If you’re thinking about investing in asset tracking software, congratulations – you are making a very strategic decision to improve visibility of your assets, streamline asset management, and identify ways to save money. An electronic asset management system is an automated, systematic approach to managing the hundreds (likely thousands) of individual physical assets owned and managed by an organization. As you begin developing a clear vision of what you want out of an asset tracking system, you should ask yourself the following three key questions:

1) How can we map asset use to our organizational structure?

To figure out what your asset management system should look like, you want to visually map out dependencies across your assets, such as who uses or maintains which assets, which components assets are connected to, and which services will be impacted by an asset that fails. Your goal should be to gain a comprehensive overview of how all of your assets flow support your business processes within your organization’s operational structure.

2)   What asset tracking software is optimal for full lifecycle tracking and integration with our other systems?

All assets go through a lifecycle that encompasses various states that are specific to your organization, such as “purchased”, “received”, “in repair”, “inventoried” and “disposed.” You want software that can track all of these various lifecycle events, ensuring resources are being allocated effectively and assets get to where they need to be. You also want asset tracking software that can be integrated with other service management areas, such as purchasing, manufacturing, and property management, to ensure all business processes that depend upon these assets can be updated automatically in real time. Finally, you want software that can capture and track as many asset-related attributes as possible, including manufacturer information and price.

3)    How can we optimize reporting of asset tracking data to improve accountability and transparency?

The goal of asset management systems is to increase accountability and transparency. You should look for software that can generate dashboards and reports that will help your organization create more precise budgets, prepare for audits, and ultimately make more strategic, cost-effective decisions like avoiding new procurements of items that you already have in inventory.

Asset tracking systems are designed to improve visibility of assets within an organization, not add another layer of bureaucracy and confusion. To ensure you choose asset tracking software that is optimal for your organization, you should first map asset uses to your organizational structure, consider the full lifecycle tracking and integration needs of your organization, and ensure the software contains reporting features that can improve accountability and transparency.