As businesses grow, their asset inventories grow. It’s therefore imperative for inventory managers and end-users, that corporate policy and strategy are developed to manage and maintain it.

While the impact of some asset losses is publicly known, such as the infamous iPhone 4 leaks of 2010, others are not. Take, for example, a family that ends up in a car accident after flooding takes out local street signage.  This is perhaps not the most typical application of asset management that one may think of – however, it is a scenario that is entirely feasible.

Let’s explore some of the ways that physical assets can be managed, inventoried, and controlled in a variety of company environments. From physical to digital, there’s a multitude of ways to control your assets and manage them in a practice that best suits your business.

Shift away from physical logs.

Let’s face it. Physical asset logs are largely outdated. Since the mainstream adoption of the computer in the late 20th century, computers have provided a fantastic way to manage information.

Tracking a list of computers via a notepad in the office may be great for a very small team, such as those that are self-employed. However, as the scale of your business grows, solutions should be identified and implemented to get the most out of your assets.

Take, for example, company laptops that may have been acquired during the pandemic. Why not track those, so that when new employees start, and experienced employees return to the office, these assets can be managed, handed down, and upgraded as necessary?

Manage technology assets through IT group policies.

One of the simplest ways to manage digital assets such as software licenses and company data is through IT group policies and account management, such as those offered by large enterprise technology firms such as Microsoft.

A great way to manage digital costs is through the regular review of such licenses – as business needs change, costs can be managed and minimized accordingly. Perhaps there’s no need for thirty individual licenses if a single enterprise subscription can do the trick.

Managing technology assets can be a simple, yet extremely cost-effective way to maximize efficiencies in the digital workspace. Take, for example, a recent study that found US organizations wasted a collective $30 billion on unused software over a four-year period. That’s an incredible figure, yet unbelievably, many businesses fail to identify it as a way to optimize spending and minimize expenses.

Ensure that you also track off-site assets.

It’s critical for companies to understand that assets are not just digital. For example, companies may retain ownership of off-site assets, such as construction plants and equipment.

At a government level, councils and city planning committees may also own assets such as street signs and bollards. Ensuring that data capture policies are in place for assets allows for accurate and detailed tracking. This can assist with minimizing data gaps, such as the logging of spatial information.

By having appropriate off-site tracking in place, companies can be adequately prepared to track and control assets. Whether than be through managing inventory for worksites, or identifying damaged assets during disasters, the ability to capture off-site assets then becomes a critical part of disaster recovery for businesses.

Periodically review inventory management frameworks to maintain best practices.

Periodic reviews are an essential element of asset and inventory management frameworks. By keeping in line with best practices, asset inventories can be appropriately recorded and managed.

Standard practices for asset management do change over time, so it’s important to learn from industry best practices. This enables businesses to get the best possible outcomes from their data, whether that be through the digitization of a log, implementation of data capture strategies or simply taking stock of the assets on hand.

Ultimately, being able to manage, track and control digitized asset data is an essential component of modern businesses. By developing data capture and asset management strategies within the workplace, assets can be managed, controlled, and adequately identified.

The digitization of data in the workplace presents an extraordinary opportunity for businesses to maximize their inventory capabilities, without the complications present in traditional, paper-based inventory systems. Can you imagine the savings, when you can identify where your street bollards are, down to the meter?

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