Inventory management can often be a dull and thankless task, but it’s one which is vital. Without an accurate inventory, you have no idea what equipment your school has, where it’s stored or when it was last updated – in fact, you don’t know anything about your assets at all.
Maintaining your school inventory needn’t be a chore, though. Follow our top tips and you’ll soon be clued up on how to do asset management efficiently and effectively.
Know what you have
If you don’t have an inventory at all, you must create one. This isn’t as simple as just creating a list of assets – you should try to include as much detail about each item as possible. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which details are important, but it’s wise to include data on the following:
- Estimated value
- Building and room location
- Serial number (if applicable)
For more information on how to create a school inventory for the first time, check out our blog.
If you already have an inventory but it hasn’t been updated for years, take some time to go through it and correct all the information. You can’t maintain an inventory if you have no idea the existing information is accurate!
Remember: You should never delete an item from an inventory, even if it has been written off, sold or disposed of. It’s important to keep a complete record of everything the school has ever owned. To avoid confusion, you can store the information about these assets in a separate inventory which explains why they were written off, sold or disposed of – for example, the asset may have gone missing, been damaged or was simply no longer needed.
Track how your assets are used
Your inventory will quickly become inaccurate and difficult to maintain if you don’t track how your assets are used. Equipment will inevitably get moved to different buildings, rooms and even schools if you are part of trust – wherever it is needed. If you don’t make of note of when this happens, assets will get lost, which could cost big money if you end up buying a replacement you don’t require.
It’s also common for students and teachers to borrow school assets and take them home, such as laptops, iPads and text books. These are valuable items that, if not tracked, could easily become lost or stolen. You should have a loan system in place that details who the item is with and when they are due to return it. If it is not returned on time, you can chase them until it is.
There may be many assets in your inventory that the school isn’t using but are costing money. Software subscriptions and rented electronics aren’t cheap – by maintaining the inventory you can see if there are any duplicate assets that can be sold and outdated licences/rental equipment that no longer needs to be paid for.
Update it regularly
It’s an obvious point to make, but if you forget to update your school inventory, it will quickly become inaccurate. The longer you leave it, the more time it will take to update, which isn’t an efficient way for your or your staff to work.
However, the days of the tiresome annual audit are long gone if you implement our next tip.
Invest in an asset management system
Spreadsheets are completely unreliable and aren’t user-friendly. An asset management system makes it easy to do everything we’ve mentioned in this article and more. Assets audits are a cinch, as you can access Parago’s school inventory software via a smartphone app.
Not only will implementing asset management software make the lives of you and your staff easier, it will save the school money, ensure the building is fully covered in the event of theft/fire/flood and is compliant when it comes to health and safety checks.
To find out more about what Parago’s asset management software could do for your school, click here or contact us today. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have regarding inventory maintenance.
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