Business & Leadership Behaviors Project Management Thoughts Technical & Industry Thoughts

Chain of Custody – Early Visibility

An organization’s investment in fixed assets is often the second-largest portion of its budget after employee costs.  The total amount of money spent annually in acquisitions, maintenance, insurance, taxes, and other expenses is substantial.  Then there is also the operational impact (and cost) of not having an item when and where you need it.

In our post on April 30thChain of Custody – A New Urgency, we discussed the importance of having easily accessible historical data regarding your assets.  Today, let’s consider the impact of beginning that process early and making future efforts more manageable.

Most organizations will tell you that they’d like to gain visibility of any asset investment at the earliest stage possible.  A key to accomplishing this begins with an efficient and easy process.  That process needs to be supported by the right tools that are easy to use, low cost to implement, accessible, and provide the accuracy required.

The goal is to enable visibility of an asset beginning at its arrival – wherever it occurs.  This capability needs to be available at any operational facility – whether a receiving dock or a remote office/facility, to ensure 100% compliance.

For example, you can initiate visibility using our mobilePLUS solution with the Inbound Assets module with steps like these:

  • Establish an organizational procedure that is easy for your team to understand and use
  • Provide a web browser page that everyone can access
  • Distribute a list of possible assets list on items they may be receiving
  • Have a set of preprinted/prepared asset identification tags on hand that can be easily applied on the newly arriving item
  • Upon arrival, your staff can create the initial asset record, apply the asset ID tag, and begin a log of all actions (start the Chain of Custody)
  • Generate a report (or reports) on activities for those that need the data
  • Enable retagging of an asset or item at any time from a mobile device or a desktop

There are two top issues frequently discussed with our clients in the early project stages.  One is the challenge of existing unrecorded items and assets.  The other is any incomplete or inaccurate asset record data on file.  These issues can be rapidly “corrected” during initial inventories.  But to make sure your Chain of Custody remains clean and accurate, it’s critical to put a procedure in place to avoid this problem with future asset acquisitions.

Assets are a substantial investment anytime, but it is undoubtedly an expenditure category that we would all like to minimize in 2020 – given all of the other operational challenges we’re trying to address.

The key to successfully applying an automated solution to your asset tracking goes back to the combination of critical factors:  it is easy to use, quick to implement, and low cost to acquire and support.

Let us know if you would like to learn more about how mobilePLUS may be a good option for your organization.