Improvements in barcode scanning and data management technologies have helped level the playing field, and businesses of varying sizes are more competitive than ever before. Spreadsheets and manual forms of data entry weren’t built for today’s fast-paced world. If your organization still relies on Excel spreadsheets or Google Sheets to manage assets, upgrading to a fixed asset tracking system will provide the robust support necessary to monitor and track assets with a higher level of control and visibility than before.
But with so many fixed asset management systems available, selecting the best option for your business isn’t easy. This article presents five important considerations that can guide your search for the software system that best meets your organization’s needs. Before examining the selection criteria, let’s take a more in-depth look at what fixed asset tracking software can deliver and the benefits it can provide.
Benefits of a Fixed Asset Tracking System
Fixed asset tracking software is a comprehensive software system that enables users to track and monitor assets and equipment history, usage, performance, maintenance schedules and more. These systems rely on barcode scanning technology, eliminating manual data entry and their accompanying errors. Automation of key tasks such as report scheduling, record auditing and regular service notifications keep businesses running at peak performance. These systems track asset conditions and history, helping organizations maintain and extend the life cycle of their assets, reduce downtime and equipment failures, improve operational efficiency, meet compliance standards and evaluate performance to improve future equipment selection.
These functions provide powerful improvements to productivity and decrease the margin of error. Not all asset management software systems are equally capable of meeting your organization’s specifications or producing the results you’re after for the price you’re willing to pay. The following five questions examine the core functionality offered in asset tracking software to help you better analyze the available options.
Top Considerations when Selecting a Fixed Asset Tracking Software Solution
When it comes to today’s options for fixed asset tracking software, there are many choices available. Finding the most suitable option requires careful evaluation based on your organization’s specific requirements. These five criteria will help you compare the asset management software available on the market.
If a software product is going to provide value, it must meet your organization’s particular business needs relating to your industry and operational processes. Quantify business requirements by clarifying users, tasks and workflow processes a system needs to handle to serve as a viable solution. Basic questions to ask include:
- Specific tracking needs to effectively manage fixed assets
- Necessary reporting functionality
- Security and accessibility requirements
- Asset lifecycle and performance measurement data needs
- Requirements surrounding scheduled maintenance activities
Understanding these business requirements up front will help you narrow down the options early on, as well as provide necessary context for the remaining considerations on this list.
Where will your data be stored, in the cloud or on-premise? Cloud-based systems offer maximum accessibility and flexibility, making it easy to access and update the system anytime, anywhere (with an available internet connection). Ease of access, low cost of ownership and lightning-fast deployment make cloud-based solutions the obvious choice for many of today’s organizations.
Still, organizations that must maintain strict data compliance protocols may demand an on-premise solution. Accessibility generally remains limited to on-network devices that are used within the company’s offices because connectivity and usability rely on a business’ existing IT infrastructure to provide support and security services. However, in some cases, large companies with significant IT security infrastructure can configure the on-premise systems to offer off-site connectivity to selected users. Your organization’s accessibility and security requirements will guide whether or not you need an on-premise or cloud-based fixed asset management system.
Ideally, the asset tracking system you select will seamlessly integrate with your existing core business applications. Some asset management systems may have limited integration capabilities. An important question to ask is whether or not your potential selection integrates easily with other critical business programs such as accounting and project management software. Well-integrated software can eliminate manual data entry, as well as the errors an ineffective software workaround can produce (and may need to be completed again after software updates).
Poor integration can result in the duplication of work and erroneous records, leading to manual data-entry fixes your new system is supposed to avoid. If possible, try to consult with an asset management software professional prior to purchase. A well-trained professional can provide insight on native integration capabilities and suggest optimal workarounds where necessary, helping you avoid future pitfalls.
Automation of key processes is the shortest path to making your business scalable. Without a doubt, incorporating a fixed asset tracking system into your workflow improves efficiency, but can your chosen software grow alongside your business?
To be scalable, your selected asset tracking system should fit the current size and budget of your business, while allowing for the possibility of growth. Software companies offering tiered options maximize scalability by allowing businesses the flexibility to add users and storage as necessary, while still controlling for costs in the short term.
Budgetary concerns are the clearest selection criteria for many business owners, but cost is more realistically determined through value. Selecting the system that provides the most value to your organization among those options within your budget range requires a more holistic view of cost.
The price of the software itself (and any necessary hardware) cannot be the only cost consideration in your research. A holistic approach to cost considers a system’s implementation price, native integration capabilities, staff training costs and how well it handles the problems your business currently faces. The availability and cost of product technical support is also an important consideration. It’s often beneficial to purchase your system from a value-added reseller capable of providing a full-service customer experience – from product selection to software integration and implementation, from custom report writing to staff training and more.
While the benefits of owning any fixed asset tracking system are numerous, it’s essential to purchase software that suits your business’s requirements, is accessible when and where you need it, integrates easily into existing workflows, can scale with your business’ growth, meets your budget and streamlines fixed asset management to maximize your ROI.
Barcode Shack powers sustainable business growth by providing consultations that guide selecting and purchasing the optimal fixed asset tracking software that gives you the flexibility and control to track your assets when and where you need it. As a value-added reseller, we offer business owners an unmatched service experience through a three-step process that starts with a detailed discussion about your business goals and ends with the implementation of a customized, ready-to-use system. From planning and implementation, to installation and with ongoing technical support, our customer service is unparalleled. Schedule your free consultation today so we can help you select the fixed asset tracking solution that best fits your requirements.