My first experience in taking critical inventories actually happened when I was a child – at Halloween. After a long night of trick or treating, my brother and I would head home and dump out our haul for review. We couldn’t eat any of it until Mom inspected everything.
She’d carefully check every piece muttering about the world going someplace in a handbasket. I couldn’t hear where the world was going, and I didn’t know what a handbasket was. But I understood that in this modern age (the 70s), she had to check to make sure that no razors made their way into our candy.
Once my Mom gave us the go-ahead, we would carefully assess everything from our little plastic pumpkins. We were allowed two pieces of candy that night – so the selection was critical. After picking our pieces, we knew exactly how many snickers, kit kat bars, M&M bags, etc. (the good stuff) remained.
In the morning, we did another inventory because….Dad.
You guessed it – the inventory in the little plastic pumpkin had changed, and critical parts of the inventory were gone.
Critical Inventories Today
These days, I help teams with inventory issues through our mobilePLUS solution. The reasons that they come to us for help frequently fall into a few different areas:
Data Accuracy – they need to feel more confident in the accuracy of their asset data before they issue reports or make strategic decisions for budgets or operations.
Asset Status – they need to have a physical review of different items to make sure they are where they need to be and in the right condition for use.
Easier Approach – they need a faster, easier way to conduct inventories that doesn’t involve a clipboard and manual data entry.
Asset inventories are one of those things that don’t seem to become critical until there is an issue. Once something is lost, or bad inventory data ripples out into bad business decisions, or motivating your staff to get it done takes much more effort than you have time to give – it then becomes critical.
The fact is that things do get moved or damaged or their records just get outdated. It may not be for reasons as sinister as Dad raiding my pumpkin. Things just happen – and tracking asset inventories usually doesn’t fall high on a list of priorities until there is a problem.
So if you are in the middle of trying to solve a problem with your inventories and their data – or if you’re trying to head off an issue before it develops, know that there are solutions available that won’t break the bank, disrupt your staff or give your IT administrators ongoing headaches.
I can help. I couldn’t save your Twix bar from your Dad – but I can help you here.