Essential Elements for IT Inventory Management
The hardware devices your company uses on a daily basis depreciates every year and these are considered to be a company asset. Whether you’re managing a startup or a large corporation, you need to keep track of computers, laptops, projectors, and other devices or equipment the company owns with an effective IT inventory management system. Not only does this make the accounting process easier, but it can help purchasing managers make better decisions about hardware in the future.
Use these tips for accurate IT inventory management:
List Hardware Assets Across All Networks
The first step for developing an IT inventory management system is to create an inventory list. To make sure this list is as accurate as possible, you will need to go through all networks and create a master list of all hardware assets like computers, printers, mobile devices and other electronic equipment. Be as detailed as possible with this list so you can include vendor information, the CPU, and date of purchase. You can either create this list manually or use an asset management software program to log details about each piece of equipment.
Organize this list with categories that make sense for your particular business. For example, a retailer might create categories such as point of sale devices, office equipment, and supplies. A corporate office might create categories such as employee-use computers, mobile devices for management, and general office supplies.
Monitor Depreciation Rates and Shelf Life
Depreciation rates for different types of equipment vary significantly by device and some devices may have a shorter shelf life than others. You can use a software program to estimate the date you will need to replace different types of equipment, or calculate the average shelf life to plan the next purchase. You can use a spreadsheet program to create an asset tracking database or use a software program that automatically calculates the depreciation for different types of equipment.
Conduct Regular Audits
If you are using a software program to log inventory, you will need to run scans regularly to determine whether the equipment is functioning at its optimal level or needs to be upgraded or replaced. Conducting regular audits and scans will help you keep better track of all assets and can also help the purchasing manager make the most informed decisions about a purchase.
Keep Track of Pricing Information
Purchasing managers for the company can make better financial decisions when they have an idea of how much they have spent on certain types of equipment and devices in the past. Keep track of the price of the device and any upgrades or other costs associated with maintaining different types of equipment. Having a log of costs with dates of purchase can help purchasing managers create more accurate budgets and run accurate purchasing forecasts when it’s time to update, upgrade, or buy more hardware devices.
Automate the Inventory Management Process
If you are trying to keep track of dozens of machines and devices, it may be a better idea to automate the inventory management process using a software program. Some software programs are designed with a barcode system where you can simply scan different types of equipment and devices into the system and keep track of items on a dashboard. Automating the process can make it easier to manage inventory from the purchase to the deprecation, or even to the point of a sale. Compare different software programs to determine which program will help you manage inventory most efficiently.
Image: Cary Bass