Now more than ever before, businesses have the power to track their equipment efficiently and, at times, with only small upfront investments. That said, there is currently a lot of competition on the market, which can make for difficult selections, particularly in terms of processes, software, and specialized tracking equipment. Luckily, the Internet is chock-full of expert resources that help to bring focus to this dizzying task. To help cut down the fat, we’ve compiled a list of 50 equipment tracking tips, including organizational tricks, process implementation, and maintenance and repair best practices. Below, you’ll find quotes straight from these expert resources, conveniently organized by category.
- Best Organizational Tactics for Equipment
- Asset Tracking Software and Tag Selection Best Practices
- How to Implement an Equipment Tracking Program
- Recording Maintenance and Repairs
- How to Promote the Importance of Equipment Tracking to Employees
Best Organizational Tactics for Equipment
1. Before you do anything, compile an up-to-date equipment inventory list. “Do you know exactly what equipment is in your inventory? You might have an idea, even though we believe the combined value of all your supporting equipment is probably higher than you’d expect. Even if you have an overview, is it a living thing? A list of the equipment in your inventory from a year ago is worth less than the paper it is printed on.” – Henri Van Bost, 8 Tips for Effective Equipment Inventory Management, Cheqroom; Twitter: @cheqroom
2. Think beyond manual organizational equipment tracking. “The common perception that manual inventory tracking methods are a safe bet is hurting businesses. Sure, they’re affordable and have been around since the Reagan administration, but they have also proven to be a financial and operational liability for equipment management.” – The Ultimate Way to Track Construction Tools and Equipment, ASAP Systems; Twitter: @ASAP_Systems
3. Organize your space so that equipment can be located efficiently. “Before placing anything in the warehouse, label everything: warehouse racks, shelves, docks, everything. Warehouse label solutions are designed specifically to meet the unique needs of the warehouse, offering customized options ranging from long-range retroreflective labels to cold storage labels, hanging warehouse signs, multi-level rack labels, and outdoor dock and door signs that can withstand the elements. By choosing the right label solution, your warehouse will be easier to navigate, picking and packing will be streamlined, and organizational efficiency will get a boost overall.” – Shelly Stazzone, How to Organize a Warehouse: A Step-By-Step Guide to Efficient Warehouse Organization, Camcode; Twitter: @Camcode
4. Create an equipment management and tracking process that will help your operation meet its goals. “According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the first step in a physical asset management process is to establish organizational policies, including strategic objectives and budgets. This helps to determine a company’s future requirements. The second step involves collecting and analyzing the current asset inventory and performance. The difference between where the company wants to be and where it is today is the company’s strategic asset gap, which indicates where the company needs to make improvements. The third step involves evaluating alternatives for bridging these gaps. The final step involves continual monitoring of asset performance and readjusting the asset mix as required.” – Chirantan Basu, Organizing Function of Managing Physical Assets, Chron; Twitter: @houstonchron
5. Make strong organizational decisions that are made to stay. “Translating a set of manufacturing priorities into an appropriate collection of plant, people, and policies requires resources, time, and management perseverance. As we mentioned earlier, the great bulk of most companies’ assets (capital, human, and managerial) is found in manufacturing. Moreover, these assets tend to be massive, highly interrelated, and long lived—in comparison with marketing and most financial assets. As a result, it is difficult to redirect them, and ‘fine-tuning’ is almost impossible. Once a change is made, its impact is felt throughout the system and cannot be undone easily.” – Robert H. Hayes and Roger W. Schmenner, How Should You Organize Manufacturing?, Harvard Business Review; Twitter: @HarvardBiz
6. Decide on a visual organizational process that is simple to implement and understand. “There are a number of existing methods for organizing tools. It could be by tool type, by job type (assuming this differentiation can be easily made) or even in alphabetical order if you have a particularly large selection. Different categories can be stored in different areas, allowing for easy location.” – Moira Van Den Akker, Simple Ways to Manage Your Tool Crib Inventory, Constructible; Twitter: @TrimbleMEP
7. Identify and eliminate your “ghost assets.” “A ‘ghost’ asset is property that is lost, stolen, or unusable, but is still listed as an active fixed asset in the system… Ghost assets that are not identified can cause lost productivity because missing or unusable assets are not available when needed. Capital budgets are rendered inadequate because management is unaware of critical assets needing replacement.” – Best Practices for Fixed Asset Managers, Sage Software; Twitter: @SageNAmerica
Asset Tracking Software and Tag Selection Best Practices
8. Before selecting your software, first, consider your options. “Fixed asset managers can implement best practices by selecting appropriate software solutions for their organisations. Among the tools to consider for total control of the asset life cycle are fixed asset accounting software, inventory solutions, custom reporting and project accounting solutions. In evaluating software solutions, particular attention should be paid to the integration between fixed asset applications as well as with other financial solutions, such as the general ledger, in order to save additional time and eliminate the possibility of data re-entry errors.” – Benefits of Implementing Fixed Asset Solution that Includes Bar Coding, Scanning, ITWeb; Twitter: @ITWeb
9. Determine the equipment that needs tagging for tracking purposes. “Nearly any type of equipment can be tagged, and tags are made from various types of material to enable them to withstand the environment in which your equipment is used. Asset tags typically contain a barcode that allows each piece of equipment to be assigned a unique identification number to help you easily pinpoint its location, access maintenance schedules, determine the equipment’s status, and more just by scanning the barcode label. Using asset tags also reduces the risk of losing equipment through human error or theft.” – Shelly Stazzone, Equipment Tracking Best Practices: Asset Tags and Software, Maintenance Scheduling, and More, Camcode; Twitter: @Camcode
10. Take your current equipment-tracking investments into consideration. “It’s crucial that you select a system that is compatible with your existing technologies – for example, some only work on certain devices or operating systems. You need to look at your current systems and assess whether the online order management system can integrate with it.” – Jodie Green, How to Select the Right Online Inventory Management System, Fleximize; Twitter: @fleximize
11. Determine the extra equipment that will be needed to track your assets. “There are many different ways to track inventory, so it’s important to know what method you will be using. You can track stock using barcodes, serialization, RFID tags, lot control, and kitting. Not only are there many methods, but some will work better with particular inventory processes. This is why you should decide on a method before you start your search for an inventory system. Not all systems have the capability to use all tracking, especially in the mid to small office markets. Forcing your inventory processes to fit a system can be problematic and costly. To avoid this, define which tracking method will work best before you start your search.
“Depending on your choice, you may need to purchase the hardware and scanners. You want to make sure the scanners you choose are usable with your system. If you select your scanners after your system, they may not be compatible. Or, the scanners that are compatible may not be suitable for your needs. As you can see, it is important to make these decisions before you start your search.” – 5 Tips on Selecting the Right Inventory Management System, Clear Spider; Twitter: @clearspider
12. Make sure that, at a bare minimum, your equipment tracking software includes these features. “…you should mark down the ones that you definitely need, as well as the ones you may need in future and forget about irrelevant features. It’s also worth noting that your point-of-sale software may have all the inventory management functionality you need already built in, so just make sure you’re not doubling up on your software.
- Central hub: Ensure your software will act as a ‘central hub’ between all purchase points, including online stores and multiple physical locations.
- Real-time data: This is especially important if you’re running multiple stores or manage multiple warehouses.
- Usability: You should trial all software for free and make sure your employees are comfortable using it before buying. This can save a lot of time and money in the long run.
- Security: Your data should be backed up online in the cloud and not stored locally.
- Technical support and training: You should ask your provider if implementation, support, and training are included. This can be a big extra cost if it’s not.
- Hardware Integration: Will the software work with your existing computer, operating system and barcode/RFID scanners?”
– Amanda Layton, Digital Marketing Professional at PrognoStore, The Ultimate Guide for Choosing Inventory Management Software, The PrognoStore Blog; Twitter: @PrognoStore
13. Use a unique identification number for every piece of equipment. “It’s important to keep in mind that you should avoid using the equipment’s serial number when creating an asset tag or barcode label. Serial numbers may be duplicated, and users will become confused when it becomes impossible to tell two assets apart in an asset tracking system. The solution is to use a unique identification number for each piece of equipment so that you don’t have any identical numbers. You’ll maintain your data integrity and have complete, accurate equipment information in real time when you opt to use unique identification number for your equipment.” – Shelly Stazzone, Equipment Tracking Best Practices: Asset Tags and Software, Maintenance Scheduling, and More, Camcode; Twitter: @camcode
14. Before purchasing an asset management system, ask for a free demo. “Check whether free trial or demonstration is provided by the company. Ask for it and try to get the demonstration in the same conditions (identical hardware and software configuration as you will be using in your organization).” – Mungara Chinratan, 6 Tips to Choose the Right Asset Management Software, eLearning Industry; Twitter: @elearningindustry
15. Look for easy check-in/check-out features. “An easy-to-use check-in/check-out feature can greatly improve accuracy and reduce the time spent passing out and receiving assets. Look for software that auto-populates fields for check-in/check-out with a “quick find” feature that searches your database by asset tag, asset, vendor, customer or employee. Some software offerings allow you to use a single transaction when checking-in/out multiple assets to multiple assignees – a great benefit for tool cribs, schools and emergency response units with large numbers of assets that must be regularly checked-in/out to multiple users.” – Brian Sutter, 14 Things to Look for When Choosing Asset Management Software for Your Business, Business2Community; Twitter:@b2community
16. Determine which pieces of equipment need asset tags. “Answering the following questions can set you on a well-defined pathway to label your assets:
- Which tools have a greater risk of theft or misplacement?
- Which assets are used the most?
- Is there a chance of instruments moving between departments?
“Once you have listed down all the assets which fall into the criteria, you can get a better understanding of which items you should label. This could, for example, include portable devices which can be easily lost across locations, or items that are in high-demand. The most frequently tagged equipment includes laptops, smartphones and printers. Depending on the size of the business, such items can be expensive capital investments which are not easily replaceable. Other than monetary value, laptops and hard drives often contain confidential information which should not be accessed by unauthorized personnel at any cost. For this very reason it becomes crucial to label any asset which needs to be protected and tracked throughout its utilization.” – Asset Tagging Best Practices: A Guide to Labeling Business Assets, EZ Office Inventory; Twitter: @officeinventory
17. When in doubt, choose the bar code. “Serial numbers are often duplicated, damaged or not available during the inventory process. The format of the serial number varies widely by manufacturer, which is not conducive to a database key identifier. Serial number collection is prone to human error and interpretation. Serial numbers often have special non-alpha or non-numeric characters (#, -, %).
“While the serial number is a key data point for all assets, it should not be used as the standard data point for tracking and reporting purposes in isolation. Barcoding is the preferred route. This allows for a consistent, key identifier for all assets in a standard format. Bar coding also allows for a more controlled inventory. Tags can be tracked and assets visually confirmed as well as being captured within the inventory.” – David Foxen, Quick Guide to Hardware Asset Tracking, The ITAM Review; Twitter: @itamreview
18. Learn about the benefits of using tracking systems for heavy-duty equipment. “Heavy equipment that lets you know where it is when it will be back, how much fuel it uses and when it’s time to go to the doctor? Not to mention contributing to reports and making on-site deliveries without having to take a coffee break? In addition to reducing time now spent on coordination and data collection by staff, this ‘smart’ equipment can also help managers make decisions about customers to target and work schedules, meaning not only time saved, but more profit earned. Some proprietary telematics squabbling among manufacturers continues, so all access to all equipment data doesn’t exist just yet, but managers should prepare for a near-future site scenario where a lot of the work is being done by formerly ‘dumb’ machines.” – How High Tech Equipment Tracking is Changing Construction, Raken; Twitter: @RakenApp
19. Make your equipment less susceptible to theft. “Have the name and address of your company inscribed on your equipment and tools. Doing so will allow for the proper identification of your equipment, and will also deter thieves from stealing your equipment. If your equipment is inscribed, it is identifiable, making it less desirable.” – How to Combat Construction Equipment Theft, LiveViewGPS; Twitter: @latracker
20. Track the tools that repair your equipment. “Efficient tool tracking data will accumulate over time, and managers can identify which employees may need more training or are misusing equipment. Prusha says tool tracking is a priority in manufacturing, where specific tools are used to repair assets throughout an entire production line. In contrast, facilities managers may overlook this process more often, as they tend to use nonspecific equipment, such as lawn mowers, brushes or drills. For any size organization, tracking the tools that are most critical to daily tasks provides greater oversight.” – Brock Prusha, senior systems analyst for CMMS provider MAPCON, as told to Taylor Short, Tool Management with a CMMS: Benefits and Best Practices, Software Advice; Twitter: @softwareadvice
21. Run periodic asset utilization reports for more concentrated tracking. “The successful execution of daily business operations is only possible through robust asset management. In order to ensure seamless work activities, it is crucial to note down asset consumption. This can be done by generating an asset utilization report that uses tracking usage history and check-in and checkout records. It helps companies set out inventory supply thresholds, and rotate equipment for longevity if needed.
“Most importantly, tracking consumption through utilization reports lets you automate procurement. This ensures you don’t face delays due to shortages. Tracking month-by-month procurement trends using reports such as these can greatly lower administrative overheads for your company.” – Momina Sohail, The Most Crucial AssetTracking Reports You Should Be Running, TechnologyAdvice; Twitter: @Technology_Adv
22. Ensure that your equipment tracking software is flexible enough to make important categorical distinctions. “You need to be able to track things you don’t own alongside those that you do and report on comparative utilization. That data is very useful in helping you decide whether it is worth adding additional items to your own fleet.” – Asset Tracking Software – Best Practices for Equipment Management, Wynne; Twitter: @wynnesystems
23. Increase your company’s culture of accountability. “Asset tracking adds a higher level of accountability to any company. When managers are able to keep detailed records of when certain assets are used, and who used them, you gain new information that can be used to solve preexisting problems. For example, you may learn that you are losing products in Warehouse A regularly. After looking into the matter you find that every time the new picker is sent to that location something ends up missing.
“Without asset tracking, you may have never noticed this was happening. Increasing the overall accountability of your system also discourages the mistreatment of assets by employees. When employees know that they are held accountable for assets they take better care of them.” – Dominique Robinson, How to Tell If Your Business Needs Asset Tracking Software, SkuVault; Twitter: @SkuVault
24. Select a cloud-based system for on-the-go equipment tracking. “Cloud-based software solutions complement automation features by giving teams more flexibility for when and how they complete their work. Rather than an on-premises or on-devices system, a cloud-based platform ensures that team members can record and update data anytime, anywhere. Additionally, cloud-hosted systems allow teams to collaborate in real time, rather than waiting for the latest version to be sent out. Finally, find increased accuracy with cloud programs and ensure that there is only one record of the truth.” – Inventory Management 101: From Simple Inventory to Cloud-Based Management, Smartsheet; Twitter: @smartsheet
How to Implement an Equipment Tracking Program
25. Get more from your equipment tracking by merging systems. “Alternatives for software to manage your inventory system range from free software downloads through spreadsheet solutions you develop yourself, to cloud-based and standalone commercial inventory managers. You can even have custom software designed expressly for your business. If you want to incorporate inventory software with accounting packages, your options will narrow, though some accounting packages have basic inventory features built-in, so you may already have inventory software capability. Check that the software package you’re considering can handle enough inventory items to match your needs.” – Scott Shpak, How to Implement an Inventory System for a Manufacturing Company, AZ Central; Twitter: @azcentral
26. Upon implementation, decide on a unified units system. “Units of Measure, things like ‘pcs’ ‘ea’ ‘lbs’ ‘bags’ etc… give meaning to quantities and they belong in their own separate place, outside of descriptions and the numeric quantity fields. Using well created and consistent units of measure will make stock levels, shipping quantities, and ordering quantities, easier to understand.” – Inventory Basics – Inventory Management, Clearly Inventory; Twitter: @clearinventory
27. Select the most mobile-friendly scanning solutions. “Whether you’re working in a fast paced environment, outdoors, or in a large warehouse, having a rugged barcode scanner is essential for your success. The primary differences between standard and rugged scanners is that the former are built with complete seals to protect against dust and moisture. They also have no-slip grips and often have four to six foot drop-resistance.” – Inventory Management Best Practices, ASAP Systems; Twitter: @ASAP_Systems
28. Prepare for the worst-case scenario prior to software implementation. “Back up all your data and store the backup in a safe place. This will be your emergency copy of information in the unlikely event something goes wrong.” – How to Prepare for Inventory Management Software Implementation: Minimize the Disruption, Zenventory; Twitter: @zenventory
29. Integrate easy audit options into your software integration. “Auditors shouldn’t have to wade through an ocean of paperwork or shift from one location to another. With an inventory management system, they have all the information they need right at their fingertips. Whether it’s on a computer or a mobile device, the data can be accessed anywhere. This software should also help you maintain inventory control” – The Ins and Outs of Inventory Management Systems, SelectHub; Twitter: @SelectHub
Recording Maintenance and Repairs
30. Use your equipment tracking system to keep track of repairs. “Keeping track of repairs is essential for identifying chronically faulty equipment or abusive operators. A simple spreadsheet may be sufficient, although a specialized and sophisticated asset tracker application can control work in the shop, ownership, maintenance schedules, programming upgrades, inventory checks, installation and structural maintenance. You can set it up for asset management reporting, and make departments responsible for their assets and control access.” – Asset Tracking, P25 Best Practice; Twitter: @TaitRadio
31. Use your system to devise a maintenance schedule. “Businesses gain a massive return on investment with a quality fixed asset system that can calculate periodic depreciation (using a variety of methods, including straight-line depreciation and double declining balance), identify the need for preventative maintenance in order to extend the fixed asset’s lifespan, and a check-in-and-out process to monitor who had the asset in their possession last, where they had it and for what reason, preventing asset loss due to theft, forgetfulness or incompetence.” – Jay Schofield, What You Need to Know: Fixed Asset or Inventory Management, System ID; Twitter: @systemid
32. Use your equipment tracking tool to follow up on depreciation. “Usually, you don’t report the entire cost of a fixed asset in one year. Instead, you depreciate the expense to account for the asset’s declining value over time. You report portions of the total cost over a fixed number of years. You need to track each fixed asset’s depreciation status to know what to report on your business tax return.” – Amanda Cameron, Fixed Asset Management for Small Business, Patriot Software; Twitter: @patriotsoftware
33. Get clear on the meanings behind different repair cycle strategies. “Ideally preventive or routine maintenance is scheduled and performed through an asset tracking system to prevent or foresee the need for repairs or full replacements of equipment. Alternatively, corrective or emergency maintenance occurs when there is an abrupt need for repair or replacement.
“Maintenance can include, but is not limited to:
- Regularly scheduled inspections of assets
- Making necessary repairs to assets to ensure full functionality
- Replacing equipment that can no longer be used
- Visibility of equipment repair history for accounting purposes”
34. Get in the habit of adding equipment utilization data to your general records. “Every firm invests a large amount of capital in its equipment. High-quality tools and machines tend to break down less and function longer. But that doesn’t mean you don’t rigorously monitor their usage. One way to do this is to track when and where your equipment is being used. This can be easily done through equipment maintenance record keeping by tagging all your tools. What this basically does is link your official inventory to an online software. This software is a single access point of information for everyone in your workplace. Every time an employee checks out a machine for use, it is instantly updated in the system. When you know where your tools are, it becomes easier to record their usage history to forecast future trends and patterns.” – What is Equipment Maintenance Record Keeping and How to Optimize It, EZ Office Inventory; Twitter: @officeinventory
35. Automate your equipment’s maintenance and servicing schedules. “EAM/CMMS solutions offer more comprehensive maintenance management and recordkeeping, which promotes greater part longevity and is generally required to achieve regulatory compliance. Serialization makes it much easier to monitor and manage maintenance activities and histories, and better solutions support enhanced features such as integration with mobile devices for maintenance activity reporting. The ability to automate scheduling, including resource-based schedule management, ensures work is performed as required.
“In addition, plants gain better control over repair work through their ability to record and analyze repair incidents and intervals. Historical analyses of service and repair records can also help the organization track how specific parts perform in relation to expectations.” – Mike Edwards, founder of AssetOptics, 4 Tips for Better Inventory Management, Reliable Plant; Twitter: @NoriaCorp
36. Fuse maintenance management into your asset management plan. “While maintenance management and asset management are technically different, they are still interrelated and flow well together. Maintenance management helps to guide the physical performance of maintenance equipment and activities efficiently, while asset management helps to analyze all the data for the work needed to perform on the assets themselves.
“Asset management assists in identifying and prioritizing the work necessary for specific assets not only for the ROI of the asset, but also to analyze and coordinate strategically with work on other opportunities.” – What’s the Difference Between Asset Management and Maintenance Management, Micromain; Twitter: @micromaincorp
37. Always take weather into account when formulating a maintenance schedule. “It’s important to take weather and site conditions into your maintenance plan. Because weather and site conditions change how often and when construction equipment maintenance should be scheduled. In places with acidic soil or salting, it’s important to address this in your maintenance plan. Otherwise important parts of the equipment could end up rusting or corroding and cause unexpected maintenance needs.” – Rachel Novotny, Construction Equipment Maintenance: How Often and When to Schedule, eSUB; Twitter: @eSUBinc
38. Save money by analyzing the key performance data of your equipment. “A major benefit with a maintenance software solution involves data. All the current and historical data related to assets and maintenance is easily accessible in one place.
“’That gives contractors a powerful tool for managing day-to-day maintenance processes, monitoring KPIs, and making strategic ownership decisions like when it is more cost effective to replace an asset versus continuing to maintain it’,” says Kane.” – John Kane, product manager at B2W Software, as quoted by Conexpo Con/Agg, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Conexpo Con/Agg; Twitter: @conexpoconagg
39. Put your equipment on a preventative maintenance track instead of a corrective one. “Equipment failures can shut down part of your plant or even your entire facility. Operations will cease until you can fix the equipment issue. Preventive maintenance helps you catch potential problems before they become major failures, whereas corrective maintenance relies on fixing issues after they’ve already caused disruptions.
“With a PM system in place, you can perform maintenance tasks and fix potential problems on your terms. You can choose to address the issue at a time when you don’t need to use the equipment in question, such as at night, on the weekend or during another time when activity is slow. You can also shut down small parts of your operations one at a time, so your business never has to come to a complete stop. If you rely on corrective maintenance, you have no control over when you perform maintenance activities. Equipment could go down anytime, and chances are it won’t fail at a time that’s convenient for you. These failures will also likely take longer to fix than conducting PM activities would have.” – The Importance of Preventative Maintenance for Your Material Handling Equipment, Cherry’s Industrial Equipment; Twitter: @CherrysInd180
40. Learn how to create an equipment downtime report using your equipment tracking software. “You know it’s frustrating to navigate through spreadsheets if your company still relies on manual asset tracking and reporting. Eliminate the need for spreadsheets (with thousands or rows of assets for each location) with a CMMS.
“When you implement a CMMS, you gain real-time visibility and insights that minimize downtime and reduce lost profits. You’ll gain the opportunity to organize all assets in one place in a hierarchical structure, rather than a list for an easy-to-scan downtime report. A CMMS allows you to add equipment to work orders as you populate them. From here, you can sort by overall asset, brand or lifecycle stage, or choose to see asset by location. In one click, you’re able to sort assets or locations by downtime to generate quick, data-driven reports for future decisions.” – Leah Garcia, How to Create an Equipment Downtime Report in a CMMS, Maintenance Connection; Twitter: @maintconnect
How to Promote the Importance of Equipment Tracking to Employees
41. Educate your staff on your new equipment tracking system. “While having a system in place is important, it is just as important that you and your team understand how to use it effectively. Set aside time to familiarize yourself with the software, including its settings, filters, attributes, and understand how to generate reports so you can review important information.
“If there is something you or your colleagues don’t understand or want to learn about, it is important that you have a service provider that has a technical support team that is able (and wanting) to meet your needs. Their team should be able to provide you with useful tips and advice — or point you to a place where you can find those things — to help you get the most out of your system.” – Brian Dziuk, 4 Tips for Improving Your Equipment Tracking Solutions in 2018, RasTrac; Twitter: @RasTrac_GPS
42. Implement strict post-training followups. “Instruction is only part of a successful training regiment. Following up with your staff after their training, while they are using the asset tracking system, can help you ensure that they are using it correctly.
“It’s important for several reasons. First, if there are substantial training-related challenges in using the system, it’s a good opportunity to decide whether additional training is needed. Also, it will help you to determine the effectiveness of the training itself and gives you the opportunity to re-evaluate it and make modifications to the curriculum if necessary. Finally, it lets you conduct performance assessments, and will let you know whether or not the staff responsible for using the asset tracking software are doing so in the most productive and efficient way possible.” – 5 Tips for Onboarding New Staff with Barcode Asset Tracking Tools, Supply Chain Services; Twitter: @SupplyChainSvcs
43. Train your staff to beware of inefficiencies like duplication. “One of the most valuable keys in proper asset management is identifying and eliminating sources of waste. Identify where defects or errors are being introduced into your equipment asset management program. Where can human error influence the quality of decisions made in maintaining assets? With regards to an oil analysis program, sample collection technique, information transcription and information setup can all impact the accuracy of test results.
“Identify where duplication of work is occurring. The use of inefficient, duplicated or overlapping routes to collect predictive maintenance information may result in much time wasted. Entry of information into multiple databases or by multiple people may also be a potential source of error if not administered correctly.” – Kent Knight, Equipment Asset Management: 6 Key Factors for Success, Reliable Plant; Twitter: @NoriaCorp
44. Put your equipment tracking protocol in writing. “The people who work with your stock and use your inventory system are the most critical element in establishing a pretty good inventory management system. You must make sure that these people know what to do with items that are received, taken from stock, reserved for future use, required for production, or who is responsible for making certain transactions, etc… In some cases this may only be one or two people, but there’s nothing wrong with writing down your policies and making sure they get followed. If you or the people you work with aren’t consistent about the way inventory is handled, it won’t matter what software you use, you will only experience frustration and failure.” – Inventory Basics – Inventory Management, ClearlyInventory; Twitter: @clearinventory
45. Use equipment tracking to bolster employee accountability. “When trying to shift employee attitudes regarding equipment responsibilities, it always works better to let them know how tracking assets can benefit individual crewmembers as well as the business. For example, explain how GPS tracking can eliminate time-consuming paperwork and provide more accurate data.
“Provide actual examples of how asset tracking directly benefits employees. This can include everything from getting the right vehicles to the job site at the right time to improving driver safety, recovering stolen vehicles and more. It also helps to get employees involved in the implementation and use of asset tracking. When this becomes part of their daily routine, they will naturally take more accountability for the care and proper use of the equipment.” – Greg Arlen, How Tracking Assets Can Help Improve Employee Accountability, Tenna; Twitter: @Tenna_Co
46. Don’t let employees’ sticky fingers hurt your bottom-line. “Un-reclaimed, unused laptops, smart phones, and software licenses increase IT costs unnecessarily. Aside from new employees taking assets with them, in many organizations poorly tracked assets, including their installed software, simply lie unused in drawers and closets. Even actively used hardware assets often contain software that is paid for but rarely used. These organizations end up purchasing new assets unnecessarily and often pay significant taxes on their unused assets.” – Automating Employee Asset Lifecycle Management, LANDesk; Twitter: @LANDeskSoftware
47. Provide employees with the trackable equipment they need, starting on day one. “Making sure employees have what they need to do their jobs on day 1 is a critical function of new employee onboarding, yet it’s actually an employee lifecycle process: roles change, new assets must be issued, retired assets must be recovered.” – Employee Onboarding, [email protected]
48. Ensure that all new employees are added to the updated digital equipment list. “A list should be generated and supplied to an IT asset manager. When assets are returned, a confirmation interface or email should be sent that will trigger the automated process to update the asset management database.” – Marcel Shaw, Asset Management On-Boarding and Off-Boarding Users, Ivanti Blog; Twitter: @Golvanti
49. Make performance goals known to your employees. “Organizational policies may be thought of as a broad overlay to the process. Nonengineering, noneconomic factors that reflect an agency’s values, perceptions, and predispositions may modify performance-based decisions. For example, established policies, or ‘rules of thumb,’ may direct an agency to select an investment alternative based on historic practice or other reasons. Also, management may assign noneconomic resource constraints to some asset components.
“The key to establishing performance goals is determining user priorities, values, and standards related to areas such as ride smoothness and overall level of service; travel time; overall system mobility; accessibility to the system; and availability of facilities. Goals may be defined in terms of the percentage of assets that meet specified performance levels, as one example.” – Asset Management Overview: Strategies for Implementation, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration; Twitter: @USDOTFHWA
50. To further tracking optimization, each piece of equipment should have an established ‘owner’. “An owner is normally assigned at an executive or senior-management level within an organization, such as director or vice president. An owner doesn’t legally own the asset assigned to him or her; the owner is ultimately responsible for safeguarding assigned assets and may have fiduciary responsibility or be held personally liable for negligence in protecting these assets under the concept of due care.” – Lawrence C. Miller, Peter H. Gregory, Determine and Maintain Ownership for Asset Security, Dummies; Twitter: @For Dummies