We don’t often think of schools as being a particularly asset-heavy entity, but more and more, educational institutions are filling to the brim with pricey assets to better keep up with our ever-changing, technologically-driven world. Gone are the days of composition books and pencils lining the shelves of classrooms; it’s not uncommon to even see a toddler learning the ‘ABCs’ on a tablet owned by their preschool. Because of this, the need for education asset tracking is quickly becoming a necessity for everything from small, private institutions to massive public school districts and universities.
So, how do you, as an administrator, go about implementing an asset tracking management program that fits both the logistical and financial needs of your institution? To get the answer to this, you must look past the standard procedures of educational institutions and, instead, start doing what the best corporate supply chain managers have for years in managing their companies’ assets. To integrate their seasoned know-how into your unique educational institution, follow these four best practices:
- Develop a Transparent System to Centralize Your Data
- Implement Scanning Procedures for Your Mobile Inventory
- Establish an Accountability System that Works for Your Institution
- Give All Employees a Role in Your Education Asset Tracking Plan
1. Develop a Transparent System to Centralize Your Data
No matter the size or scope of your educational institution, it’s important that you either invest in or develop a system that your employees can access at all times. In it, they will have the ability to add new assets and report on their conditions in real-time. This works especially well for large organizations that are constantly upgrading their software and technology.
These employees should also have the power to add descriptions of the assets, a way to report damage or theft, and any maintenance that is required in the future, such as subscription and warranty expiration dates. By making this system completely transparent, with specialized log-ins for each employee, your organization will be better able to keep track of the specific assets that either do or don’t contribute to your overall success. Committing to a consistent system will also make budgetary reviews, audits, and tax time much simpler and more precise.
2. Implement Scanning Procedures for Your Mobile Assets
As our technological world continues to evolve, so must educational institutions, particularly the ones who have pricey mobile assets in the form of laptop computers, tablets, audio and visual equipment, etc. We all know that owning these pieces of equipment can be a blessing and a curse; while the devices will boost a student’s educational resources, they are, unfortunately, extremely vulnerable to theft.
To remedy this, choose a holistic approach to keeping tabs on your pricey mobile assets with an asset tagging and barcode scanning solution. This gives employees a way to add check-in/check-out information to your centralized data system with a simple scan of a barcode, which will serve as valuable historical data for each and every one of your mobile assets.
3. Establish an Accountability System that Works for Your Institution
It’s no secret that many working in the educational sector often feel overwhelmed by day-to-day pressures, which makes the idea of asset accountability a sensitive subject to broach. Having said that, even the most complete automized education asset tracking systems require collaboration.
Schedule quarterly or monthly reminders to ensure that each and every one of your employees is clear on the assets in which they are responsible, and always provide them with thorough instructions on how to best utilize the transparent data system. For instance, if a teacher has 30 laptops, 20 tablets, and a television in her classroom, guarantee that she knows every single one of these pieces of equipment must be tracked for condition, current location, theft, etc. Remember, clarity is the first step in promoting accountability.
4. Give All Employees a Role in Your Education Asset Tracking Plan
Whoever is responsible for managing your asset tracking plan must give all employees who frequently have access to mobile assets, in particular, a role in it. Take a close look at each one of your institution’s departments; chances are, pricey assets are passed along to one or more departments on a daily basis. It may be a necessity but in it lies the inherent threat of lost or stolen property.
By giving all employees the reins to your asset tracking plan, you will instantly provide a sense of accountability, no matter their official position. Sometimes all an employee needs to protect the safety of an asset is direct knowledge of the value it adds to the institution.
Keep your employees in the loop by providing them with a transparent tracking system, and you too will rest-assured knowing that your assets are being properly managed and protected.
- What is Asset Identification? Methods of Asset Identification, Best Practices, and More
- 5 Ways to Master Barcode Inventory Management: The Right Tools, Technology, and Training for Seamless Barcode Inventory Management Implementation
- 3 Essential Asset Tracking Tips for Schools and Educators: Automate, Plan, and Collaborate with IT
- Using Asset Management to Improve Maintenance and Cut Costs