Most businesses rely on a specific technology to maintain their operations. From laptops and smartphones to servers and POS systems, companies are collectively beholden to various tech tools.
The importance of these devices cannot be overstated, so it is vital to create or improve your inventory process for such items.
What Does a Good Inventory System Look Like?
A proper inventory system for a company’s tech has several features, including:
The inventory system should be organized so well that people other than specialists within your business could step in to operate the system or perform an audit. No business can afford to have one or two people capable of running the inventory.
At least once a year, you must audit the inventory system to identify, count, reclaim, and order tech products. After the inventory audit process concludes, your business should replace outdated, missing, and damaged tech.
These are two of the most important characteristics of a proper inventory, but several smaller elements feed into making those actions possible.
How would you know a laptop in your building belongs to the business and not a worker? You need to come up with some form of a unique identifier for your tech and affix it to the hardware with a label, sticker, or another physical method. You may also wish to add the business name on the device too.
Remember, the identifier assigned to a device should be easily understood so that anyone could comprehend its meaning.
For example, a group of laptops could use the identifier “Laptop #1,” and then the charging port could be labeled “Laptop charger #1”. This label will establish which laptop belongs on which charger.
When it comes time to audit, you will know how many items should be on hand and how many items are on hand.
Tracking Your Tech
It would be best if you had some way to track your technology as it comes and goes. Next to the identifier on a given item should be a barcode. When scanned, it digitally checks out the item from your inventory system and makes a log of the individual's name in possession of the item and when they took it out.
If your business has the means, then important tech items need to have RFID trackers adhered to them, too. That way, it is harder for people to accidentally or purposefully walk out the door with them.
Manage Storage Locations
You must maintain a secure location for the tech products that your business uses for its operations. Going back to the earlier example, your business’s laptops should be placed in a protected room where people and items can be viewed coming in and out via security cameras.
If the storage location must be changed at some point, your business’s records should be updated to reflect the shift. Your business should have digital records of the home location for every piece of valuable tech.
Aside from the check-in and check-out systems for your company’s tech, you should also create records of items as they are purchased, sent out for repairs, and leave the business’s possession.
Your electronic records could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet that lists:
- Date acquired
- Serial number
- Product description
The process may feel tedious at first, but it will come in handy during inventory audits.
Log Damages to Your Tech
Accidents are bound to happen with your technology, and you should keep track of such events. That way, the tech team at your business can see the damages and prioritize and schedule repairs.
Times, dates, and individuals involved are all good data to track in this case, but it is most important for preventing the business from suddenly realizing that nearly all of a certain item is damaged.
Tracking your business-use inventory is necessary, but it does not have to be difficult. The concepts we established throughout are a good baseline inventory system. As your company grows, these systems will need to be bolstered and expanded.
If your business is beginning to track its inventory, it is not a bad idea to seek expert advice to cover all your bases.
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