Questions to Ask Before Automating Your Asset Inventories
Project Management Thoughts Quick Tips

Questions to Ask Before Automating Your Asset Inventories

When it comes to adding automation to your asset management processes, we recommend taking a few steps to ensure that the direction you choose is the best fit for your current situation – and can flex to your future needs.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll review the approach we recommend when working with new clients seeking to improve their asset investments.

Looking Back to See Forward

We frequently look to systems and automation to solve our problems.  Why not?  Technology and tools have served our needs well over the years.

Unfortunately, this leap-then-look approach has led to a lot of unused breadmakers, gadgets, and apps that have been purchased, never really used, and now filling up our basements.

Before running out and buying a solution – or tasking your team to build one, it makes sense to look at how you do things now – and take a close look at what you really need instead of jumping into the unknown.

The Approach with Assets

The same philosophy is true for looking to automation in solving problems with your organization’s asset management.  Before you determine a plan of action (and invest in a solution), it’s essential to consider your current status with your assets, what other systems you leverage require, and what other factors have influence.

To get a feel for where things currently stand with your team, consider some of these questions:

  • What are your existing processes regarding how you manage your assets?
    • Do you conduct inventories? How frequently?  By whom?
    • Do you mark or tag your assets? How? When?
    • What do you need to know about your assets? Location?  Condition?  Possession/Assignment?
  • What systems currently carry asset data?
    • How is that data captured?
    • How frequently is the data updated?
    • Is the data audited or verified for accuracy?
    • How is the data used? Budgets? Operations?
  • Do environmental or external factors impact your processes or operations around your assets?
    • Does your industry require any compliance reporting or tracking?
    • Do you have remotely stored assets?
    • Do any of your assets require special handling, shelf-life management, maintenance, etc.?

Automation can be a powerful approach to improve the visibility of your assets and the quality of the data you have on them.  However, if you don’t take a thoughtful approach to what you need, you could wind up with another unused tool.

Next week, we’ll look at how you can apply automation to those areas, and later we’ll focus on the results and benefits that come from adding the right technologies.