The assets within a company’s inventory are very important, and improper management has a direct impact on a company’s productivity. When inventory management is not well executed, it can cause problems and penalize the several departments of the company, such as operations, marketing, accounting and finance.
However, it is possible to improve a company’s productivity and performance by starting with an effective inventory management, which will save you time and money during the process. Here are our valuable tips and best practices on how to manage your equipment inventory effectively.
1 – Know your inventory
The risk of unnecessarily spending your money for assets in your inventory, because of the fear of running out, can be frequent if you don’t have a clear idea of the type of equipment and the quantities in stock.
In order to avoid losing money and profits, it’s important to have a list of your inventory that is:
Up to date
Up to date, i.e. less than one year old, reflecting all changes and movements of assets
Complete, that contains all types of equipment
Accurate, who provides all the necessary information, locations, values, status, special characteristics, etc.
Knowing correctly what you have in your inventory will allow you to reasonably budget your next purchases of the equipment you will need, based on your past use!
2- Limit data entry errors with barcode scanner
During the day-to-day activities of receiving goods, purchasing, moving inventory and so on, errors can easily be hidden through this process.
To ensure that your inventory is kept as up-to-date as possible and in a reliable manner, the use of a barcode scanner or QR Code linked to the system will facilitate the configuration of your assets and help you quickly find them in your database.
In addition, the use of a unique asset number system will prevent duplicates that could occur. Do the exercise once a week by selecting a few items from your inventory list and by comparing them to what you actually have.
3- Analyze equipment usage
Once you have entered all the information about your inventory and have structured these elements, it will be important to analyze your data to continually improve your inventory management.
Thus, use the data compiled in the system to generate reports informing you of the value of your equipment, the rate of turnover and use of the equipment or its life span.
With this information, you will be able to establish budgets for the purchase of your equipment and, above all, prioritize the assets to be renewed so as not to spend unnecessarily.
4- Regularly check the condition of your equipment
The key to an inventory that lasts over time and meets demand, without breaking down at the worst possible time, is the implementation of preventive maintenance to ensure the equipment is in good condition.
Rather than spending a full day each month counting down broken equipment that needs to be replaced, put in place a reminder system that tells you to perform short maintenance on a regular basis before equipment is in poor condition. It is important to plan the maintenance of your equipment at different frequencies, i.e. according to the rate of use of your equipment and your future needs, in order to ensure that you optimize your time!
By adopting this good habit, you will reduce risks of broken equipment at times when you need it most. You, therefore, guarantee its longevity and you save time and money!
5- Using the right inventory management system
Now that you know the tips for making and managing your inventory effectively, it’s up to you to put these steps into practice, and not with just any tool!
If you were thinking of a paper and a pencil to keep all this data up to date, this would be very counterproductive. The same goes for the use of Excel in term of inventory management, which will quickly impose its limits.
Instead, turn to an online asset management software that secures your data in the Cloud and offers a multitude of features to assist you in your inventory tracking. Your data will be backed up in real time, you will be able to quickly access your inventory as well as give permission to other employees/users to make changes.
Protect your business investments, increase your management performance and limit your time and material losses. Offer you a simple way of having access to important data in the system when you need it.