Manual asset management – Fraught with many limitations!
A clipboard full of checkboxes for each asset that gets passed around and is shared by several users can very quickly become a nightmare for all maintenance, operations, and supply chain professionals. The data gathering is tedious while preparing summary reports and reconciliation with stores is often fraught with errors. It is the perfect scenario for Murphy’s law.
This article is not going to be all gloom and doom. Still, it is essential to understand the disadvantages of manual asset management before we discuss how iQ Technology paired with smart lockers can make your inventory management efficient and effortless. Some of the key disadvantages of manual asset management over mobile are discussed below.
Manual asset management involves data entry at several points, often by several people. Even with the use of computers and spreadsheets, the task does not become any easier. Hundreds of devices, tools, and consumables need data entry at several points, such as procurement, check-out, check-in, and disposal. Summarizing the data gathered to generate meaningful reports is a difficult challenge. Finally, more effort is required to make this data flow to other systems.
Human Error is inevitable
Data is only as valuable as it is accurate. Human involvement in gathering and processing data makes the data prone to errors. Erroneous data can be more dangerous than having no data at all. Poor data has a bad habit of contaminating insights in downstream processes and making data from upstream processes unreliable. It is impossible to eliminate human error, especially when it involves tedious yet precise manual entries that are repetitive.
Delayed Asset Status
Manual asset management delays data gathering, rendering the data unavailable for tactical and business decisions. Just as serving justice, data delayed is data denied.
Another challenge with manual data gathering is data can be interpreted and reported differently depending upon the methodology and source of the analysis. To combat this, radio buttons and objective options are oftentimes used, however, this approach diminishes the amount of intelligence that can be gathered. Unstructured data analysis, visualization, and big data can help with data analysis, however, these methods are most applicable when the volume of data is high.
Resistance to Modifications
When gathered manually, data tends to resist any structure, resolution, or data type changes. Even a tiny change in a set of constrained inputs can disrupt data gathering for many. The workforce needs to be trained in the need for changed data and the process of acquiring it. Considering that the data is seldom acquired by someone dedicated to this purpose, people may view such retraining as a distraction from their responsibilities.
Tracking and monitoring asset information manually cause difficulties for employees at various levels. The process is tedious and susceptible to errors, as often the task of entering data is not a measure of success, but can considerably impact decision-making considerably. This means more work for no direct outcome for the employee. Inaccurate data can also confuse employees, causing frustration.
Smart Lockers and Mobile Asset Management
Smart lockers automate the management of your assets. Workflows can be written to provide role-based or need-based access to assets through precise authentication mechanisms. And yes, there is minimal to no manual data entry involved. Data is made available in real-time as and when it is created.
When combined with tagging and tracking solutions like RFID, Bluetooth, Keycard, or Passcode-based authentication, establishing the chain of custody becomes automatic. Smart lockers are a combination of three pieces of technology.
Adjustable Lockers serve as a pickup and drop-off center that stores your assets when not they are not in use. Users can use the electronic panel or their ID cards to check out and check in devices or equipment. The access interface can be customized to authenticate various methods like User PIN, Employee Keycard, RFID, or even passcodes delivered to mobile phones.
iQ Technology software from IDS serves as the backend brains behind the hardware. The software is where you set up employee limits and authorization as well as view real-time data that includes who used what assets, when and how many.
Mobile assets are used in various processes in the enterprise. Different functions use enterprise systems like ERP, SCM, and Procurement systems. Asset tracking can be complete only when the supply lockers can integrate with different enterprise systems and ensure a single source of information.
Smart Lockers Vs. Manual Asset Management – Is it even fair to compare?
|Particulars||Smart Lockers||Manual Asset Management|
|Profitability||Profitability improves due to better efficiency, higher uptime, improved productivity, better use of assets, and lesser hoarding/ shrinkage.||Asset management initiatives focus on existence and not excellence, resulting in higher inefficiencies.|
|Process Continuity||Real-time asset trackability ensures mission-critical assets’ visibility and continuity in the process.||The lead time to data visibility can cause a massive disparity between the actual status and the recorded status of the asset.|
|Asset Utilization||Information on available (unutilized) assets helps allocate assets around the clock to drive higher utilization.||Poorer utilization of assets as data is neither current nor accurate.|
|Accountability||Accurate chain-of-custody ensures responsible usage of assets.||Manual data entry allows missing or invalid entries, thereby reducing accountability.|
|Reliability||Logging and scheduling maintenance can be automated through workflows, making equipment more reliable.||The asset maintenance is relegated to individuals and prone to human error.|
|Actionable Insights||The software layer in smart lockers can trigger instant reports to empower decision-makers..||Manual consolidation of data and reporting may not be available in time to make decisions.|
|Seamless Interoperability||Data is gathered and stored digitally, allowing integration with other enterprise systems.||Data is gathered and entered manually into spreadsheets, limiting interoperability to a few systems.|
|Employee Experience||Employees can focus on creating value for the business by executing their responsibilities better.||Employees are burdened with data gathering and the consequences of inaccurate data.|
Mobile Asset Management with Smart Lockers – The No-brainer Decision
Your devices and equipment contribute as much to the business process as fixed assets like buildings, if not more. Ensuring their condition, availability, and uptime is critical for efficient operations. Smart lockers help manage mobile assets effortlessly and accurately. The three layers of technology – hardware, software, and integration applications come together to ensure better availability and utilization of mobile assets leading to time saved and increased profitability.
IDS Vending is the industry leader in smart lockers and controlled dispensing technology. Talk to our experts to see how our lockers can help you manage your mobile assets. Click here to learn more or call us at 1-866-409-2978.