Tip of the Week: How to Properly Inventory Your Technology
Businesses use technology to varying degrees, but even small businesses have a lot of technology that must be tracked on a daily basis. With so many devices floating around the office, how are you making sure that you know who has which device, when it was issued, and how it’s being used? We suppose the question is not “how” you are keeping track of it all, but “if.” For this task, we recommend implementing an inventory tracking system for your business’ technological assets.
Do I Really Need One?
In short, yes, and for a number of reasons. Even small businesses have a ton of technology that is constantly being assigned, reassigned, and taken out of the office. Take, for example, the average employee. They might have a work desktop that stays at the office, a company-issued laptop for working remotely, and maybe even a company-issued smartphone to stay in touch while out and about. It makes sense to track who is in possession of which device from both a logistics and security perspective.
That said, your tracking system will be made up of two different components: the tracking method itself and the records you keep. You could, of course, keep a paper leger of technology, complete with manual sign-in and sign-out, but this system is just begging to be replaced by technology. Paper records are much less secure and prone to user error, so we encourage you to use one of the following methods for tracking your business tech.
Tracking (Barcodes, RFID)
There are two ways that your business can track inventory coming into or out of your organization. The first is through the use of a barcode scanner system. In this case, you assign each piece of technology, be it a laptop or smartphone, a barcode. When the device is assigned to someone, you simply scan the barcode. This records in the system that the device is “checked out,” so to speak, along with all other necessary details (which we will get to in a moment).
The other notable method of tracking your technology is to use what’s called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The difference between the two is that unlike barcodes, which are just pieces of paper with a pattern printed on them, RFID uses microchips attached to the device. There are two types of RFID technology that can be used: passive and active. In an active system, the microchip is tagged when the device moves through a reader (kind of like a scanner in the aforementioned system). In a passive system, the microchip is tagged when it enters or leaves a specific radius.
Electronic Record Keeping
Whichever method you decide to go with, it should be hooked up to automatically populate information into an electronic record keeping system. As for what information should be included in said system, you will want to know who is taking the device, what the device is, what the device will be used for, contact information for the employee taking the device, and any other information that you might find pertinent. Essentially, what you should be aiming for is enough information to be able to track down the employee should you need to retrieve any assigned devices.
Need Help Getting Started?
As you might have guessed, this kind of tracking system can be used for much more than just technology. Directive can help your business get set up with an inventory tracking system that will help you reduce waste, increase your bottom line, and improve redundancy.
When we work with a business, we track every device we implement or touch. That way, we can track the overall history of support over the lifespan of the device. We’re big on documenting and linking all of our documentation to the device and user, because it helps us streamline and provide the best support possible.
To learn more, reach out to us at 607.433.2200.
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