Assets may mean different things to different people even within the same organization. It follows logically, then, that a business must clearly define what its assets are, how many of them they have, their value and where they all are at any given time if the company is to be efficient, profitable and survive in today’s dog-eat-dog business environment.
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The United States Army defines an asset as something that provides value.
The value of an asset depends on its intended use and the amount of money that can be earned by selling it or saved by using it wisely in a production or other process. A ream of copier paper is an asset. So is the sheet-metal stamper at a Ford plant, the food NASA sends to the International Space Station, a database of potential customers, etc. What these very different items have in common is that they have value for the companies that own them. Assets are not always physical; a company may count its intellectual property and its software systems as assets. Regardless of whether assets are physical or intellectual, asset tracking and inventory management are key components that allow organizations to manage their assets and inventory to their greatest advantage.
How Will Asset Tracking and Inventory Management Benefit My Organization?
By employing an asset tracking or inventory management system, your organization can achieve multiple benefits, including:
- Cost Reduction – Optimize inventory, reduce shrinkage, and lower labor costs.
- Increased Revenue – Reduce out-of-stock SKUs and monitor sales trends to optimize sales revenue.
- Greater Efficiency – Improve accuracy, reduce data entry errors, and automate data collection to provide real-time monitoring.
How Can My Organization Embrace Asset Tracking and Inventory Management Solutions?
When considering asset tracking and inventory management systems, it’s wise to:
- Identify your organization’s objectives – What do you want to track? How do you want it managed? What systems should be integrated into your solution?
- Develop a site survey and technology plan – Understand that asset and inventory data will need to be collected and analyzed in order to determine the right solution.
What Comprises an Asset Tracking and Inventory Management Solution?
There are several main technologies to choose from:
- Barcoding – Scanners, mobile computers and printers (for printing custom labels or tags) are a few necessary components of barcode asset tracking.
- Radio Frequency and Identification (RFID) – A fairly new technology, RFID tags, store product information that is communicated to RFID readers and asset tracking software.
- Asset Tracking or Inventory Management Software – For both barcode scanning and RFID technologies, software is required to enable asset and inventory tracking on multiple features, including asset type, serial or part numbers, expiration dates, projecting supply and demand as well as to provide detailed reporting.
Fishbowl Inventory is a powerful asset tracking and inventory management solution. Some companies that use Fishbowl to track assets are the U.S. Army, Nordstrom, Mercedes-Benz North America, Turner Broadcasting, NASA, Boeing, Wells Fargo Bank and others. Sign up for a free trial of Fishbowl Inventory to find out more about Fishbowl’s asset tracking capabilities.