Education is a massive industry, faced with massive challenges. Students have to be taught with the curriculum strongly in mind, and learning activities and teaching practices have to be coordinated across school districts. In addition to all this comes the challenge of managing a large number of educational assets!
Huge waves of resources are hitting the doors of schools every day, but how do these institutions keep up with the equipment needs of all their students and teachers? It only gets more complicated when you throw in all the textbooks, tablets, science gear, sports equipment, projectors and many other items spread across school districts. Whether it’s equipment for labs or gyms, or learning aids to help bring students up to speed with the syllabus more effectively, schools can often have thousands of dollars worth of equipment in their inventory.
Asset tracking can be a challenge all its own, but you always have the option of choosing a robust school tracking software that is not only easy to implement but ensures data accuracy and integrity. Schools that have shifted to an automated asset management system can easily overcome the challenges associated with time, money and compliance that have long term impacts on a school’s operational efficiency.
Equipment purchased by the school should be tracked from purchase to disposal. Despite losing millions of dollars through the result of asset loss or redundancy every year, schools still use outdated and cumbersome tracking methods. As an example, while a lot of schools have an automated library inventory program, they don’t think to expand this automation to the rest of their equipment. With such poor or non-existent tracking procedures, schools face the challenging task of identifying when items are stolen, replaced, lost or damaged. And worst of all, this puts a huge deal of pressure on their already squeezed educational budgets.
To overcome this issue, let’s take a look at how a school tracking software can help optimize processes across school districts, enabling schools to manage countless valuable assets with ease.
Locate each and every school asset whenever needed
Schools are large institutions with multiple classrooms, storage spaces, gymnasiums, and libraries. As a result, things can have a way of getting away from you. What can be worse than spending money on replacing technology you already own but can’t find?! After all, the replacement funds themselves come from the school’s limited budget and can be put to must better use on other things. When you are able to accurately account for valuable school assets – whether low dollar items or high ticket equipment – it cancels out the need to repurchase assets that have been misplaced or lost.
To this end, school items should have an identifier (like a barcode label or item number) attached to them, which should then be incorporated within a school tracking system. Since school items are often on the move, you can use this system to record whenever a certain asset is shifted to a new location – whether a library, classroom, or office. This tracking feature may sound very simplistic, but can save school districts a substantial amount of time and money. This is because students and even staff members can be quite careless and lose or misplace thousands of dollars worth of assets each year!
Of course, there are some items in schools which aren’t barcoded at all. This is because it is not cost effective to track, say, 400 chairs and desks individually. Nevertheless, schools need to keep a close watch on such items. With school tracking software, you can track individual assets just as easily as you can track groups of related assets! This means you can track assets big and small, few or many, and ensures you’re always in the know about where all your equipment is.
Enforce accountability in staff members and students
Accountability lies at the heart of asset management. How else are you going to give your staff, students and management a red alert when assets are lost or misplaced! When you acquire assets particularly using state or federal funds, you have to comply with government regulations including their set standard of accountability. This calls for a feature that lets you know which assets are in use, who’s using them, and where they’re located.
Accountability is also heavily related to data accuracy, which in itself is a challenging task for school districts. For instance, assets may exist on the balance sheets of the finance department but in reality could have been lost for while. Nothing chews away your dollar faster than these ghost assets. You could end up paying hundreds of dollars on insurance, taxes and other fees towards them. Secondly, duplicate assets also don’t bode well for your finances. These are assets that you already have enough of, which is why buying more of them is a waste of resources. And you have to pay for insurance, taxes and other fees yet again!
One great accountability feature of school asset management software is its check-in and checkout feature. School students in particular can end up handling things carelessly and hastily. When they know the school assets are being monitored, they’ll be a lot more vigilant when using them! In addition, every time a student or staff member checks in a faulty asset, it will be updated in the central database leaving an audit trail that shows custodianship histories. The school administrators will be aware of the asset location as well as who it is with, and take appropriate steps accordingly.
Retrieve maintenance histories and reports
Tracking the total cost of ownership and keeping school assets in good working order is definitely an uphill struggle for schools. A survey conducted by Deloitte states that gradual aging and deterioration are believed to be the top risks when it comes to operating and owning assets. About 62% of organizations cite this risk. Keeping track of maintenance, whether scheduled or unscheduled, helps you benefit from service agreements or warranties that assets come bundled with.
With assets always growing – particularly with digital educational resources paving enormous inroads into schools – maintenance becomes a key factor in nailing the budget down. Knowing the amount of money being spent on repairing and maintaining assets calls for the provision of historical data. This is required for setting future budgets and finding out the total cost of ownership of a school’s assets. School asset management is handy for all kinds of users – including facilities, maintenance, and IT staff – as they can schedule routine maintenance like updates, replacements and inspections. In case maintenance doesn’t happen on the due date, email alerts are automatically generated to make the process even simple for all your users!
Educational institutes are required to keep accurate reports as incomplete reporting can cause the schools to lose important funding. Does your school’s asset listing happen to be different from what is detailed in paper reports? If the answer is yes, there is a serious problem with the method you are following for managing your assets. Spreadsheet errors are rampant. No wonder manually maintained spreadsheets simply fall through the cracks. However, automation using a robust school tracking software can do wonders to save you from all the hassles of intricate tasks and make all the operations lean and simple!
Want to learn more about our school tracking software?
EZOfficeInventory is a leading school asset management software utilized by education industry around the world. Seamlessly track and manage your school operations and assets spread across school districts.
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