-signature of the equipment user.
Equipment also is easy to reserve online, increasing the availability of equipment to employees when they need it and planning the schedule of return dates for equipment in heavy demand.
What results is a real-time record of the disposition of all equipment and an easily printed record of inventory, usage by equipment type, average duration of use, rate of loss/theft (if any), other data to drive planning such as for inventory replacement.
Although asset management software can be integrated by an IT department into the company's server, the newest systems, like Checkout, are cloud-based so that the firm does not require a server. Any desktop or mobile device can access Checkout from anywhere and confidentiality is ensured by encrypted data, where necessary.
Today, the potential complexity of asset management software, and how difficult it is to learn to use, have become a chief consideration of all organizations. That is because layers of complexity have been added to some asset management software to perform specialized functions of IT help desk functions: for example, monitoring proprietary software use, software licenses and contracts, and cyber-security regulations. The result is necessarily a more complex system that requires a longer adaptation period and willingness to face a more daunting learning curve.
State-of-the-art systems like Checkout that are purpose-built for tracking physical equipment offer far greater simplicity, making the system user-friendly. An excellent option for firms that also require tracking non-physical assets such as software licenses is to achieve ease of use in equipment tracking with one system and the special uses that the IT department requires and is equipped to handle with another system.
Choice of software only as complex as the organization needs--with necessary features and appropriate user experience, for example—but no more complicated than necessary--has significant budget implications. Also, some asset management software is sold outright and other systems because they are in the cloud can be rented at the user's discretion.
Today, almost every type of organization, profit and non-profit, private or public, is facing the challenge of equipment management. Often, part of the mandate is for compliance with government regulations. Today, for example, major universities are installing equipment management systems to meet budget requirements, government regulations, and inventory control.
The State University of New York at Albany explains its goal as "…careful and responsible management of University, Research Foundation and University at Albany Foundation assets. The goal…is to maintain an accurate accounting of the campus-based inventory of assets, to reconcile the campus records with oversight authorities, to maintain the integrity of the computerized property system while maintaining adherence to the rules, regulations, and procedures… Asset Management maintains a highly regarded statewide reputation for accuracy, compliance, integrity, and effectiveness."
For a significantly different application: the heavy equipment industry has formed an international organization, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) to serve "those who manage and maintain heavy, off-road fleets…. for you and your fleet team to operate at peak performance…"
The near universality of application of asset management software today has motivated continuous innovation in systems like Checkout asset management software from Notifii.
We are ready at Notifii to schedule a demonstration of the Checkout asset management software at your earliest convenience. The benefits of equipment tracking for almost any organization can begin immediately because this cloud-based system requires no installation. Cost-savings, enhanced productivity, and the streamlining of operations begin as soon as you elect to try the system. You can call Notifii at any time to discuss your individual situation and unique needs with our product specialists.
We offer innovative software adaptable to the spectrum of company needs for the management of operations of all kinds. Our software specialists can recommend the right software package for you. And remember, you use Checkout on a month-to-month basis, with no contract required--and no card information required to schedule your free demo. Just call or visit online to set it up.
Be sure to check here regularly for information, insights, and updates on trends that challenge asset management in all the settings where it is providing distinctive solutions for organizations of every kind.
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