As a business owner what do you think you would find if you calculated the value of all your hard assets? That includes all the computer equipment, machinery and any other durable goods that you use to run your business. Would it be thousands of dollars, millions of dollars? There is no question it would represent a significant amount of money. Each year companies invest untold sums of monies in assets. Yet, when it comes to managing these items many companies fall victim to the temptation to save a few dollars by keeping track of them using a simple spreadsheets or manual systems. That hardly makes sense.
As capital money has become harder and harder to come by many companies are realising that it is well worth the time and money it takes to implement an asset management program. When it gets down to it you can save far more money by taking control of your assets than it costs to implement a good tracking system.
You really have two choices when it comes to asset management systems—purchase a third party developed system or try to develop a system organically. With so many high quality asset management software systems on the market today, for most companies it just doesn’t make sense to develop your own. Instead, purchase a package that is suited for you needs, install it and start saving money and time right away.
Knowing what you own is not the only advantage to having an asset management system. Knowing what you own plus how old it is and when it might need to be replaced can help you plan for future capital purchases. Knowing where each of your assets is located within your physical locations can help you avoid theft and pilfering. You can establish regular maintenance programs and avoid costly downtime.
While the thought of cataloguing each and every one of your assets may sound overwhelming, a good asset management software program will have the capability to use bar coding to identify your assets and their locations. You will also want to look for a tool that will have the capability to import data from existing asset control systems and handle hand held and other portable barcode readers.
So how do you go about selecting the right asset management program for your company? First of all you want something that is easy to use and will be compatible with your existing computer equipment. There are a number of very good Windows based programs on the market today. Make sure it has the features you need. You want to be able to track your assets from the moment they are acquired through the time you dispose of them. This includes maintaining warranty information and loan-outs. Even if you don’t expect to use bar codes right away, be sure that your software package is capable of working with them. Look for flexible reports and a strong database engine. Both of these features are extremely important.
Finally, look for a satisfaction guarantee. The last thing you need is a significant investment that goes bust. If the asset software you select is not right for you, you should be able to return it. This way you have nothing to lose by trying.