By Brian Sutter

Accurately managing your assets is a key component to the success of your small business. Whether you are tracking IT assets, vehicles or rental equipment, keeping all of your important assets organized can make or break your business.

While accuracy is extremely important many companies rely on employees to manually enter asset data, which can lead to errors. Studies show that a proficient data entry operator will make one error for every 300 characters. If you’re assigning a 12-digit UPC code to your assets that means you’ll have an error in 1 out of every 25 manually entered codes.  Furthermore, when you combine data entry errors and counting errors that are common with Excel-based systems, your accuracy takes another hit.  The pressure of manual tracking through Excel can cause stress on not only the employee, but also the business as a whole. This added stress is likely to affect other areas of work as well.

Excel-based tracking systems require employees to manually count asset items and record the data into the spreadsheet.  Often, the process also involves using a printed count sheet, since assets can be located anywhere (from an employee using a computer, to borrowed equipment placed in various office locations). After data is recorded on a count sheet, it must then be transcribed into the spreadsheet. This duplicated effort wastes valuable time. Imagine what your employees could accomplish with an extra hour or two in a workweek.

Since training staff to use new technology can be an expensive, time-consuming process many vendors offer live demonstrations or even limited trials; so, you can test-drive the asset management software before you buy it. This is a great way to evaluate how easy a product will be to learn, without having to reorganize your entire budget.

There are two things to consider when combining a new program with already functioning technology: hardware and software. Avoid unexpected expenses by carefully reviewing the system requirements for the asset management software you are considering. Since some asset management software can be used on its own or with a mobile computer, it’s important to realize your company’s desires. Using a mobile computer gives you the flexibility to update asset data while on the go, instead of doing every transaction from one fixed location.

So, while you may be operating on a tight budget, it’s worth the investment to upgrade to an automated asset tracking system. An affordable solution can give you an ROI in a matter of months – and you’ll enjoy the benefits for years.

Asset tracking solutions are designed to help your organization manage valuable assets efficiently and affordably. Asset solutions allow you to instantly locate any asset, eliminating wasted time spent searching for missing items and unnecessary expenditures to replace lost assets. And, as a business owner, you’ll sleep much easier at night knowing where your assets are, who has them and what assets need to be replaced or upgraded.

Brian Sutter is the director of marketing at Wasp Barcode Technologies, which manufactures barcode software and solutions including barcode scanners, barcode printers, inventory software, asset tracking, time and attendance systems, Point of Sale (POS) Systems and a range of barcode labels and barcode accessories.

 Image Copyright 2012 Karen Axelton