Why changes in school expenditures call for inventory control
With the latest innovations in technology, it is hard to imagine working with an antiquated system. Unfortunately, one of the sectors that has lagged behind in the tech department is the education industry. Schools have an extensive range of assets in their inventory which are certainly valuable and often times irreplaceable; especially in the short run, as they might lead to blockages in education workflows.
Experts anticipate that the total spending on EdTech in the US is expected to increase by an additional amount of $2.4 billion, surfacing up the total annual expenditure to $38.2 billion in the year 2021. So, what does this research say about the future of a school’s inventory needs? It is quite evident that students will be using a large number of portable devices, as well as other costly items that they will have to organize, distribute, and safeguard. If these assets are not tracked in the correct manner, schools will face a tough audit season, and higher overheads than their restricted budgets will allow them to meet!
A school inventory tracking system helps industries and businesses effectively manage their assets and keep a track of the life-cycle of each individual asset without going through the hassle of keeping physical records. An educational institution is no less of a powerhouse of assets – with items ranging from assets like tables, chairs, projectors to technical assets like computers and printers for the labs. The school management needs to constantly monitor its assets to ensure seamless working operations throughout the day. Any disruptions due to asset malfunctions can cause a huge academic loss to teachers and students resulting in an inefficient education system.
An inventory management system can help an educational institution is a number of ways including:
- Assigning serial numbers and barcodes to each asset preventing losses due to mismanagement.
- Running reports on asset depreciation to facilitate forecasting on upcoming maintenance costs.
- Scheduling notifications for breakdowns and maintenance issues thereby ensuring timely maintenance and repairs.
- Checking in equipment for mass-maintenance especially during vacation when they are not in use.
- Saving a lot of time by replacing physical records and spreadsheets with an automated cloud-based management system.
- Retiring inactive assets to better determine overhead costs.
Challenges associated with inventory tracking and how to overcome them
Asset management in schools is mostly manual today. This concerning lack of automation causes schools to struggle with asset maintenance, procurement schedules, as well as being able to quickly locate items at a moment’s notice. Failure to implement a robust tracking solution may result in enormous financial as well as productivity losses. This is especially worrisome because it can determine the quality of education that students will be exposed to!
Let’s look at some of the challenges that arise due to poor inventory control in educational institutes:
Indirect costs due to asset misplacement
It is common for instructors and students to borrow assets like laptops, books and tablets from their educational institutions. These assets can be difficult to track. An accurate inventory tracking system is required to keep a record of who has borrowed what, otherwise it is highly likely that the institution will end up losing a lot of its assets that were loaned incurring huge indirect costs.
Challenges due to the pandemic
The impact of Covid-19 has drastically changed the dynamics of education for institutions across the globe. The mode of instruction has shifted to a virtual system where remote learning is the new normal. This sudden shift to changing times imposed costs to facilitate distant learning in schools and educational institutes. Schools are now providing teaching and learning resources to ensure a smooth transition to a virtual education system so that the pandemic does not impact the learning of students.
As the pandemic ends, the masses will be returning to an in-person mode of learning which means recovery of these resources During this time,equipment tracking is of utmost importance as schools transition back to physical lessons. Any lapses would entail huge recovery costs that would strain the already burdened school budget. A well maintained school asset management software can cater to all these concerns by providing real-time asset tracking for all the distributed resources.
Unnecessary overhead costs
Additionally, an ineffective asset management system entails unnecessary overheads and duplicate costs. If an adequately maintained asset management system is absent, a school can easily get stuck in a loop of spending the limited budget in purchasing equipment that it doesn’t need. Consider the example of an instructor requesting additional chairs and desks for an auditorium without realizing that there might already be additional furniture lying vacant in some other room that could’ve been used instead. An asset management system helps avoid these additional spending on duplicate inventory.
A cloud-based solution instead of manual spreadsheet tracking can enable teaching institutes to succeed at their inventory game. Keeping to the best practices in the education sector, many institutions are choosing to use automated school inventory management software. Have a look at some of the ways this solution can help make teachers’ lives easier at your school!
Enhance learning with pre-planned schedules for your class
Instructors often prepare for their lectures beforehand. This gives them a chance to make necessary arrangements before time, and know exactly how each lesson is going to go. If you decide the course layout well in advance of the semester, students have a better chance at learning by going over the learning material before each class.
Now say you decide you want to screen a certain documentary in class for your students. If you don’t have the projector ready for the class it will waste precious time, students will get distracted, and you probably would have to push the movie session to the next class. In order to avoid such situations, you can make the required preparations before class through the computerized inventory system. By getting all the needed items reserved well in advance, you can save yourself a lot of effort and ensure nothing interrupts the learning process. As a teacher, that’s the best outcome you could hope for, delivered with the least amount of effort!
Bridge across multiple departments for streamlined inventory management
Every institution comprises of numerous departments which are interlinked to support its employees in every possible way. Educational institutes are no different. Being a teacher, you have to work with the administration, as well as the finance, admissions and registrar’s offices. There might come a time where you need access to items which come under the authority of a certain department. Now what if you can’t recall which office you borrowed a certain item from? Or even worse, what if you misplaced an asset which wasn’t from your domain? How can you handle such situations without causing disruptions?
That’s where school asset management software comes in. It lets you assign Barcodes and QR codes to every item in your school inventory. Now you can also create department specific codes to help you update the system quickly. This enables you to keep track of assets in the possession of various offices, all through a single interface. No need to go through numerous filters to update asset information, or risk putting something back where it doesn’t belong. Plus, barcodes also lower the risk of theft and misplacement by letting you log in the last time an asset was used. Therefore, teachers can stay on top of their equipment usage and ensure smoother workflows between different departments!
Upgrade teaching techniques for improved student performance
Every now and then, educational institutes try out new teaching methods. The techniques which bear the greatest impact on students are then permanently implemented within the system. This is a constructive practice which allows teachers to design lectures according to the needs of the students.
One of the ways you can do this is by using the right tools. The correct mode of delivering education also plays a major role in how well students understand what is being taught to them. But how can you decide which tools will help you do your job best?
A solution centred around managing school assets effectively not only lets you track the performance of all assets used to teach students, but also gives you valuable insights into certain trends and patterns. For example, you can track the historical data of such assets to see which items are being used more frequently, and which you would do better not to purchase anymore. General trends in tool usage allow you to decipher the success of their impact during lectures, too. By using this feature, you save the hassle of experimenting with various tools again and again. This way you can choose to invest in equipment which has the most favorable outcome for both teachers and students.
Enable seamless classroom activities through stationary packages
It is common to use complementary technology and setups to carry out successful events, especially at schools where resources are limited and therefore used again and again for similar programs and projects. Be it school examinations or an arts and crafts class, students tend to use a couple of items together during these activities. As another example, to conduct an examination for a large number of students, you can’t afford to fall short on stationery items, calculators, and notebooks on the exam day!
In order to arrange inventory for large events, it would be really handy to be able to create bundles and packages for items that are frequently used together, scan them out using asset labels, and bring up details of where they’re located or who has access to them. Save yourself the inconvenience of putting together different types of kits manually for each event, and instead just pull up a kit online in no time. You can do this through the inventory software to execute the perfect school program each time!
Get organized with school inventory management software for quality education
When it comes to imparting knowledge to young minds, it is critical that it be done in the right way. Schools base their daily functions on the optimal use of a variety of assets, including knowledge enablement devices, projectors, science equipment, and more. Poor administrative practices regarding school inventory items will ultimately lead to a less than optimal learning environment. You can overcome challenges related to inventory management at schools with the use of a dedicated software solution aimed at this problem. This software comes with supercharged features to help to plan, design and execute daily school functions, and lead to success for your students.
Do you have any queries about our school tracking software?
EZOfficeInventory is a school inventory management software used by education institutes worldwide to log inventory usage, pre-plan daily activities, and stay organized for quality education.