Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Company assets aren't just laptops

Every company that has laptop or desktop PCs puts a shiny sticky label on it - the asset tag. This is designed to help the IT team identify the piece of equipment, service history, warranty and all types of other information related to it. The tag just provides a reference number that allows a service employee to lookup the item in some type of asset management system (an EAM system, CMMS, spreadsheet or paper). It is rare to see similar identification on other equipment, and obviously even more difficult to see how this same concept can be applied to items that have no physical presence, such as software licenses.

The reality is that anything that an organization owns that has a significant value, and that may require preventative maintenance, testing, repair or eventual disposal, can be tracked. The asset can be a row in a database, a line on a spreadsheet, a record in a dedicated asset management system or an asset in a Consected CMMS solution. Tracking the item in a more structured solution helps companies manage a range of related information and documents in one place:
  • Purchase details: vendor, date, cost
  • Warranty details: warranty length, terms, certificate, contact details
  • Product or equipment details: documentation, description, modification history
  • Location: address and location, local contact details, site access details
  • Preventative maintenance plans: service schedules and history, issues
  • Inspections: schedule inspections, electrical safety inspections, schedules, regulatory and legal requirements
  • Failures, service and repairs: history, repairs, spare parts, inventory
  • Replacement plan and performance metrics: planning cost-effectiveness of the equipment
  • Work orders and work management: assigning staff to service activities and customer requests

Many companies don't need all of these items, but they do see the benefit in collecting the major information and work orders in one place. The complexity of a CMMS can mean that a company actually ends up with more assets to track in terms of servers, software, printers and so on. Sometimes a lighter-weight approach such as Consected is needed, to start making things better, faster.

By having a single system in place to access information about a company's equipment, software licenses, servers, air conditioning units, tools, telephone, laptops, you can get the information when it is needed. You can also ensure that employees that must service, repair or work with these items know where it is, when they must do the work and what tools they will need, without you guiding them every step of the way. Finally, you can ensure that you meet the growing set of regulatory requirements for the disposal of equipment, while meeting your organization's new policies for the recycling or safe removal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), often known as e-waste.

Meeting all the requirements for managing assets through their whole life is complex on paper in an Excel spreadsheet. Sometimes a more complex solution can make your working life easier, more productive, less stressful, and more rewarding.

A post from the Improving It blog

Let us help you improve your business today. Visit www.consected.com

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