More companies are turning to asset tracking solutions as a method for streamlining inventory management, boosting productivity and improving accuracy. Inventory management is an overwhelming responsibility, and the efficiency of a company’s inventory management processes impacts every other facet of the organization. With the ability to simplify many of the complex challenges facing inventory managers, asset tracking is an investment that pays off multi-fold.
Inaccurate Consumable Inventory Forecasting
Many businesses rely on consumable inventory throughout the course of business. Replacement parts for electronics or machinery, medical supplies and office supplies are just a few examples of consumable inventory. Inadequate inventory control practices often lead to poor tracking of current stock. That means service workers could be left without the necessary replacement parts to repair a customer’s office printer, or an internet consumer could be left without WiFi services while the necessary parts are re-ordered.
It’s not difficult to see how these inaccuracies impact other departments and trickle down to customers Inventory management and tracking solutions solve this challenge by enabling real-time, accurate stock figures. An employee taking a part from inventory can simply scan the bar code, which updates the inventory database. Purchasing managers don’t have to spend hours tracking down supplies and counting remaining inventory, as all inventory data is organized in a central database.
Tracking Down Vendor Information is Wasted Time
Most companies rely on multiple vendors for different supplies. Electronic parts may come from one vendor, while paper supplies come from another. When it’s time to re-order, tracking down the correct vendor, contact information and pricing details can take hours. Sometimes, the information may not be organized well in the first place. In other situations, a folder containing vendor information may be misplaced if another employee removed it to create a report but didn’t document it.
When an asset tracking system is used, any department can access the most up-to-date information on a physical asset from any network-enabled device. With the right asset management software program, even field service workers can check inventory to see if a replacement part is available or must be ordered. And if ordering is necessary, it can be done right from the field with a few simple clicks. These software applications store not only inventory counts, but the item’s complete history, including vendor contact information, order history, and any problems documented or communications with the vendor.
This results in huge time savings for staff who no longer have to chase a paper trail, as well as for field service workers who don’t have to waste time calling in to the central office or driving back to the office location only to discover that the necessary part is out of stock.
Regulatory Reporting and Compliance is Complex
If an organization falls under federal or state oversight, the company is responsible for complying with a strict set of industry regulations. Non-compliance can result in fines or even the loss of valuable government contracts. These organizations are often required to submit comprehensive reports to regulatory agencies, proving that the company is meeting or exceeding requirements.
All businesses, regulated or not, are responsible for properly documenting inventory for tax purposes. Some inventory is depreciated, while perishable inventory can sometimes be counted as a loss. In any case, disorganized inventory management makes these reporting requirements unnecessarily complicated. Asset tracking solves this challenge by allowing staff to simply scan a bar code or enter a product identification number to find out whether any inventory has been discarded over the course of the fiscal year and how much remains. Some asset management software applications take this a step further, offering built-in reporting capabilities allowing users to generate a variety of reports and itemized views with a few clicks.
These three reasons illustrate just a few of the many benefits of inventory management and asset tracking solutions. When a simple, streamlined solution can solve many time-consuming and wasteful business challenges, the initial investment offers returns many times over.